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Building Education Opportunities in Canadian Child Welfare Services is a resource designed to allow social workers, parents and young people access to post secondary education financial planning information. Every child from every walk of life deserves the choice to learn.

Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)

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What is the CESG?

The CESG is a federal government grant for Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) that includes enhanced amounts targeted to low and middle-income families, including children receiving services. When an RESP is opened for a child, the Government of Canada will add the CESG to the subscriber's savings. Since 1998, more than three million children have benefited from these grants.

Who can get the CESG?

Children under 18 years of age can receive the CESG if they meet the following criteria:

  • The child is a Canadian resident;
  • The child has a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN).
  • The child is named as a beneficiary of an RESP; and 
  • Money has been put into the RESP

Special rules may apply for youth between the ages of 15 and 17.

How much is the CESG?

The CESG is based on two elements:

  • family income (so it changes as income changes), and
  • contributions made by the subscriber (so it changes as contributions increase or decrease).

The CESG provides a specific grant (20¢, 30¢ or 40¢) on every dollar saved, depending on family income. This means that a lower-income family (net income of $37,885 or less) can get a 40¢ grant on every dollar of the first $500 saved per year. This adds up to a grant of $200 per year.

If they can manage to save more than $500 pery year, a family can receive an additional grant of 20¢ per dollar, which potentially adds up to a maximum of $400.

As of 2007, the basic and additional grant can add up to $600 per year for lower-income families. 

The maximum lifetime government grant is $7,200 per child.

Does money have to be put into an RESP to receive the CESG?

Yes, but only as muchh as you can afford. The Government of Canada will deposit the Canada Education Savings Grant directly into a child's RESP by matching every dollar saved by 20%, 30% or 40% depending on family income.

Want more information?

Visit for details about education savings programs and tips on how to save. CanLearn also provides information about provincial and territorial government student assistance programs.

Or call toll free at 1-800-622-6232.
If you have a speech or hearing impairment, you can use the TTY number at 1-800-926-9105.