Program Eligibility for your RESP
A portion of the Education Assistance Payment (EAP) your student will receive is made up of education grants collected from the government on your behalf since the start of your RESP. The government of Canada wants to ensure that students are using these grants for the acceptable types of post-secondary programs. Fortunately, the list is long on the programs that qualify. It’s still a good idea to do a bit of homework in advance of choosing a post-secondary program to make sure it is eligible.
Under the Income Tax Act, a qualified post-secondary program must be:
- Minimum three consecutive weeks duration
- 10 hours of instruction per week
- Full or part-time
- Recognized institution and program
A recognized institution is one that qualifies as a post-secondary educational institution under the Income Tax Act and is acceptable to Knowledge First Foundation. In addition to universities and colleges, recognized institutions include technical institutes, religious colleges and private post-secondary institutions registered under the “Private Vocational Schools Act.”
View our current list of recognized post-secondary institutions. Contact us if the name of the post-secondary institution is not included on this list, as we can further investigate for you.
What if your student decides not to pursue a post-secondary education?
It’s important to know that an RESP can remain open for 35 years. That’s good news if your student has decided to postpone or prolong their post-secondary education and they are in an individual plan. But if your student is not going to pursue post-secondary studies in an eligible program or recognized institution, you have other options. You can transfer the plan to another student within the allowable timeframe or you can consider one of the other ways to withdraw funds from your plan. We are here to help you understand the different options.