The British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant (BCTESG) is an education savings grant offered by the BC government as of August 2015. It provides $1,200 towards an registered educational savings plan (RESP) for residents of B.C. born in 2007 or later. One in 5 BC children have received this education grant.
Parents should apply for this grant as soon as possible to receive all of the benefits of an RESP. These benefits include compound, tax-free growth and the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) of up to $7,200. For BC parents, that means up to $8,400 of “free” money for each child to help pay for post-secondary education. Government grants can be a substantial boost to your child’s RESP, so make sure you are receiving them if eligible.
With RESP savings to cover some or all of the costs, post-secondary students have more freedom than ever to choose programs and schools. They also have more time to focus on studies and explore new opportunities, which means less stress and less debt. We all know about the rising cost of tuition, but thankfully, you can start preparing for your child’s future education now. You can open an RESP in just a few minutes; a small monthly contribution, plus the government grants available to BC parents, can add up over the years.
If your child was born in BC in 2006 or later, here are three things you should know about the BCTESG:
What is the BCTESG?
Established in 2015, the British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant is a $1,200 grant for post-secondary education. Both the parents or guardians and children must have a Social Insurance Number and be residents of BC to qualify for this grant.
How do I apply?
Firstly, you will need a RESP from a provider who can access the BCTESG. Talk to your bank or a private RESP provider about how to start your child’s RESP. In order to open an RESP and apply for the grant, you’ll be asked for proof of address (driver’s license, BCID card, BC Service Cards or a recent utility bill).
The BCTESG is not a matching grant; no matter what amount you put in your child’s RESP, the BC government will add $1200 for your child. (You may have to shop around to find an RESP provider that does not require a minimum amount to start an RESP.)
Also, it’s not just parents who can open an RESP. Other family members or family friends can start an RESP if they have the necessary information to open the account that’s best for the child. This makes a great gift for your grandchildren!
When do I apply?
You can apply for the BCTESG as soon as your child turns six up until the day before your child’s ninth birthday. Don’t wait, as you don’t want your child to miss out on this grant!
Why should I apply?
By starting now, your savings will have more time to grow and you’ll receive the education grants sooner. For example, if your child is 6 when you start their RESP with just the $1200, they could earn about $500 in the next 12 years. That gives them $1700 when they graduate—without any cost to yourself! Starting your child’s RESP as early as possible gives it more time to grow before they graduate.
If you are able to add just $100 per month to this, your child could have $18000 towards their college education when they graduate high school. If your teen has his or her own job, teach them about financial responsibility and encourage them to contribute some of their earnings to their RESP. Kids always have big dreams about what they want to be; use those dreams to encourage some practical planning that will help them achieve those dreams!
Speak to an RESP provider today and learn more about why an RESP is a smart way to invest your child’s future.