To open an RESP, the beneficiary must have a social insurance number and be a resident of Canada. There are many RESP providers in Canada, and they offer individual plans, family plans or group plans – each option has its own set of rules. Read this previous Investing Questions question to learn more about the types of plans. Shop around before you decide which plan best meets your needs. Once you have chosen an RESP provider, understand all the fees and penalties – any set-up fees, annual fees or penalties for making changes. Read all the information you receive before you sign up.
Group RESPs are only offered by scholarship plan dealers. They tend to have higher fees and more restrictive rules than other plans. Read the plan summary document to understand the requirements of the plan before investing your money. If you choose a plan provided by a scholarship plan dealer, you have the right to withdraw all of your money within 60 days after signing your contract if you change your mind.