If you are using your registered education savings plan (RESP) for post-secondary education, the plan holder can make withdrawals on behalf of the plan beneficiary (student) in the form of educational assistance payment (EAPs). Note that different types of RESPs may have different rules. You can confirm the withdrawal rules of your plan with your plan provider.
To qualify for EAPs (made up of investment earnings and government grant money in the RESP), you must show proof of enrolment in a qualifying educational program. EAPs are taxable in the hands of the student – most end up paying little or no tax as students generally have little additional income (but this isn’t always the case).
In most cases, you choose the amount and timing of the payments. But students can’t get more than $5,000 in EAP payments for full-time programs, or $2,500 for part-time programs, until they complete 13 weeks of a qualifying program in a row.
To learn more about EAPs, and using the money in your RESP, visit Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).