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What are some of the rules for RESP withdrawal?

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Quick Answer

An RESP contributor can make a withdrawal once the beneficiary graduates high school and enrolls part- or full-time in an eligible educational program, explains CanLearn from the Government of Canada. Individuals must give their RESP provider proof of enrollment, and in some cases, evidence of acceptable use of funds.

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Full Answer

Only accumulated interest on RESP contributions and government grants, such as Canada Education Savings Grants, that constitute Educational Assistance Payments are subject to withdrawal limits, notes CanLearn. The maximum withdrawal amount for this portion of an RESP is $5,000 for the first 13 weeks of a full-time program, with no limit thereafter unless a student ceases his study for more than 12 months. For part-time students, the 13-week limit is $2,500. Individuals may also request an exemption where necessary due to a program's costs.

For a program in Canada to qualify for an RESP withdrawal, it must be at least three consecutive weeks long and, in the case of full-time programs, include at least 10 hours of teaching per week, according to CanLearn. Part-time programs must require students to commit at least 12 hours per month. Full-time programs outside of Canada must be at least 13 weeks long. Qualifying types of programs include colleges and universities, apprenticeships, CEGEPs, trade schools and other government-certified institutions. However, Educational Assistance Payments are more limited and may only be withdrawn when a beneficiary is enrolled in an educational institution such as a college or university.

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