There is no cost to register your child for a Canada Learning Bond.

That’s a government grant of up to 2,000 dollars for eligible children and families don’t have to put in any money of their own.

However, the uptake hasn’t been what it could be and officials at VIU figure there’s nearly 10,000 children in the Regional District of Nanaimo, alone, who qualify but have not signed up.

To boost the numbers, Dave Forrester, Advancement Manager of Alumni Relations for VIU said they are fundraising 50,000 dollars to add an extra incentive with a program called The Canada Learning Bond Accelerator Project.

Forrester said during the Accelerator program VIU will add an additional 500 dollars and that will have a match of 40 per cent from the government, so they’ll have an extra 700 dollars all for free, into the account, at zero cost to parents.

Money for the Accelerator program is coming from a fundraising campaign and the Rotary Club of Nanaimo and Rotary Club of Nanaimo Oceanside are supporting the campaign with donations of 10,000 dollars and 3,000 dollars respectively towards the 50,000 dollar goal

It’s estimated, by the time a child graduates they could have up to 6,000 dollars in a Registered Education Savings Plan by the time they graduate high school without any contribution from their parents and Forrester says that’s a real incentive to consider post-secondary education.