Financial Assistance

StudentAid BC

The StudentAid BC application is available online. To apply, please visit the Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development website at: StudentAid BC

The largest source of funds for students who require financial assistance is the StudentAid BC Program. This program assists students who cannot meet the cost of full-time post-secondary education. Funds are awarded only where the financial resources available to students from parents, summer work, or other sources are insufficient to meet their allowable educational costs.

Note: It is recommended that if you require funds at the beginning of the fall semester in September, that you submit your student loan application to StudentAid BC by July 1.

Eligibility: applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and have resided in BC for 12 continuous months (excluding time spent in full-time post-secondary study) before the beginning of the semester. Funds will be provided to eligible students undertaking a minimum of 60 percent* of a full program of study leading to a certificate, diploma, or degree. Assistance through this program is awarded in various ways, depending on eligibility.

* Students with documented, permanent disabilities who are unable to maintain a 60% course load may apply for consideration at a 40% level.

Note: Non-residents should consult their home province for funding options.

Canada and BC Student Loans (for Full-Time Students)

These are loans guaranteed by the federal & provincial governments. These loans are interest-free for the duration of the program of studies.

Canada and BC Student Grants (for Full-Time Students)

There are a number of grant opportunities for students from the Ministry of Advanced Education - StudentAid BC. Students are automatically considered, where applicable, for the following grants when they apply for funding assistance through the StudentAid BC application

  • Canada Student Grant for Persons from Low-Income Families
  • Canada Student Grant for Persons from Middle-Income Families
  • Canada Student Grant for Full-time Students with dependants
  • Canada Student Grant for Persons with Permanent Disabilities
  • Supplemental Bursary for Students with Disabilities

Further information available at StudentAid BC

BC Completion Grant Program

Annual remission of BC Student Loan. Issued upon successful completion of studies following each funded study period and available to students enrolled in their first, second, third or fourth year of borrowing, (fifth year for students with dependants). Students must be enrolled in programs of no less than 2 years in length (2-year diploma or 4-year degree programs).

Note: Policies and procedures for StudentAid BC may change from year to year. Please contact the Financial Aid & Awards office for current information.

Maintaining Interest-free Status

Full-time students who previously received government-funded loans, but who did not negotiate one for their current study period, should complete the "Interest Free Status" application, available online at StudentAid BC  This application replaces the Schedule II forms (for Canada student loans) and the Certificate II forms (for BC student loans).

Canada Student Loans Program Interest Relief Plan / British Columbia Interest Relief Program

The Government of Canada and/or the Province of BC will pay the interest on Canada Student Loans and/or BC loans on behalf of debtors who are experiencing financial hardship due to temporary inability to find employment or temporary disability, for a period up to 30 months. Application forms for interest relief are available from the Student Services Branch of the Ministry of Advanced Education, or participating banks.

BC Debt Reduction Program

The BC Debt Reduction Program was introduced in August 2000, and recognizes borrowers’ inability to make the required monthly payments on their outstanding BC Student Loans, due to limited monthly income. Borrowers who have exhausted their interest relief eligibility under the BC Interest Relief Program, and who have also been out of post-secondary studies for at least five years, may qualify for debt reduction. Debt reduction will reduce the BC Student Loan principal balance to a more affordable repayment level.

Students who previously received some debt reduction through the Loan Remission Program will also be eligible for consideration under the new Debt Reduction Program.

Eligibility for BC Debt Reduction is linked to an individual’s eligibility for debt reduction under the Federal Debt Reduction Program. Students/borrowers who receive federal debt reduction may automatically receive assistance under the BC Debt Reduction Program.

Unlike the Federal Debt Reduction Program, a maximum debt reduction limit has not been set under the BC Debt Reduction Program.

For full details on the BC Debt Reduction Program, please contact StudentAid BC at the Ministry of Advanced Education & Labour Market Development at 1-800-561-1818, or at their website StudentAid BC

Student Loan Repayment Webinars

For students who have received government student loans during their academic life, the following information is available to help you understand ‘what happens next’.

The National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC) provides Repayment Webinars to help students understand the options for repaying their student loans.

We encourage you to check the website noted below, to see if one of the current webinar dates would work for your schedule. These presentations are given by the NSLSC, are one hour in length and are free of charge.

To register, click on the link provided below and choose the time and date that works best for you. You will then receive an e-mail confirmation with the webinar login information.

Funding for Part-Time Students

For students who are unable to study full time, due to family obligations, or a permanent disability that affects their ability to attend full time, the following options are included on the Part-Time Studies - Financial Assistance application.

  • Canada Student Grant for Part-Time Studies
  • Canada Student Grant for Part-Time Students with Dependants
  • Canada Student Grant for Persons with Permanent Disabilities
  • Supplemental Bursary for Students with Disabilities
  • Canada Student Loan for Part-Time Students

Further information and applications available at StudentAid BC

Adult Upgrading Grant (AUG), formerly Adult Basic Education Student Assistance Program (ABESAP)

AUG is a provincially-sponsored assistance program designed to provide grant funding to cover direct educational costs for students enrolled in recognized Adult Basic Education or English-as-a-Second Language programs. Anyone not receiving financial assistance for education costs from other sources may apply for funding.

Click on the link below to print and complete the 2016/2017 AUG Application:

2016/2017 Adult Upgrading Grant (AUG) Application

  • Adult Upgrading Grant applications MUST be submitted BEFORE your tuition is due.
  • Refunds are not issued to students who have already paid for their tuition/books.

Passport to Education

Up to $1,000 can be earned by students from Grades 10 to 12 in BC public and independent schools through the government's Passport to Education program. Passport stamps can be redeemed at VIU up to five years after high school graduation. Check at local high schools for information.


On-campus student employment is offered through the Vancouver Island University Work-Opportunities (Work-Op) program. For information, please contact the Campus Career Centre, in Building 310 at the Nanaimo Campus or visit online at CAREERVIU


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