More than 40% of Canadian parents are worried about how their children will be able to afford post-secondary education, a new study says.
And they have good reason to, considering that a four-year university degree can cost more than $60,000 today and could rise to more than $140,000 for a child born this year.
According to the study conducted for BMO Bank of Montreal, 83% of parents anticipate that they will pay for their child's post-secondary education, while 44% say their child will pay for at least some of it themselves.
Interestingly, the report revealed that more than 35% of parents are not aware of key benefits of the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), including the federal government's contribution matching program.
"Parents should educate themselves on the various options available to help them save for their children's post-secondary education," said Robert Armstrong, a spokesman for BMO Investments Inc. "Taking advantage of the RESP government matching program is a great way to grow your child's education fund.
After all, if you can get free money from the government to send your child to school, why not take advantage of it?"
If parents open a RESP and make regular contributions, government grants and compounded interest can add significantly to total savings, Armstrong says.