University & college grants of $1,200 with RESP plans

Parents can access a $1,200 provincial grant for post secondary education

Parents can access a $1,200 provincial grant for post secondary education simply by opening a Registered Education Savings Plan, B.C. Education Minister Mike Bernier has announced.

Initially the grant will be available through B.C. credit unions, but the province is working with other financial institutions to broaden access.

“Parents and families can go into almost any credit union in British Columbia to kick-start their education savings through the B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant,” a Ministry of Education release states.

The one-time grant of $1,200 per eligible child will be deposited into a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) upon approval of the application.

Bernier noted that the program presents no barrier to low-income families because no matching or additional contributions are necessary.

“The province is working to ensure that low income families and children in care are able to tap into the grant,” states the release.

In the next decade more than 78 per cent of job openings will require some form of post-secondary education and training.

To be eligible children must have been born in 2007 or later. Parents have three years, or until the day before the child’s ninth birthday, to apply.

Noting that “the vast majority of tomorrow’s jobs require some form of post-secondary education and training,” Bernier said, “I’m encouraging families to start planning and saving for their children’s post-secondary education.”

With the grant plus an investment of $50 a month, savings could grow to $12,000 by the time a child is ready to pursue post secondary studies, the release states.