Applications open for new post-secondary BC Access Grant

Unlike previous provincial funding, the grant will be distributed prior to the academic year to help cover expenses

Photo courtesy of the Province of British Columbia, via Flickr

Written by: Michelle Gomez, News Editor

Back in March, the provincial government announced the new BC Access Grant for students studying at BC post-secondary institutions, starting fall 2020. As of mid July, applications are now open.

The grant is needs-based, and will provide funding to low and middle-income post secondary students. The amount granted to each student will depend on family income. Those applying for student aid will automatically be assessed for the grant. 

In addition to providing funding to full-time undergraduate students, the grant will also be offered to those in diploma and certificate programs, and to part-time students. According to a provincial government press release, this will almost double the number of students who are eligible for funding. 

The Alliance of BC Students, a coalition of student associations across BC, told The Peak that they have been consistently advocating and campaigning for needs-based grants from the provincial government since their founding in 2013. 

“The establishment of the BC Access Grant is the culmination of years of student advocacy. We were so happy to see our many years of hard work pay off!” said Grace Dupasquier, Chairperson of the Alliance. Dupasquier also noted that this grant is even more important in the context of COVID-19, “with so many students and their families now in precarious financial situations.” 

This grant will replace the BC Completion Grant, the BC Completion Grant for Graduates, and the BC Labour Market Priorities grant “to provide up-front financial support to students when they need it at the beginning of studies.” These programs will be discontinued as of July 31, 2020.