The Bank of Montreal has become the first bank in B.C. to offer applications for the $1,200 provincial Training and Education Savings Grant.
Previously the grant was only available through credit unions throughout the province.
Customers are required to open a Registered Education Savings Plan before they can apply for the grant, and the requirements are minimal: your child should have been born in 2007 or later, and they must be a B.C. resident.
Education Minister Mike Bernier told Vancity Buzz that the grant is especially beneficial for lower income families.
“The main thing about this grant is you don’t have to contribute – there’s no matching opportunities that you need to have,” he said.
“We’re leaving it so everyone can open up the RESP and get the $1,200, obviously knowing that whenever it’s financially possible, whatever you can contribute, the better it is for the student in the long run.”
Since its launch in August, more than 7,000 people have been approved for $8.1 million in grants.
Bernier said they’re in the process of making the grant available through other banking institutions, but was unable to give a timeline for when that will happen. In the meantime, it’s currently accessible via 350 different credit unions across the province.
The government says more than 42,000 children in B.C. are eligible for the grant annually.