Parents to cover children’s education despite lack of savings: poll

Ontario's graduation rate
Canadian students hoping for some financial relief on the cost of their post-secondary education are in for a disappointment over the next few years, a prominent think tank suggests. Muharrem öner / Getty Images

TORONTO – Canadian parents are willing to pay for two-thirds of their children’s post-secondary education costs, even though many do not have a plan to cover the tab for their kids’ schooling, according to a new poll from CIBC.

On average, Canadian parents with children under the age of 25 said they were willing to pay for 66 per cent of their children’s education costs.

Within the average, 21 per cent said they had intentions to pay for the entire cost of their children’s educations costs, 39 per cent said they would cover half and six per cent said they would not fund any of the cost.

While parents may have the best of intentions to help their children get an education and support them financially in doing so, thirty per cent of parents had no plan in place to pay for their children’s post-secondary education costs.

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“With the significant cost of a post-secondary education, parents need to start saving early to help their education investments grow over time,” said Marybeth Jordan, managing director and head of CIBC Investor Services.

In Quebec, 75 per cent of parents were willing to cover their children’s education costs while parents in British Columbia, on average, said they would cover 58 per cent of the fees.

Quebec boasts some of the lowest post-secondary education fees for full-time students across the country.

According to 2012-2013 figures from Statistics Canada, tuition fees for undergraduate students in Quebec average $2,774. In Ontario, the average is $7,180 a year.

Last week, another poll commissioned by CIBC found that 36 per cent of Canadian parents with children under 25 had to postpone their retirement due to their children’s post-secondary education costs.

 About the survey

Results are based on a CIBC poll conducted online by Leger, which surveyed 1,000 Canadians with children under 25. The associated margin of error for a probabilistic sample of the same size is +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20. Polling was conducted between June 9 and 12, 2013.