To access your funds in CST™ Advantage Plan or Group Savings Plan, your beneficiary does not have to only be enrolled in a 4-year university program. It can be any program (or programs) that total up to 4 years. For example, provided the following programs qualify under the Income Tax Act (Canada), all would be eligible to receive EAPS:
- Four 1-year programs
- Two 2-year programs
- A 3-year program and a 1-year program
- Any programs that are even less than a year (but total up to four years of study)
Please also remember that CST™ Advantage Plan provides Education Assistance Payments (EAPs) in four installments (1 per year), and the beneficiary has until the 36th year of the plan to collect all their Education Assistance Payments (EAPs). Please contact a member of our Customer Experience Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1-877-333-7377.
With a Founders' Plan, the beneficiary can receive EAPs if they enroll in full-time studies at a university or community college. They will receive EAPs in three installments (during the 2nd, 3rd and 4th academic year or equivalent) and need to apply for all of them by the end of the year in which they turn 24. Please note that, under the Founders' Plan, you need to show proof of academic advancement to receive the EAPs.
Does the beneficiary have to attend post-secondary school for all four years to collect all their money? If you have CST™ Advantage Plan or Group Savings Plan, the beneficiary needs to enroll in post-secondary education for four years to collect all of their EAPs. The beneficiary will, however, only receive one EAP per year. And they will still qualify for the rest of their payments even if they take a break or change post-secondary schools or programs.
If you have an Individual Savings Plan or Family Savings Plan, the beneficiary does not have to attend all four years to collect their money. You can access your funds as you need them as long as you follow the rules of the Income Tax Act (Canada).