Saskatchewan Advantage Grant For Education Savings
As a parent, you want the best for your children—including the best learning opportunities and access to education. While saving for post-secondary education may not seem like a pressing decision, particularly if your children haven’t even started pre-school yet, it pays to start early.
A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) allows you to earn tax-deferred income, meaning you pay no tax on the money your savings earn, as long as it remains in your RESP. And, only an RESP is eligible for grants. Making RESPs the best way to save for post-secondary education.
There is plenty of help from both the federal government (in the form of the Canada Education Savings Grant) and certain provincial governments to help you save for post-secondary education. In Saskatchewan, the government offers a grant called the Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings (SAGES)
Whether you’re the parent or guardian of a newborn or of a high school student, the SAGES can help your family. Here’s what you need to know:
What is SAGES?
Launched in 2013, the Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings (SAGES) is a grant program for post-secondary education. This money is paid directly into an eligible beneficiary’s RESP account.
How much is SAGES worth?
It’s no small change; SAGES can be worth nearly a year’s general undergraduate tuition, dependent on the program. In total, recipients can receive up to $4,500 in their lifetime (or a maximum of $250 per year).
The Government of Saskatchewan provides a grant of 10 per cent on all contributions into an RESP made since January 2013 and there is no minimum contribution level. If you contribute $2,500 annually to the RESP, your child will receive the maximum $250.
Who is eligible?
Residents of Saskatchewan under the age of 18. If a parent or guardian resides outside the province, but the child lives in Saskatchewan, they’re still eligible.
What do I need to apply for SAGES?
First off, you’ll need a RESP. If you haven’t set one up already, a representative from Knowledge Financial First can help. In addition to the child’s basic information (date of birth, Social Insurance Number, length of time they’ve lived in Saskatchewan, etc.), you’ll also need to have made an eligible contribution to the child’s RESP within the last three years.
How do I apply?
Since Knowledge First Financial is registered to offer and administer SAGES, we can guide you through the application process.
Once all the paperwork is in order, we’ll submit it to the government for secure processing. This means that your first SAGES payment should appear in the RESP account in as little as six weeks.
What if I can’t contribute one year?
Don’t worry. Grant room of $250 accumulates each year (since 2013), which means that even if you’re unable to contribute one year, you can always “catch up” later.
For example, if you didn’t make any RESP contributions in 2015, but contribute $5,000 in 2016, your child will receive $500 in SAGES (or $250 retroactively for 2015 and $250 for 2016).
For more information, visit the Government of Saskatchewan’s website.