British Columbia Education Savings Grant
Everyone wants the educational advantages for their kids. But setting your children up for academic success extends far beyond just selecting the right pre-school—it also means opening a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for them and making regular contributions.
The federal and provincial governments recognize the burden that saving for post-secondary can place on families. That’s why in British Columbia, the government provided an additional $39 million in the latest budget to their existing BC Training and Educations Savings Grant (BCTESG) program to help parents of children born on or after January 1, 2006.
If you’re the parent of a child in BC, here’s what you need to know about the BCTESG:
What is the BCTESG?
Established in 2015, the British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant (BCTESG) is an RESP government grant program for post-secondary education. It’s available to children between the ages of six and nine years old.
How much is the BCTESG worth?
The BCTESG is a one-time grant valued at $1,200 (That equates to one big stack of textbooks!). This grant is retroactive to 2013 and parents are not required to make minimum contributions to receive the grant. If newly registering a child for an RESP plan, it’s advisable to open one with a participating provider in order to receive the BCTESG. The grant amounts to $1,200, regardless of the number of RESPs opened.
Who is eligible?
The BCTESG is available to eligible children on their sixth birthday, up until the day before their ninth birthday. In addition, the following requirements must be met:
Both the parents or guardians and children must be residents of BC.
Both the parents or guardians and the child must have a Social Insurance Number.
The child must have been born in 2006 or later.
The child must be a beneficiary of an RESP.
The RESP must be an individual plan (i.e. one named beneficiary) or a family plan where all beneficiaries are siblings.
What do I need to apply for the BCTESG?
First off, you’ll need a RESP. If you haven’t set one up already, a sales representative from Knowledge First Financial can help. Although you cannot apply for the BCTESG until your child is six, you can start a RESP at any time—it is never too early to start.
Knowledge First Financial is registered to offer and administer the BCTESG. We can guide you through the application process. In order to apply, you’ll require proof of residency (such as a driver’s license, BCID card, BC Service Cards or a utilities bill dated within the last three months). Both you and your child will also need a Social Insurance Number.
How do I apply?
The application for the grant can be obtained here. It must be completed and signed by the subscriber(s) of the RESP. The form is simple to fill out, requiring only basic information about the subscriber and the beneficiary.
Once the BCTESG form is completed, Knowledge First Financial will submit it to the government for secure processing. This means that if approved by Employment and Social Development Canada, the BCTESG should appear in the RESP account in as little as six weeks.
Because the BCTESG is retroactive to 2006, extended deadlines apply for children born in 2006, 2007, and 2009.
|Birth Year||1st day of eligibility||1st day to apply||Last day to apply|
|2006||Child’s 6th birthday in 2012||August 15, 2016||August 14, 2019|
|2007||Child’s 6th birthday in 2013||August 15, 2015||August 14, 2018|
|2008||Child’s 6th birthday in 2014||August 15, 2015||August 14, 2018|
|2009||Child’s 6th birthday from Jan 1, 2015 to Aug 15, 2015||August 14, 2015||August 14, 2018|
|Child’s 6th birthday after Aug 15, 2015||Child’s 6th birthday||Day before the child turns 9|
Parents whose child had their 6th birthday between 2013 to 2015 have until August 14, 2018 or the day before their child’s 9th birthday to apply for the grant. Parents with children born in 2006 have until August 14, 2019.
For example, the grant application period for a child born in 2006 is as follows: the child’s 6th birthday is in 2012, which is the first day of eligibility. Since the program was not introduced until 2015, parents can start applying on August 15, 2016. The last day to apply is August 14, 2019.
For children born in 2007, 2008 and 2009, parents can begin their application on August 15, 2015 and the last day to apply is August 14, 2018. In the case of children born in 2009, the application deadline is either August 14, 2018 or the day before the child turns 9.
Will I be taxed on the BCTESG?
The $1,200 grant is considered non-taxable income until it is removed from the RESP to be used for post-secondary education. Once removed from the plan, it’s taxed as income for students—but since students typically belong to a lower tax bracket, they usually pay little to no tax.
Restrictions and Conditions
The beneficiary must be enrolled in full-time or part-time studies at an accredited university or college in Canada or outside Canada before the grant can be accessed.
Should the beneficiary decide not to pursue higher education or training, or if the RESP is closed, the grant will be returned to the Province of British Columbia.
The grant may be retracted if it is transferred from a RESP account with a participating financial institution to a non-participating provider.
For more information, visit the Province of British Columbia’s website.