Canada Learning Bond allocation

Canada Learning Bond Allocation by Birth Cohort, Geography, Household Income, and Savings Behaviour

Authors:Reuben FordAshley Pullman

This report examines outcomes of the Canada Learning Bond (CLB), a Government of Canada postsecondary education savings initiative that aims to increase higher education savings and access among children who likely face financial barriers to attending. The CLB supports children born in 2004 or later who live in low-income households.

Children who meet CLB eligibility criteria are provided an initial payment of $500 into their registered education savings plan (RESP), as well as an additional $100 for each year they are eligible up to age 15 (for a maximum allocation of $2,000). Children in care (i.e., who have a public caregiver who receives an allowance under the Children’s Special Allowance Act) are also eligible for the CLB regardless of their household income.

SRDC analyzed newly available data to examine CLB allocation and how it promotes higher education savings, with a special focus on variation by birth cohort and household income, as well as among urban and rural Canadians. This report answers three research questions:

  • What is the allocation of CLB funds to families by birth cohort and household income?
  • What can current data tell us about the catalytic impact of the CLB on education savings, broken down by birth cohort and household income?
  • What are the specific barriers to accessing the CLB among rural Canadians?
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