Accessing Funds for Education

HCF is helping more families put money in the bank for higher education through a program to increase access to the Canada Learning Bond

Studies show that youth who have even modest education savings are 50 percent more likely to go on to post-secondary schooling than those who have none.  Targeted directly at low-income families, the Canada Learning Bond is a federal government program that contributes up to $2,000 towards a child’s post-secondary education.

Although parents don’t have to make their own financial contribution to qualify, they do have to apply, and barriers such as paperwork, dealing with a financial institution and low awareness mean that some 900,000 children across Canada are not accessing the funds they are entitled to.

Locally, HCF is working with a multi-sector partnership to raise awareness and get more families registered.  Led by the Best Start Network, the group recently mounted a two-day “sign-up fair” at Mission Services where families could get help to fill out forms and establish savings accounts. The federal government also chose the fair as a pilot program, enabling the group to leverage additional funds for outreach.

Financing is only one piece of increasing post-secondary access, but results show it’s a critical one.