Attention, parents and students: the deadline to apply for a provincial education grant is approaching.
The Ministry of Education issued a statement Tuesday reminding residents of its B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant worth $1,200.
Parents of children born in 2006 have until Aug. 14 to apply for the grant, which can be used toward full-time or part-time post-secondary education. Parents of kids born in 2010 have until the day before their child's ninth birthday this year.
The province says nearly 80 per cent of job openings in B.C. over the next decade will require some form of education beyond high school.
The grant applies to college and university programs, but can also be used elsewhere, including for vocational schools, apprenticeship and trades training.
There are no additional fees or contributions required to cash in, the province said. Parents who haven't put aside any savings can still qualify and use the grant to start a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).
Here's how the grant works:
- Parents, guardians or family friends complete an RESP application at a local bank or other financial institution. A list of banks is available through the federal government.
- If approved, the money is deposited directly into the RESP.
- Once deposited, the investment will grow, tax free.
The province estimates 40 per cent of families that qualify do not claim the grant. It's only available for a three-year window, and is based on the child's birth year.
Here's a look at the deadlines coming up, including the aforementioned deadlines:
- Parents of kids born in 2006 have until Aug. 14, 2019.
- Parents of kids born in 2010 have until the day before the child's ninth birthday in 2019.
- Parents of kids born in 2011 have until the day before the child's ninth birthday in 2020.
- Parents of kids born in 2012 have until the day before the child's ninth birthday in 2021.
- Parents of kids born in 2013 have until the day before the child's ninth birthday in 2022.
While the deadline is based on the child's ninth birthday, parents of kids born after 2010 can apply when their child turns six.
The money is earmarked for education, so it cannot be withdrawn until the student is enrolled in a qualifying program. It can be used for full-time education outside of Canada if the program is at least 13 weeks long.
Read more on the ministry's website.