Why is saving for post-secondary education important?

Why is saving for post-secondary education important?

This week is Education Savings Week in Canada. This is a great opportunity to think about the reasons to save for our children’s future education, and learn about some programs to help with savings. Even with my children only being 2 and 4 years old, I have started to think about what post-secondary education will cost by the time they are at that stage.

As part of our Canada Learning Bond promotion project, NWT Literacy Council asked current and past post-secondary students a question: What would you do with $2000? We had ideas of what people would say, like:

  • It would pay for tuition.
  • I could eat healthier food.
  • I could purchase a laptop.

What we didn’t expect were the number of responses, and the variety of them. People had such powerful ways that $2000 on top of Student Financial Assistance and scholarships or bursaries would impact their lives. Some of the things people shared were:

  •  “…it would have meant that I could have gone home to YK for Christmas with my daughter.”
  • “When I was at community college as a single parent, it would have covered a lot of daycare fees!”
  • “It would have made a difference for sure. An extra $2000 would have let me buy a U-pass [bus pass] so I could explore the city I was in so I could enjoy life a bit more during my studies.”

Students are more likely to complete high school if they have money saved for post-secondary education. This also provides an encouragement to explore post-secondary options. Setting up an RESP can show that you believe in a child’s future, and want to encourage them. If the child is eligible for the Canada Learning Bond, you don’t even have to contribute money yourself.

There are many reasons for people thinking they don’t need to save for post-secondary education. NWT students are lucky to have a great Student Financial Assistance program, and may have access to Indigenous student funding or bursaries. These programs are very helpful, but not many students can complete a post-secondary degree without needing additional funds. Everyone in a child’s life can open an RESP and show their support for their education.

- Katie Johnson, Family and Community Literacy Coordinator

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