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Hi all,

My wife and I are looking into SD-RESP options for our 3 weeks old.

The regulations around EAPs state that you can withdraw a maximum of $5,000 for the first 13 weeks of a full time program. As long as the student remains in the program for 13 consecutive weeks in every 52 week program, that $5,000 first year limit is removed for subsequent years.

For a part-time program, it caps out at $2,500, so you're presumably stuck at a maximum withdrawal of $2,500 as long as the student is in a part time program.

Does anyone know how this applies to vocational (trades) schools and apprenticeship programs? Many of these programs have 8 weeks of course work, followed by vocational on-the-job apprenticeship training. If the student is only enrolled for 8 consecutive weeks of formalised course work, do they then only qualify for the $2,500 maximum? Or will the apprenticeship portion of the program count towards full-time enrolment for the 13 weeks requirement?

If the student is limited to the $2,500 maximum, the RESP program really handicaps students in the trades, which is in a bit of a labour shortage in much of Canada.

This was all sparked by a statement during a presentation by a salesperson for the Canadian Savings Trust, who indicated that RESPs at banks suffer from this trade school limit, while they do not. I'm not interested in the group RESP offerings, but do want to full understand the SD-RESP options for our son.

I'm trying to get an answer out of Revenue Canada on this too.

Thanks!
 

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You may want to check out this link:
https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/student-financial-aid/education-savings/resp/use.html#h4
Under the category of minimum duration of a qualifying education program it includes "Full-time program in Canada: A course of study that lasts at least three weeks in a row, with at least 10 hours of instruction or work per week." There is also a link on that page to all the designated educational institutions which qualify for the Educational Assistance Payments (EAPs). It looks like there are a lot of vocational schools on that list, any one of which could likely answer your specific question.
 

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Its been a while since we've used them, so you'll need to get better info, others here will know better.
But as I recall the EAP is only part of the funds in your RESP, you also have the capital you contributed that you withdraw (ROC). So the amount available each year is not just the EAP.

Why am I not surprised that a CST salesman would try to tilt you to buying their product - glad you are decided on going the SD route.

https://www.woodgundy.cibc.com/wg/reference-library/topics/milestones-and-purchases/resp/eap-withdrawals.html
 

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You have a misunderstanding. You can only pull out $5000 of government grant money in the first 13 weeks. There is no limit on your contribution portion. For every $2500 you contribute, the government grants you $500. The first part is your contribution (no restrictions) the second is the government contribution (with restrictions).

The government can reclaim its contribution if the child does not attend school, so it's recommended that you use up the government contributions as soon as possible then use your contributions afterwards.
 

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Another thing, make sure you withdraw all the money from the reap before they graduate. Any unused money will be subject to repayment. There are nearly no restrictions on the amount you can withdraw or when, but don't leave any behind at the end. This is especially important with a family plan where you have multiple recipients. You're likely to leave money in the account for the last child, and there could be more than they need at that point or they may not want to go, make sure they do something and get the money out.
 
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