BC Government’s creates new grant that will “kick start” college savings for children

It’s back to school time, and for many parents time to re-examine the challenges associated with the education of their children.

Given that post-secondary studies and training are becoming a virtual necessity to employment security, it is never too early to start planning for them and this week, the provincial government has come forward with new assistance plan.

It’s a $1,200 grant, and it’s accessible at more than three dozen credit unions across the province – including the North Peace Savings and Credit Union.

To be eligible, children must have been born in 2007 or later – families have three years, or until the day before the child’s ninth birthday, to submit an application for the grant.

First, parents need to apply for a Registered Education Savings Plan, and the province is working with other financial institutions to extend the accessibility options.

Upon application approval, the one-time grant per eligible child will be deposited into a RESP, and based on a three and half percent growth rate, with the grant and an investment of $50 a month, savings could grow to $12,000 dollars.

“Going forward over the next decade or so, we know that about 80% of the jobs that are going to be available require a post-secondary education,” said Education Minister Mike Bernier. “So as a government, we want to make sure we’re doing our part to help those families out there kick start the savings for their children.”

The annual cost of going to school after high school can vary considerably, but federal government estimates show in 2010-11, full-time students in Canada paid an average of 14,500 dollars for post-secondary schooling, making the cost of a four year degree program, about $58,000 dollars.