Frequently Asked Questions/Fact Sheet: Canada Education Savings Grant
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who can get the Canada Education Savings Grant?
Any child up to the age of 17 can get the grant, as long as he or she has a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and is a resident of Canada. See special rules which may apply if your child is between the ages of 15 and 17.
2. How much money could I get from the grant?
On the first $500 you save annually in your child's RESP, the Canada Education Savings Grant will give your child:
- up to $200, if your net family income is $42,707 or less
- up to $150, if your net family income is between $42,707 and $85,414, or
- up to $100, if your net family income is more than $85,414.
When you save more than $500 annually, the Canada Education Savings Grant could add up to $400 on the next $2,000 saved.
The net family income amounts shown are for 2012. These income amounts are updated each year.
3. How do I apply for the grant?
It's a simple 2-step process.
Open an RESP account and put money into it. Your RESP provider will then apply for the grant on your behalf. You can open an RESP account through a financial institution, such as a bank or credit union, through a certified financial planner or a group plan dealer.
For more information:
- Call 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232).
- If you use a TTY, call 1-800-926-9105
- Visit a Service Canada Centre near you.
4. Will the government of Canada always provide the grant?
Yes! No matter what a family's income is, any child in Canada up to the age of 17 can receive the grant. However, if your child is between the ages of 15 and 17, special rules apply. For your child to continue receiving the Canada Education Savings Grant after age 15, certain contributions must have been made to the RESP (and not withdrawn) by December 31 of the calendar year in which your child turns 15.
The required amounts are:
- total contributions of at least $2,000, OR
- contributions of at least $100 a year or more in any 4 previous years.
Let's say your child turns 15 on July 31, 2009. That means by December 31, 2009, you must have either contributed at least $2,000 in total to your child's RESP, OR you must have put at least $100 annually into your child RESP, in any of 4 previous years (they don't have to be consecutive years).
5. What if my child doesn't continue education after high school?
Since an RESP can stay open for up to 36 years, the money can be used if your child decides to attend school later.
If your child does not return to school later, the amount you saved goes back to you. The Canada Education Savings Grant may be used for a brother or sister's education. If the grant can not be used for educational purposes, it must be returned to the Government of Canada.
6. What happens if I can't afford to contribute money to my RESP this year?
Don't worry—you can double up on your contribution next year and earn double the Canada Education Savings Grant money. Speak to your RESP provider for details.
7. How much unused grant room can I carry forward?
As of 1998, grant room (unused CESG amounts) accumulates for a child until the end of the year in which the child turns 17, even if the child is not a beneficiary of an RESP. Unused CESG amounts can be carried forward for possible use in future years.
- 1998 to 2006: up to $400 is added to the grant room for each eligible child per year since 1998 (or since birth if the child was born after 1998).
- 2007 or later: up to $500 is added to the grant room for each eligible child per year since 2007 (or since birth if the child was born after 2007).
8. Where can I find out more about the Canada Education Savings Grant?