The provincial and federal governments offer financial assistance so individuals with financial limitations have the opportunity to reach their educational goals. In alphabetical order below you’ll find information, eligibility criteria, and application procedures for government sponsored assistance programs.
Adult Basic Education Student Assistance Program (ABESAP)
A needs-based grant program available to students enrolling in programs such as College Readiness. The grant covers education-related costs only (books and supplies). It does not cover living allowances. Students expecting funding from other sources (MHR, EI, DIA, HRDC, Bands, etc.) must get their education plan approved by, and have been denied funds from that source before applying for ABESAP. The grant is given to eligible students on a first-come, first-served basis until the Institution’s yearly allotment is used up. Students complete an application form, and bring their course selection form to their appointment at the Financial Aid Office. If approval is granted the student registers for their courses.
StudentAid BC Student Assistance Program
This program is open to BC residents (minimum 12 months residency) who cannot fund their own education. It is meant to supplement, not replace the financial resources of the student. The amount of funding received is set by a standard means test which is used to assess the needs of EVERY student who applies and may come in the form of a Canada Student Loan / BC Student Loan / Canada Study Grant / Canada Millennium Scholarship / BC Grant.
To be eligible for StudentAid BC you must be enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institute and in a post-secondary program that is a minimum of 12 consecutive weeks for which you will receive a certificate, diploma or degree; and, carry at least a 60% course load, in your program.
Notes: (1) College Readiness/Preparation courses do not count towards the 60% requirement. (2) If you withdraw or drop below 60% the Financial Aid Office is required to inform the Student Services Branch. They will review your application and an over-award may result, which will affect eligibility for future assistance. It’s important to check with the Financial Aid Office before you drop or withdraw from any classes.
Apply through the internet at http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/studentaidbc/ila/welcome.htm Students with disabilities must apply using the paper application.
Picking up Your Loan documents(s)/Grant Cheques
Once the Ministry has assessed your application, they will send you a Notification of Award, which tells you the amount of the award that you may receive and when.
Your loan documents(s), and, if eligible, your grant cheque will be sent to the address you use on your application. Instructions for getting the money into your bank account come with the document(s). Please read the instructions carefully – they are intended to make getting your money a simple process.
Reassessments are completed when you need to make changes to your original information, such as funding, assets, program of study, costs, etc.
Appeals are completed if you have been denied a loan/grant and you have a reason for asking for standard policy to be set aside.
Application forms are available in the Financial Aid Office and you are encouraged to make an appointment to discuss your reassessment or appeal (review). Get tips on how to write a successful review. Reassessments and appeals cannot yet be done on-line.
Interest Free Status
You do not have to make payments on your student loan while you are attending full-time post-secondary study (at least 60%). It is your responsibility to tell your lender and you do this by completing:
Schedule 2(CSL): for continuing or reinstating interest-free status on your previous Canada Student Loan, and a
Certificate 2(BCSL): for continuing or reinstating interest-free status on your previous BC Student Loan.
After the first day of classes the Financial Aid Office can confirm your registration and complete the forms for you to pick up to take (or mail) to your lender. Students from out of province must get the forms from their province.
You are expected to start repayment of both the Canada and BC Student Loans six (6) months after leaving school. Repayment arrangements must be made with your lender before the six-month period is up. Canada and BC Student Loans are separate loans and repayment arrangements must be made for each one AND with each lender.
Lenders may be banks, for loans prior to August 2000, the BC Student Loan Services Bureau or the National Student Loan Services Center. Students having difficulty repaying their student loans should consult with their lender about:
Interest Relief: Part-time students or former students on limited budgets may apply to their banks/lender for interest relief. Forms are available at the Ministry, and lenders holding student loans.
Loan Remission: This is a program designed to reduce debt on BC Student Loans for graduating students. Information on the program is available in the student loan application package and from the Financial Aid Office.
Defaults: If you have not made payments on your loan(s), it may be in default. For information on getting reinstated make an appointment to see the Financial Aid Office. You can also get information out of the BCSAP General Information Booklet and from your lender.
For more information visit www.aved.gov.bc.ca/studentservices for more information on Student Financial Aid and to check the status of your application.
High-Need Part-Time Canada Study Grant (HNPT-CSG)
HNPT-CSG is a Federal need-based assistance available to cover tuition, books and supply costs. It does not cover living allowances. Funding is in the form of loans/grants for eligible students registered in 20%-59% of an eligible post-secondary program. The grant is for students who cannot attend post-secondary studies full-time. Students expecting funding from other sources (MHR, EI, DIA, HRDC, Bands, etc.) must get their education plan approved by, and their funding request denied from that source before applying for CSG. The grant is given to eligible students on a first-come, first-served basis until the Institution’s yearly allotment is used up (see ABESAP).
Students with Disabilities Canada Study Grant
Students may be eligible for up to $8,000 a year from the federal government to cover exceptional educational-related costs associated with certain permanent disabilities. Applicants must be eligible to receive BCSAP or Part-time Canada Student Loans. Information and application forms are available from the Financial Aid Office.