Post-secondary students experiencing financial pressures due to COVID-19 will hopefully soon be feeling some relief.
The provincial government is giving a one-time investment of $3.5 million in emergency financial assistance to help B.C. university and college students at 25 different post-secondary locations.
“Our government is taking steps to ensure post-secondary students get some emergency support so they can focus on staying healthy, meet their educational goals and finish their semester,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
“We heard from students who are facing extremely difficult situations, and we’re moving quickly to ensure they have access to immediate financial relief.”
The investment will supplement existing student emergency financial assistance.
The funding will support domestic B.C. students who are experiencing unexpected financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, affecting their ability to finish school.
This emergency assistance does not have to be repaid. It can be used to help with a broad range of costs, including living expenses, food, travel, portable computers and other supports for students who are not already able to study remotely.
The $3.5 million boost is a significant increase from the normal $100,000 of funding provided by the Ministry for emergency assistance.
Students who attend one of B.C.’s 25 public post-secondary institutions can access these funds by contacting their school’s financial aid office, which will assist with the application process. Each student will receive a different amount based on their individual needs, decided by the school.
This news comes after more than 2000 University of Victoria students were asked to leave their dorms as a precaution regarding COVID-19 concerns.
During the 2018 /2019 school season the Province helped 446 students through its annual emergency assistance funding.
The $3.5 million is for B.C. students. The ministry is working directly with public post-secondary institutions to ensure emergency assistance is provided for international and out-of-province students.