POST-SECONDARY education and training will be more affordable for thousands of students throughout B.C., thanks to the new B.C. Access Grant program.
“The new B.C. Access Grant will break down financial barriers and enable thousands more students to get a college or university education in their chosen fields,” said Premier John Horgan on Wednesday. “It’s part of our government’s work to build a strong economy for everyone, where people can get good, well-paying jobs that support them and their families, and business can access more skilled workers.”
Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, spoke with students from the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) and celebrated the new grant, which will take effect in September 2020. Eligible students can receive up to $4,000 per year through the new program.
The new, needs-based B.C. Access Grant will target those who need it most: low- and middle-income students. Students will receive the grant at the beginning of their studies, so they can pay for tuition, text books, lab and other supplies needed for their program of study.
For the first time, such funding will also be available for students who are studying in programs under two years, including certificate and diploma programs, as well as for students studying part time. The changes nearly double the number of students who will be eligible to receive support.
“Students have been calling for this moment for almost two decades,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “The new grant will open doors to post-secondary education for thousands of British Columbians who were shut out for far too long. This is a game changer that will benefit students who need it the most, especially with their up-front costs like tuition and books. I am so proud that our government is investing in the next generation of students.”
The B.C. Access Grant complements the Canada Student Grant for Full-time Students, ensuring B.C. students attending public post-secondary institutions receive up to $4,000 a year to help with the cost of programs leading to a certificate, diploma or degree.
“The youth of today are our future. I have spoken with students on many occasions about both the challenges and opportunities of pursuing post-secondary education, and I believe these grants will make a difference in their path ahead. By making these new grants available – the first new investment in post-secondary grants by the provincial government in 15 years – we are supporting students who might otherwise struggle to pursue their studies and helping to build a better, stronger B.C. for tomorrow,” said Fraser.
Government is investing $24 million in new funding over three years. This is in addition to approximately $37 million government is reinvesting from existing grant programs that don’t help students with the up-front costs of their post-secondary education.
More than 40,000 low- and middle-income students will be eligible for the new B.C. Access Grant, which will be available starting in the fall 2020 semester.
- Students will automatically be assessed for their eligibility for the B.C. Access Grant when they apply for financial assistance from StudentAid BC.
- Eligible students in programs that are under two years in length will receive up to $4,000 per year.
- Eligible students in programs that are two years or longer will receive up to $1,000 per year.
- These students may also be eligible for the Canada Student Grant for Full-time students of up to $3,000 per year.
For more information about the B.C. Access Grant, visit: https://studentaidbc.ca/news/grants-scholarships/new-bc-access-grant