What is CST Open Dialogue?

Sherry MacDonald, President and CEO


Academic advancement requirement: In our Founders’ Plan (which we no longer sell), students have to successfully pass each year of their studies to receive their next EAP payment.
Account Maintenance Fee: A fee that covers the ongoing maintenance of your account.
All-inclusive management fee: A fee that covers the administration of your plan.
Beneficiary: The person who the RESP is created for.
Beneficiary group: A beneficiary group refers to those who have the same year of eligibility for their post-secondary studies, typically children who are born in the same year.
Contract: The agreement you enter into with us when you open your plan, which includes your application form and education savings plan agreement.
Contribution: The amount you pay into a plan. Sales charges and other fees are deducted from your contributions and the remaining amount (net contribution) is invested in your plan.
Contribution schedule: Refers to the amount and timing of your contributions into your plan. It is based on the age of the child at the time of purchasing units in a group plan.
Default: Your plan goes into default when you have missed three or more payments.
Discretionary payment: A payment, other than a fee refund, that your child may receive in a group plan. It is added to your child’s Educational Assistance Payments (EAPs) as determined by the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation in its discretion.
Earnings: This refers to any money earned on your contributions and government grants, such as interest income and capital gains.
Eligible studies: A post-secondary education program that meets the plan’s requirements for a child to receive Educational Assistance Payments (EAPs).
Government grants: Refers to any financial grant, bond or incentive offered by the federal government, (such as the Canada Education Savings Grant or the Canada Learning Bond), or by a provincial government to assist with saving for post-secondary education in an RESP. With the Canada Education Savings Grant, for example, the government will give you 20% on every dollar of the first $2,500 you save in your child’s RESP each year. More information is available here.
Group Plan benefits: These are the benefits that are only available to you if you have a CST group plan. They include at least 50% of the sales charge refund once your plan has reached maturity (if applicable), the group plan bonus and any discretionary payments from the Foundation.
Group Plan bonus: This is an amount included in Educational Assistance Payments (EAPs) that students receive on top of their investment income. It includes income earned on the EAP account, unclaimed net contributions and income from those who cancelled their plan or didn’t collect their EAPs. It’s unique to a group plan and those with our Individual or Family Savings Plans don’t receive a group plan bonus.
Income: This means the same as earnings.
Investment Committee: A committee of the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation’s Board of Directors who is in charge of monitoring the plan’s investment strategy and performance.
Management Expense Ratio: A fee charged by the mutual fund manager to a mutual fund. It includes management fees (funds paid to a portfolio manager) plus the fund’s day-to-day operating expenses such as record keeping, fund valuation costs, audit and legal fees and costs for sending out prospectuses and annual reports. The MER doesn’t include trading costs, which are included in the trading expense ratio (TER).
Maturity date: A maturity date is the date on which your plan matures and you are able to withdraw money from your RESP for your child. In general, it’s the year your child is expected to enroll in their first year of post-secondary education.
Net contributions: This is another way of referring to your principal, which is all of the contributions you’ve made into your plan – minus sales charge and fees.
Plan: Collectively, our plans refer to the Canadian Scholarship Trust Plan Group Savings Plan 2001, Individual Savings Plan or Family Savings Plan. Each of them is a scholarship plan that provides funding for a child’s post-secondary education.
Principal: Principal refers to all of the contributions you’ve made into your plan, minus sales charge and fees.
Sales charges: These are the one-time fees that you pay for the initial set up of your plan. They cover the cost of selling the plan, including commissions.
Sales charge refund: A refund of 50-100% of the sales charge you paid at the beginning of your Group Savings Plan or Group Savings Plan 2001 once your child attends post-secondary education. To qualify for this refund, you have to make all of your contributions, your plan has to reach its maturity date and your child needs to collect all four of the payments they’re entitled to from the plan.
Unit: A unit is applicable to group plans only. It represents your child’s proportionate share of the Educational Assistance Payment (EAP) account. The number of units you have in your plan depends on how much, how often and for how many years you contribute.
Year of eligibility: This is the year where your child becomes eligible to receive payments from the plan. For those with the Group Savings Plan 2001, it is typically the year your child will enter their first year of post-secondary. If you have an Individual or Family Savings Plan, the year of eligibility is the year when your child enrolls in school.

  • What are the fees CST charges and what are they used towards?
  • How much flexibility do I have with my contributions? If I miss a payment, will I lose all of my money?
  • How do I collect the money in my plan? What is included in these payments?

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