New BC Access Grant makes university more attainable for low income students

A post-secondary education will be more affordable for thousands of students who are eligible for up to $4,000 per year through the new B.C. Access Grant program. The new grant will target low middle-income students. Students will receive the grant at the beginning of their studies so they can pay for tuition, textbooks, lab supplies and other items needed for their program of study.

For the first time, this funding will be available for students in programs under two years in length, including certificate and diploma programs, as well as for part-time students. The changes nearly double the number of students eligible for 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 them 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.

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.

Quick Facts:

  • This is the first new investment in post-secondary student grants in 15 years.
  • Students will automatically be assessed for their eligibility for the B.C. Access Grant when they apply for financial assistance from StudentAidBC.
  • 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.
  • The funds may be used for tuition, living expenses or any eligible post-secondary education-related costs students may have.