Funding for British Columbia Residents

Contact Financial Aid & Awards if:

  • You are currently receiving student loans, grants or sponsorships and you want to make any course changes
  • You are currently receiving student loans and you do not have a prerequisite (this may put you at risk of de-registration at a time when it may be too late to register for something else, impacting your funding)
  • You are using a course taken at another university or college to satisfy a prerequisite at VIU and you are receiving student loan funding

Full Time and Part Time StudentAid BC Loans and/or Grants

  • Full-time status - enrolled in minimum 9 credits per semester
  • Full-time disability status - enrolled in minimum 6 credits per semester
  • Part-time status - enrolled up to a maximum of 8 credits per semester (some programs may differ, check VIU website or contact Financial Aid & Awards Office to confirm)
  • Must be BC resident for a minimum of 12 months or more
  • Your program must qualify for StudentAid BC funding
  • Applications take 8 weeks to process. Therefore, apply early
  • Students are responsible to pay all tuition and other fees by specified deadlines
  • Student loans require your SIN on your VIU Student Record to confirm enrollment. Check with the VIU Registration Center to confirm it is on your VIU Student Record
  • If you have an approved student loan, your funds are typically not released until 5 to 15 days after your 1st day of class

Fall semester starts: Early July

Spring semester starts: Early November

Summer semester starts: Early March

  • The Government of Canada is committed to supporting registered apprentices throughout their training
  • The Canada Apprentice Loan helps get money you need to achieve your goals

BC ACCESS GRANT

Effective September 2020, a new needs-based, up-front B.C. Access Grant will be available to low- and middle-income students enrolled in full- and part-time studies at B.C. public post-secondary institutions. 

For more details on the new B.C. Access Grant, please view the Latest News post and FAQ on the StudentAid BC website and see the B.C. Government’s Budget 2020 Backgrounder.

BC Access Grants for Labour Market Priorities

BC Access Grants for Labour Market Priorities provide grant funding to encourage eligible students to attend targeted high priority programs at eligible B.C. public post-secondary institutions. You will be automatically assessed for these grants when you apply for a student loan.

Tool and/or Relocation component grant

Students in eligible programs may receive a $500 grant to purchase tools and/or students who move at least 100 km or more can apply to receive a grant of up to $4,000 (depending on distance moved) to assist with the cost of relocating to attend an in-demand program.

Loan and/or Unmet need component grant

Students receiving a B.C. student loan may receive a grant to replace a portion of the loan and/or students whose StudentAid BC application shows an unmet financial need may receive a grant up to $6,500 which will be disbursed on or after the mid point of their program.

BC Completion Grant Program

  • BC Completion Grant Program provides full-time students who successfully complete each year of their studies an annual remission to the BC portion of their student loans.
  • 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 dependents)
  • Students must be enrolled in programs of no less than two years in length (two year diploma or four 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.

Do I qualify for the Adult Upgrading Grant (AUG)?

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 educational costs from other sources may apply for funding. For additional information, see Financial Aid - Adult Upgrading Grant (AUG) Handout

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Students must be enrolled and attending classes in either ABE, WEST or ESL programs
  • University level credit courses are not eligible for AUG funding

Additional Information:

  • Apply for the grant each semester
  • It is recommended that you apply before classes start but the deadline to apply is before your fee due date
  • If you believe you are eligible and intend to apply for AUG, do not pay your fees or purchase your textbooks. Refunds cannot be issued
  • You must notify Financial Aid & Awards if you add or drop any ABE courses. Funding for courses added after AUG approval is not automatic
  • For more information see Financial Aid & Awards or Academic & Career Preparation

Effective March 16, 2020 and until further notice, paper applications will not be accepted. To submit an application:

  1. Open the  Adult Upgrading Grant application.
  2. Save the file to your computer.
  3. Right-click on the saved file.
  4. Select Open With and then choose Adobe Acrobat Reader. If it is not already on your computer you can install Adobe Acrobat Reader for free.
  5. Complete all questions and save.
  6. Review application instructions on page 1 and 2 for any required documentation to be submitted with application, including proof of income.
  7. Confirm your photo ID is in your student record in order for your application to be processed. For more information see VIU ID Card.
  8. Email your completed application package to FinancialAidInfo@viu.ca before the start of classes.

Student Loan Repayment Tips and Information

Repayment is the process of returning the money you have borrowed, which includes the principal amount of the loan plus interest and begins when you graduate or leave school for more than six months or are no longer a full-time student. 

After you leave school, you will have a six-month grace period before repayment begins. For more information on the repayment of your student loans and options on repayment assistance:

Student Loan Repayment Information

Manage your loans with your NSLC account

Visit Government of Canada Student Financial Assistance for more information.

  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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, Skills & Training at 1-800-561-1818, or visit StudentAid BC

Medical Leave and Parental Leave is for borrowers taking a break from studies for medical or mental health reasons, or after welcoming a child. During the leave, no interest is added to your loan, and you do not have to make payments.

The leave applies to federal student loans, and provincial student loans from New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia.

For borrowers from anywhere else in Canada, contact your province or territory for more information.

Other Government Programs and Funding Opportunities

  • Families in British Columbia are encouraged to start planning and saving early for their children’s post-secondary education or training programs
  • To help, the Government of BC will contribute $1,200 to eligible children through the BC Training and Education Savings Grant (BCTESG)

Visit itabc.ca to learn how to determine the right trade for you, find an Advisor in your region, take a challenge certification in your trade or discover trades in training in the K-12 system.

If you are a single parent receiving income or disability assistance, you may be eligible for training and support to secure a long-term job, for more information visit BC Single Parent Employment Initiative

Visit WorkBC to find new employment opportunities, explore career options, improve work skills and obtain job-hunting tips.