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RESP: So your Kid Switched Majors...

Written by: Universitas

May 20, 2016

One morning over breakfast, your son casually announces that he’s had a change of heart and won’t be pursuing his Social Sciences program after this semester. It’s settled: he’s changing programs, schools, moving to the city… Phew! In the same breath, he adds that he will take this opportunity to travel for a few months before going back to school.

Even though he talks about his new Multimedia Integration technical program with infectious enthusiasm, your thoughts are racing and your concerns and questions are adding up. You’ve been contributing to an RESP for years: what will happen to these funds for school? Will your son lose his right to receive payments if he switched programs? His new school is miles away from home: he might leave the nest! How will he cover both rent and tuition, not to mention all the other related expenses?

From Trade Schools to University

There’s no need to worry! Over the years, the RESP has become a flexible savings tool, adapted to the realities of today’s education system. It now reflects the multiple options available to students when it comes to choosing the right program of study. The RESPs offered by Universitas provide payments for all levels of post-secondary education, whether vocational, college or university.1

A Change of Heart

So, what happens with your son’s RESP now that he’s decided to devote himself to his passion for multimedia? Well, each student’s academic path is unique and, depending on the plan you set up several years ago, your options will vary. If you have doubts regarding your particular situation, your scholarship plan representative or the RESP experts at our Customer Service can always assist you.

Still, here is some information about our RESPs you and your son might find interesting:

  • Educational assistance payments (EAPs) are not affected by a change of program of the same level of education (such as going from one technical program to another). Why? Simply because the credits from the former and the new program of study are cumulative!
  • Has your teenager decided to take a year off to travel or think about the future? No problem: we’ll be there when he or she gets back. There’s no need for the studies to take place in consecutive years to be eligible to receive an EAP.2
  • Your head is spinning with unforeseen bills when your child’s dream job means a special educational program only offered out of province. Rest assured that EAPs aren’t only for tuition fees: students can use these funds to pay for ANY education-related expense, such as transportation fees, rent, groceries, school supplies, etc.

At Universitas, we understand that early adulthood is a hectic time and making career choices and life-changing decisions can definitely be tough. It’s not surprising that students often switch programs or take a break to rethink their options. Thanks to your initiative to set up an RESP early on and save for your son’s education, he now has options and can follow his path and pursue his passion without worries!


1. To learn more, refer to the eligible post-secondary studies in our prospectus.
2. Until the Plan reaches its cut-off-date (December 31st of the 35th year following the year in which the RESP came into force).

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