National impact

SmartSAVER, launched by the Omega Foundation in 2010, has been motivated from its inception by the belief that children from all families should be able to pursue a post-secondary education, regardless of household income or assets. We were convinced that the federal government's Canada Learning Bond (CLB) - $2000 in non-repayable funding for eligible children - had the potential to help a far greater number of families than it had traditionally reached. By 2010, national participation in the CLB program was stalled at 20%. By 2021, participation had increased to 40% thanks to SmartSAVER and our 80 community partners. This means 1.7 million children have been added to the roster of future high school students more likely to apply for, and attend, post-secondary education.

National Canada Learning Bond Beneficiaries

Number of CLB Beneficiaries: from 200,000 to 1.6 million in 10 years!

How did SmartSAVER achieve impact?

The barriers to participation in the Canada Learning Bond are complex, and so SmartSAVER and partners have, by necessity, addressed the challenge through multiple strategies:

National Canada Learning Bond Beneficiaries

Applications and Growth

SmartSAVER's work has been inspired and reinforced by a growing body of research showing that educational savings drive up post-secondary enrolment among children from modest-income families and can be the catalyst for greater achievement - i.e. higher graduation rates from high school and post-secondary institutions. We have conducted some of that research ourselves, as you can discover in the RESOURCES section.