Have you recently graduated with a scary amount of student debt? Ever thought about how your (future) children will be able to afford increasing tuition fees? Take a deep breath and start saving now. Here’s a few options that every (future) parent should consider about the dreaded financial burdens of post-secondary education.
The first is to consider opening a Registered Education Savings plan, or an RESP, with your bank. Once you open your RESP, you can start saving money as well as taking advantage of government grant contributions, such as the College Education Savings Grant or CESG, provided through the Canadian federal government. You can calculate a breakdown of the funds needed using an RESP Calculator, which will provide you with different possibilities helping you reach your goal. If it is impossible for you to provide your own funds to start your RESP, you might be eligible for the College Learning Bond or CLB, which is a grant that enables families to start an RESP with government financial support. Over time, these grants can help you save more money at an accelerated rate, having the potential to add $100 to $2,000 annually to your RESP until your child withdrawals the money for post-secondary education.
While RESPs are a long term investment plan, they can also be supplemented by scholarships. When it comes time for your child to go to a post-secondary school you should encourage them to apply for as many scholarships as possible. Your child can research scholarships through their secondary school, community or the institution they wish to apply to.
By combining a long term education investment, like an RESP, along with scholarships, financial aid packages, and student loans the burdening cost of post-secondary education can be lessened for parents and their children.