Back to school is around the corner. Are you and your child ready?

You’ve worked hard to save for your child’s education. Now it’s time to put those savings to use. If your child is getting ready to attend post-secondary school, now’s the time to start thinking about withdrawing money from your Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).

Here’s what you need to know

Preparing to make a withdrawal

Before you withdraw any money from your RESP, you’ll need to provide your RESP provider with proof that the student is attending a qualified post-secondary educational program on a full or part-time basis. This means your child needs to be enrolled in one of the following:

  • A full-time post-secondary course of study in Canada that lasts at least three weeks in a row, with at least 10 hours of instruction or work each week.
  • A full-time program at a foreign educational institution that lasts at least 13 weeks and is at a post-secondary level
  • A part-time educational program at post-secondary school level that lasts a minimum of three consecutive weeks, and that requires a student to spend not less than 12 hours per month on courses in the program

We can work together to provide this proof of enrolment, so you can access your funds.

Withdrawing your money

You can make two types of withdrawals from your RESP:

  • Post-Secondary Education (PSE) withdrawals, which are withdrawals of the contributions you’ve made. There’s no limit on the amount of PSE withdrawals you can make
  • Educational Assistance Payments (EAPs), which are withdrawals of the investment earning and government grant portions of your RESP. These types of withdrawals have a limit: $5,000 limit (or $2,500 if your child is taking part-time studies) during the first 13 weeks of schooling. Once the 13 weeks have passed, you can withdraw any amount of EAP, unless your child takes a break from studies and doesn’t re-enrol within 12 months. 

Sending that money to school

After you’ve made your withdrawals, you can use the money you’ve saved to pay for a range of your child’s eligible expenses, including things like tuition, textbooks and living expenses.

Let’s talk

Contact me to learn more about RESP withdrawal rules and your options. I’m happy to help you get ready for this exciting step for you and your child.