Almost half of parents have yet to open an RESP, finds a survey by Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

“The RESP program is structured to help grow education savings with the assistance of a government grant tied to your contributions,” says Cairine Wilson, vice-president, corporate citizenship, CPA Canada. “The greater the window of opportunity for saving the more money that can be accumulated.”

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According to the survey, 53% of the participating parents have an RESP. The program can be used to finance education at a college or university in Canada or abroad. It can also be used for skill development at educational institutions in Canada certified by the Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada.

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“A lack of awareness, budget challenges or work schedules could all be factors why a significant number of parents are not taking advantage of the RESP program,” explains Wilson.

Additional findings include:

  • eight-in-ten parents surveyed have started saving for a child’s post-secondary education;
  • 75% of respondents actively saving believe they’re on the right track to have enough money to cover education costs; and
  • 86% of respondents with children expressed confidence in having the financial knowledge and skills required to adequately save for a child’s post-secondary education.