Strategies to help ease the financial stress of planning for your child’s future studies.
I know that saving for a child’s post-secondary education weighs heavily on all parents’ minds. Recently, I found 2 fabulous websites that might help ease the stress. One helps to make post-secondary education more affordable and the other helps with saving for post-secondary education.
For Ontario residents, the government recently introduced a 30% discount on tuition if a student meets certain eligibility requirements. This is essentially a grant (meaning that the student doesn’t have to pay the funds back) of 30% of the average tuition fee. This is for students who are leaving high school or who have recently left high school. They have made the hard part – figuring out if your child is eligible – easy, by filling out a simple online questionnaire: www.ontario.ca/form-wizard/30-off-eligibility-wizard
Another initiative, open to all Canadians and funded by the federal government, is to try to get parents educated about and taking advantage of the Canada Learning Bond www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/goc/clb.shtml. I have mentioned RESPs in the past, but this particular benefit of an RESP really needs to be emphasized: you may be eligible to receive a grant (free money!!!) just by opening an RESP for children born after January 1, 2004. To benefit, you must also be qualified to receive the National Child Benefit supplement.
To get more information and direction to a financial institution that will not charge enrolment fees to open this type of RESP go to www.smartsaver.org . All you have to do is fill out some information on-line, and the financial institution will contact you to verify some additional information. They will then submit the application to receive this grant on your behalf. I have to mention it one more time- because it is so fabulous- you can open the account with zero dollars, and just by opening the account you may receive the grant.