Financial Resources to Help You Pay for Post-Secondary

By Vancouver Island University Modified on July 30, 2020

Ways to find and save money for the next step of your journey.

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Students prep to pay for their education with these resources gathered by Vancouver Island University.

Increased resources for students in the 2020-21 academic year

Our federal and provincial governments have introduced many relief measures for Canadians and British Columbians suffering financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What this has meant for students is that there is more support to help those in need pay for university than ever before for the 2020-21 academic year.

Are you wondering where to get started? From bumps to existing programs, to new measures designed to stimulate the economy and get students back to work and school, here's a roundup of some funding options:

Canada Student Grant for full and part-time students

Canada Student Grants are doubled this year, giving out twice the amount of non-repayable grant dollars to students in need. For the 2020-21 year, full-time eligible students can receive up to $6,000 and part-time eligible students up to $3,600. Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents will also be doubled.

Canada Student Loans

For the 2020-2021 year, the Canada Student loan weekly loan limit will increase from $210 to $350 and fixed student and spousal financial contributions used to assist with the cost of a student's program of study will be waived. BC Residents can get more information on how to apply for student loan funding by checking out Funding for BC Students. If you are not a BC Resident, you can apply for a student loan through the province in which you are a resident.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) provides financial support to post-secondary students unable to find work due to COVID-19. Eligible students can receive $1,250 or $2,000 for students with dependents or a disability. The CESB includes graduating high school students who have completed or expect to complete high school in 2020 and/or applied for a post-secondary program that commences before February 1, 2021.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Recently extended, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) provides $2,000 in financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians directly impacted by COVID-19. Applicants must have earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to their application date.

Canada Summer Jobs

The Canada Summer Jobs program aims to create valuable summer work experience opportunities to save up for education for youth between 15-30 years.

BC Access Grant

This brand-new funding, introduced by the BC government in February, will help more than 40,000 low- and middle-income students access, afford and complete public post-secondary education and training every year in BC. Students applying for student aid for programs at BC public post-secondary institutions starting in September 2020 will be automatically assessed for the BC Access Grant.

VIU Scholarship, Award & Bursary Profile

The Scholarship, Award and Bursary Program, coordinated through the Financial Aid & Awards office, provides financial assistance, incentives and rewards to eligible students to assist in their pursuit of post-secondary education. You must complete or renew your profile each year between early September and March 31. There is almost $4 million in awards and bursaries to be given away this year to eligible students—so be sure to apply! Learn how to apply.

Tuition Waiver Program

Youth who have aged out of care and are attending Vancouver Island University can apply for two tuition waiver programs: the BC Provincial Tuition Waiver Program (BCTWP) and the Vancouver Island University Tuition Waiver Program (VIUTWP). Check out our Youth Aged out of Care Funding page for digitally fillable TWP application forms and other funding options for former Youth in Care.

Adult Upgrading Grant

The Adult Upgrading Grant is a provincially-sponsored assistance program designed to provide grant funding to cover direct educational costs for students enrolled in recognized Adult Basic Education, Workplace Essential Skills & Training or English-as-a-Second Language programs. Anyone not receiving financial assistance for educational costs from other sources may apply for funding. Eligible students must apply before the start of classes. Check out the Adult Upgrading Grant funding page to obtain a digitally fillable application.

External awards

External awards include scholarships, awards and bursaries that are available to all students through agencies unaffiliated with Vancouver Island University. VIU's categorized list of external awards contains more than $21.2 million in funding to help minimize student debt. A lot of times, scholarships are not given out because many don't apply — so don't miss out on your chances as this is a great (and possible) way to fund your education!

Other tips

Paying for university studies can be challenging. The good news is, there are lots of options available to help you manage expenses and reduce costs while having a great university experience. Check out our Budgeting Tips and Resources page to help you manage your money and minimize financial stress.

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions to financialaidinfo@viu.ca.


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