Maximize Your Grants


Maximize Your Grants

March 10, 2020

Maximize Your Grants

Getting the most out of government grants 

Federal and provincial grants can add potentially thousands of dollars to your RESP; and, like your own contributions, they begin to earn tax-deferred compound returns as soon as they’re in your plan. By understanding how to qualify and when to apply, you can make the most of this free money from the government. Here are some tips to help you.

Contribute the Maximum You Can

With the Canada Education Savings Grant, you can earn 20% on the first $2,500 you contribute each year to your child’s RESP to a maximum of $500 per child per year. If you qualify for the additional CESG, you could earn an extra 10-20% on the first $500 contributed for an additional $100 per year. The combined lifetime maximum for CESG and A-CESG is $7,200 per child.

Note that grant amounts are set on an annual basis with a deadline of December 31 each year. In order to receive the education savings grants, be sure to get your contributions deposited in advance of the December 31 deadline. Otherwise, you could lose the grants unless you have carry-forward room as outlined below.
Take Advantage of the CESG Carry-Forward

The CESG also has a special feature that allows you to carry forward unclaimed CESG from years in which you didn’t reach the threshold. The maximum CESG (including the carry-forward) is $1,000 in any given year.

Here’s how the carry-forward works:

Sally opens an RESP for her newborn daughter and contributes $150 per month in the first year. The plan receives $360 in CESG, leaving $140 in unused grant to carry forward for future years. In the second year of the plan, Sally continues her monthly contributions and uses $1,400 of her income tax refund to make a “catch-up” payment, for a total contribution of $3,200. This enables her to receive $640 in CESG.

Read our Pay it Forward Fact Sheet on our website at  to learn more about how to take advantage of unused grant room. Then use our Grant Maximizer Calculator to find out how to take advantage of the carry-forward based on your situation.


To learn more, connect with Karen Wallace at Knowledge First Financial! She will also be at our Easter Hunt, Party & Play on Saturday April 4th and would be happy to share more at that time!


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