(NC) Every child deserves an education. Not only is it a basic right, but these days a good education is necessary in order to earn a living and maintain a suitable lifestyle. In fact, according to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, 70 per cent of new jobs in the coming decade will require a post-secondary education.
But affording this schooling isn’t always easy. Fortunately, the federal government has developed new funding for post-secondary schooling. Qualifying families are even eligible to receive free money with no contribution. All you need to do to access this for your child is open a Registered Education Savings Plan.
“The truth is, a college or university education is closer than many Canadians realize, but ironically not many people know about it,” says Sarah Rea, senior manager of corporate social responsibility at Merdian, Ontario’s largest credit union. “An estimated 520,000 Ontario children qualify for the Canada Learning Bond, but many have not yet opened an RESP to access it.”
Here’s how you can take advantage of this government funding for your child’s education:
1. Find out if you qualify. All Canadian families are eligible for Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) regardless of income. Families who qualify for the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) have a child or children who were born January 1, 2004 or later, and qualify for the National Child Benefit Supplement with an income less than $44,701.
2. Start saving the right way. If you don’t qualify for the CLB, open an RESP with the CESG. For every dollar you contribute, the government will add 20 cents and your child can receive up to $500 per year to a lifetime maximum of $7,200.
If you qualify for the CLB, open an RESP with the CLB. Get up to $2,000 from the government with $0 of your own money. This includes a $500 contribution today and $100 every year until your child turns 15.
3. Seek help if you need it. Look for a financial organization dedicated to assist with your educational savings goals. Smartsaver.org, a non-profit community website has been established to help families understand and access government money by opening RESP accounts.
Earning a diploma or degree can be very empowering for your child because it helps them acquire the skills they need to become contributing citizens in an evolving world. So it makes sense to take advantage of the government programs that can support their education. Start your investment today by learning more about opening an RESP.