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As Complaints of High Costs Rise, Children’s Education Funds Inc. (CEFI) Speaks to How to Save for Education

Going to College or University after high school in the United States and Canada can be costly, and most of these costs only account for tuition. As a parent, accounting for these expenses can be daunting, but building a fund early to support your child’s future is in many ways the best way to save.

The Ontario-based CEFI is one of Canada’s leaders in helping achieve education savings goals. We’ve asked leaders at CEFI to lend guidance on how to fund your child’s educational future:

Enrol in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)

An RESP can be an effective way to save for a post-secondary education over a long-term period. The amount paid to a student from an RESP is intended to finance the cost of post-secondary education. The Government of Canada provides an excellent resource here to learn how RESPs work and what funds in an RESP can eventually go towards – indeed, RESPs can fund a range of educational programs, not just a formal university education.

Flexibility in Education Programs

Assessing how much your child needs to meet their educational goals can be tough. Education costs throughout North America are rising. To plan for this, CEFI recommends planning for flexibility in saving for your child’s future education.

As your child progresses through their education, you can choose to increase the amount you save to cover the costs of more expensive institutions.

Government Grants

Apply to all government assistance and University assisted programs that your child is eligible for. There are many early funding programs at various levels which give you many opportunities to ease the financial burden with government assistance.

Furthermore, entrance scholarships for Colleges and Universities give you the opportunity to reap those financial rewards. Examples of grants that CEFI can help you apply for are the Canada education savings grant and the Canada learning bond.

Create a Savings Schedule

When you start saving for your child’s education, have an idea of how much you would like to regularly save and formulate a regular savings schedule. This schedule allows you to plan ahead-of-time in a way that is flexible and tailored to your family’s needs. It also makes it easier to prioritize how much to save to suit your income flow.

Planning for Change

If options are available, make sure your savings plan reflects your financial changes.  The reality is that the financial status of families can change – especially when considering the length of time required to save for post-secondary education.  Understand that successfully saving for education costs is a long-term endeavor and how much you save will periodically change as your financial makeup changes.

Planning for your child’s future can be intimidating, but know this: your child’s education is one of the most valuable investments you can ever make.


Arnel Ariate is the webmaster of Money Soldiers.

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