A federal report showed taxpayer grants for children's post-secondary education do not primarily benefit the families needing the most financial assistance.According to Blacklock’s Reporter, auditors found families who claimed the maximum $500 per year subsidy were generally able to save for their children's education without additional financial assistance.“The program has increased its take-up rate over time,” said a Department of Social Development report. “Despite this improvement, low-income families are less likely to benefit than families with higher incomes.”In 1998, Parliament introduced a program that provided 20% subsidies, up to a maximum of $500 per year, to parents who saved for their children's university or college education in a Registered Education Savings Plan. According to the report Canada Education Savings Grant Program Part Two: Final Evaluation, the benefits of this program were positive.“Evaluation findings demonstrate that grant beneficiaries are more likely to access postsecondary education and graduate than non-beneficiaries,” wrote auditors. “As a result, increasing awareness of the program may continue to support positive postsecondary outcomes.”However, the Evaluation said the poorest families were denied the $500 subsidy since they had no money to save in the first place. “Many eligible families do not open an RESP,” it said.Asked why, respondents said they “don’t have enough money,” “will help pay when the time comes,” or assumed “my child will pay with their own savings or take out loans.”“Of families whose incomes were less than $20,000, 60% had no savings for postsecondary education,” said the report. By comparison, 72% of families with incomes of $100,000 or more had RESPs and claimed the grant. “Almost all parents care about postsecondary education, but many, for various reasons, have not saved for it,” wrote auditors.The research followed a federal report from 2023, which confirmed parents who were most likely to receive grants for their children's education did not actually require financial assistance.“Families that were more likely to save for postsecondary education had higher family incomes, parents who had higher levels of schooling, greater financial resources and owned a home,” said the report Families Saving for Postsecondary Education.Parents who were less likely to save for their children's post-secondary education were usually younger, had larger families and were still dealing with their own "outstanding student loans."“A large barrier preventing families from saving more in Registered Education Savings Plans were child care costs,” they wrote. “Working parents who paid for child care saved less.”In 2021, the total savings in Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) accounts amounted to $78 billion and a total of $1.1 billion in grants were disbursed during that year.“Findings of this research will help the federal government improve participation in postsecondary education by encouraging families to save for their children’s education,” said Families Saving.