[Article 49]10 things you need to know about Education Planning

The cost of education is increasing as years go by, here are 10 things to keep in mind when planning for your child’s education:

  1. Start Saving now: It would be best to start saving for your child’s education as soon as possible, when the baby is born, or before the child turns one is the best time to start. Do you know the cost of education? Calculate now!
  2. Not all RESPs are the same: When looking into opening up an RESP, make sure you do your research and ask questions. Remember, the more questions you ask, the more answers you will get.
  3. Look for bursaries: Ask about bursaries, there are different kinds available through community organizations, municipalities, and other special interest groups.
  4. Look at other saving options: It’s always good to have a ‘plan B’ when it comes to saving, it wouldn’t hurt to do some research or even ask your financial advisor if there is anything that a credit card or a savings account can offer that you may not be aware of.
  5. Government Grants: Keep in mind that the Government of Canada offers grant to beneficiaries 17 and under who has a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). More about Government Grants.
  6. It’s more than tuition: In addition to tuition (undergrad is about $6,000 and programs such as dentistry can be $12,000 or more), books ($800-1,400) and extra fees ($750 for student fees) add another $1,000 or more for travel home at Christmas and spring break if your child has picked an out-of-town university. Tuition is only a third of the total annual cost for your student, especially if he or she is living in residence where a single room with a meal plan can be $11,000 at some Ontario universities.
  7. Co-op terms may help: Your child may want to consider a co-op program with built-in work terms. Also, student loans teach the value of a dollar. The Canada Student Loans program has some fringe benefits. If your child qualifies for a CSL, be sure to look into the Canada Student Grants for middle income as well as low income families. These grants pay up to $250 per month during the school year.
  8. Consider a condo: If your student chooses off-campus housing, consider buying a condominium or small house instead of paying rent. Your child can pick the roommates, and their rent will reduce your costs considerably. Resale value is usually good if the location is convenient to the school.
  9. Student banking services: Student packages through Canada’s major banks can include special lines of credit (usually without fees and with lower interest rates).
  10. Tax deductions: Those dependent children are off at college now, and not only is your grocery bill lower but your bottom line looks better thanks to the transferable tax deductions on tuition and other education expenses. Did you know that RESPs are tax sheltered while your investment grows?


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