Preparing for the cost of post-secondary education


As parents we often think of our children’s major milestones–first word, first step, and the list goes on…

One thing that parents sometimes fail to think about and plan for is the first day of university or college.

With tuition fees rising each year, it’s better to start planning sooner rather than later. According to Statistics Canada, children born today will be looking at post-secondary costs in excess of $139,000.*

As parents, no one wants to see their child struggle to pay for school.

Why not take away the stress and start investing in a registered education savings plan (RESP)? With an RESP, you can boost your savings by 20 per cent through government grants (up to $7,200). Plus, income earned grows tax-free until a child is ready to attend post-secondary education.

A popular way to save

Group plans, such as the Canadian Scholarship Trust (CST) Plan, are RESPs where regular contributions are pooled with those of other planholders with children of the same age. With the CST Plan, its lower-risk investment strategy means planholders’ principal is protected and returned in full.

Many of us do save –but very often it is for our own retirement. We tend to forget about saving for our children’s education. The reality is that many parents will need and want to help pay for their child’s higher education before they retire.

“RESPs are a great option for parents interested in saving for their child’s post secondary education,” says Peter Lewis, Vice President, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs with C.S.T. Consultants Inc. “If parents make regular contributions, the savings will grow as the child grows. Over the years we’ve seen that saving for a child’s education increases their likelihood of pursuing higher education.”

More information on this topic is available online at or toll-free at 1-877-333-7377.

*Based on the current average cost of tuition across Canada and an average annual rate of inflation of 3.6%. Room and board basedon an upper range of fees for residence across Canada and an average annual increase of 3%. Source data: Statistics Canada, 2009.

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