Get help saving for education
Reassure parents that they are not alone when they save for education. There are government programs and incentives to help them find money, save it, and grow it tax-free. Here are some sources to suggest:
- Parents can tap into the “free money” available from the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG), the Canada Learning Bond (CLB), and the Alberta Centennial Education Savings Plan. For example, if parents can save about $210 a month for each child, the government will give them a CESG grant of $500 each year.
- A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) helps parents save because they get free government grants through these plans. And parents don't pay tax on the money they make investing their savings until it comes out of the plan. But all the different RESP choices can be confusing. For example, the kind of RESP you set up through your bank is very different from a scholarship RESP plan. The Ontario Securities Commission has an excellent RESP checklist and guide to RESPs on its web site. These can help parents understand what they're investing in —and what to watch out for — so they make the choice that's right for them. More information on RESPs is available on the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada's web site.
- Encourage parents to look for scholarships, bursaries, and other forms of financial assistance. Many financial awards have very few applicants.