Families in British Columbia are encouraged to start planning and saving early for their children’s post-secondary education or training program. To help, the B.C. Government will contribute a grant of $1,200 to eligible children through the BCTES grant.
To be eligible for the BCTES grant, a child must meet the following three criteria:
1. The child was born in 2007 or later;
2. At the time of application the child and a parent/guardian of the child are residents of British Columbia;
3. At the time of application the child is the beneficiary of a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) with a participating financial institution.
Children are eligible for the BCTES grant on their sixth birthday up until the day before their ninth birthday. Some eligible children will be approaching nine in August 2015; therefore, the application period has been established as followed:
Application Period for Eligible Children
Birth Year 1st day of eligibility 1st day to apply Last day to apply
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 in 2015 August 15, 2015
the day the child turns 6 (whichever is later) August 14, 2018
the day before the child turns 9 in 2018 (whichever is later)
or later Day the child turns 6 Day before the child turns 9
Contact your financial institution as of August 2015 to see if they are offering the BCTES grant, and if so, when their application forms will be available.
• See a complete list of participating RESP promoters
Please note that this list will be updated as more RESP promoters offer the BCTES grant.
Invested in an eligible Registered Education Saving Plan (RESP), the BCTES grant will grow over time making it easier for B.C.’s children to pursue training and post-secondary opportunities leading to careers of their choice. Through RESP’s, B.C. children are not only eligible to the BCTES grant, but may also be eligible for other incentives from the Government of Canada. Visit canlearn.ca for more information.
Eligibility and Residency
What if my child was born in B.C. but we have since moved away. Is my child eligible to $1,200 grant?
The child and a parent/guardian of the child are residents of British Columbia at the time of application for the BCTES grant.
If we get the grant and then move out of B.C., do we have to return it?
No, the BCTES grant is paid into your child’s RESP and if you move out of British Columbia at a later date, the grant will not have to be returned.
How do I open an RESP?
For information on how to open an RESP, contact your financial institution or visit http://www.canlearn.ca.
• telephone: 1-800-0-Canada (1-800-622-6232)
• email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My financial institution is not offering the BCTES grant. Can I still get it?
Yes. As there can be more than one RESP opened in a child’s name, another RESP for the purposes of receiving the BCTES grant may be opened at a participating RESP promoter.
Please note that transferring the BCTES grant from an RESP held at a participating financial institution to a non-participating financial institution may result in a loss of the grant.
I don’t have any extra money right now to open an RESP, but don’t want my child to miss out on the grant. What can I do?
You should shop around to find an RESP provider that does not require any contributions to open an RESP.
About RESPs and the Canada Education Savings Programs
What is an RESP?
An RESP is a special savings account registered with the Government of Canada that allows money deposited for a child’s post-secondary education or training program, to grow tax-free.
RESPs can be left opened for up to 36 years and can be used by beneficiaries to pay for full-time or part-time studies in college, university, trade school, or apprenticeship programs.
What information do I need to start an RESP?
You and the child must have Social Insurance Numbers. Then you need to choose an RESP promoter that best suits your needs. RESP promoters include most financial institutions, such as banks or credit unions and group plan dealers.
It is important to choose the right type of RESP plan. Your financial institution will help you to find the RESP plan that best suits your needs.
The Government of Canada’s http://www.canlearn.ca website has tips and resources that can guide families in choosing the right RESP and the right RESP provider.
Do financial institutions charge families to open an RESP?
Many RESP promoters do not charge any fees or require any minimum deposits, but it depends on the institution and the type of RESP.
Using the BC Training and Education Savings Grant
Are there restrictions on how my child can use the money?
Yes, under the Income tax act the grant must be used in an Educational Assistance Payment towards a qualifying post-secondary education or training program. For more information visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.
Does the grant have to be used towards a post-secondary institution in B.C.?
The grant can be used at any qualifying post-secondary education or training program in Canada or outside Canada.
Additional information and a list of certified institutions can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency website. To confirm that an educational institution qualifies, call the Individual Income Tax Enquiries telephone service at 1-800-959-8281.
What if my child decides not to go to a post-secondary institution? Will I have to return the grant?
In the event that the RESP is closed or the beneficiary chooses not to pursue a post-secondary education or training program, the BCTES grant will be returned to the Province of British Columbia.
Will I be taxed on the grant?
No, the BCTES grant is not considered as taxable income until it is taken from the RESP in an Educational Assistance Payment for post-secondary education. Once deposited into the RESP, it also grows tax-free.
However, money paid out of the RESP as an Educational Assistance Payment is taxed as income in the hands of the student. Since many students have little or no income while they attend post-secondary education, they can usually withdraw the money tax-free.
• Learn more about the BCTESP regulation.
Who do I contact if I still have questions?
For more information on RESPs or the Canada Education Savings Program:
Telephone: 1-800-0-Canada (1-800-622-6232)
For more information on the BC Training and
Education Savings Program: