Lesson Plan – Programs and Options for
Saving for Post-Secondary Education
1. Relevant Courses
This lesson focuses on developing an awareness of various programs
and options that exist to assist with saving for post-secondary
education and training. In that regard, this lesson is applicable to any
course that examines money management, long-range planning, goal
setting, and careers.
2. Specific Learning Outcomes
- research the various programs and options available
- acquire a knowledge of various savings options
- examine the characteristics of each option
- assess the values and limitations of each option
- present their findings to the larger group
- evaluate which option(s) is (are) the best choice for them
3. Skills Targeted for Development
- research skills
- organizational skills
- analytical skills
- presentation skills
4. Estimated Time for Implementation
Two class periods
5. General Overview of the Lesson
The cost of post-secondary education today is expensive and
continues to escalate. Saving money for such an expensive
endeavour requires careful planning. As students and their parents
begin this process they need to be aware of the various programs
and options that exist and the implications of each. Through the use
of group work and class reporting, this lesson will expose the
students to some of the available options and programs and give
them the opportunity to examine and discuss the characteristics and
benefits of the identified options.
6. Resources Required
Either Internet access to The Building Futures Network web site or
hard copies of the materials needed, which are available on the site.
7. Suggested Implementation Strategy
Begin the lesson by asking the students to offer suggestions as to
the cost of post-secondary education. The issue here is to get them
to realize that the cost involved is considerable. Ask them to suggest
some strategies that might be used to save for this cost. Make a
visual list as they make their suggestions. Once this brief discussion
is concluded, indicate to them that, in groups, they will be asked to
research certain programs and options in depth and report back to
the class as a whole. If the following options have not been
mentioned, introduce them as options before assigning the tasks. For
each option or options that their group will be examining, they are to
address the following questions:
- What is it?
- Who qualifies?
- Who administers it?
- How does it work?
- How do you set it up?
- What are the benefits?
- Are there any cautions?
- What happens when funds are removed or the option is closed?
Establish the number of groups that is suitable for the number of
students in the class, and assign the following programs and options
to the groups as you deem appropriate:
- Registered Educational Savings Plan (RESP)
- Canadian Education Savings Grant (CESG)
- Canada Learning Bond (CLB)
- Informal Trusts (Trusts) and Living Trusts (Living Trust)
- Juvenile Life Insurance (Life Insurance)
- Other investments that grow money through interest, dividends,
or profit (for example, stocks etc.)
Once the options have been assigned to each group, give them the
remaining time in class to complete the assignment. Have each
group appoint a chair and a recorder. Each student in the group
should be instructed to make notes during both group discussions
and the following class when reports are given. The following class
will be devoted to group reports and a summary discussion that
would address any outstanding issues or concerns about the
programs or options.
8. Suggested Follow-up Activities
- consult university and college calendars or other appropriate
documents to determine the cost of programs of interest or use
VECTOR to examine certain careers
- develop a monthly budget to see the actual cost of a post-
- consult with Guidance personnel to research various university
scholarships and bursaries and government student loans
9. Suggested Evaluation Activities
Students will discuss the lesson’s materials with their parents (or
other significant others as the case may be) and decide which options
are best for them. The students will prepare and submit a report
outlining which choices were made during those discussions, giving
reasons for their choices. This will reinforce the importance of giving
this topic careful thought and the discussing the options with those at
Group marks could also be assigned based on the quality of the
10. Links to other Relevant Resources
- Saving for your child's education
- Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) - Be Aware, and Beware!
- How does the Canada Learning Bond work?
- Choosing What’s Right For You
- Budget Estimator