Heritage Educational Foundation pays out $62 million to students to fund post-secondary education

    Parents who saved for their children's education through a Heritage RESP
    are helping to spare their children the burden of crippling student debt

    TORONTO, Sept. 19 /CNW/ - Heritage Educational Foundation will pay out
over $62 million to students attending post-secondary school in 2008. The
Foundation's objective is to encourage parents, grandparents or other
interested persons to save for children's advanced education through a
Heritage RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan).
    Amanda Wong, who has benefited from a Heritage RESP, shared her thoughts
on what it has meant to her, "The gratitude that I feel towards my parents for
starting my RESP early will last a lifetime. Having an RESP not only helped me
with my (post-secondary) education but helped me plan my future as an adult. I
do not owe any money, so I can save for my own future."
    According to figures released by the Canada Student Loans Program,
full-time students owe more in federal student loans than ever before. In
2005-6 full-time students received an average annual federal loan of $5,631, a
17% increase compared to the previous year.
    To understand the impact of student debt on Canadians, Statistics Canada
has been tracking the undergraduate class of 2000 of which 53% left school
owing money to the government, other lenders or a combination of the two.
Those with only government loans owed an average of $19,300 but those with
loans from more than one source owed an average of $32,200. Of the almost 3
out of 5 (55%) who still owed money five years later, 41% reported
difficulties repaying student debt, this despite a 94% employment rate among
students graduating with debt in general.
    In addition to joining the workforce, many of these graduates have
committed to long term relationships (56% are married, including living common
law) and almost 2 out of every 5 (38%) have dependents. These young families
face the burden of trying to repay their own student debt when they should,
ideally, be starting to save for their own children's post-secondary
    Heritage Education Funds Inc. is the distributor of, and administrator
for, the Heritage Educational Foundation. Robert Coleman, President of
Heritage Education Funds Inc. said; "At Heritage Education Funds, our mission
is to help parents help their children to become successful adults through the
gift of post-secondary education - without the burden of crippling student
debt. The cost of education is about more than just tuition. Rising oil prices
are putting pressure on the overall inflation rate, causing food prices and
rent to soar. Students also have to deal with auxiliary fees along with
tuition. Parents are concerned about where the money will come from to pay for
all these essentials. At Heritage, RESP savings are invested in low-risk
securities that earn a competitive and consistent return so that the money
will be there when beneficiaries are ready to realize their post-secondary
education dreams."

    About Heritage Educational Foundation

    The Heritage Educational Foundation is one of Canada's leading providers
of pooled education saving plans. Incorporated on December 1, 1986, the
Foundation administers one of the largest active pooled RESP plans in Canada
with assets under administration exceeding $1.4 billion. Heritage Education
Funds Inc. has been helping families to save for their children's post
secondary education for over 40 years.

For further information:

For further information: Marjorie Cullen, Senior Marketing Manager,
Heritage Education Funds Inc., Tel.: (416) 758-6494, Email:

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Heritage Education Funds Inc.

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