Government student loans and grants

Contact Financial Aid and Awards if:

  • You are getting student loans, grants or sponsorships. You want to make course changes.
  • You are getting student loans and you do not have a prerequisite. This may put you at risk of de-registration when it may be too late to register for something else. This will impact your funding.
  • You are taking a course elsewhere to meet a VIU prerequisite. You are getting student loan funding.

Helpful student loan tips

  • All users (students, parents, and partners) should use the BC Services Card app to log in to StudentAid BC.
  • Soon, StudentAid BC will stop permitting users to log in using the old user ID and password, and you may not be able to access your StudentAid BC account or our online application.
  • To avoid potential delays in accessing your account and submitting your application, we recommend that you set up the BC Services Card app as soon as possible.

Full-time and Part-time StudentAid BC loans and grants

You must be a BC resident to qualify for a BC student loan. You are a BC resident if you have lived in BC for 12 continuous months or more, not including full-time post secondary study. Check Student Aid BC for exact eligibility criteria.

If you are not a BC resident, you can apply for a student loan through your home province or territory.

International students are not eligible for BC student loans, unless you have dual citizenship and meet the residency requirements as set by StudentAid BC

To apply for BC student loan funding, you must meet the following:

  • Full-time status - enrolled in minimum of 9 credits of a full-time course load 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. Apply 8 weeks before your tuition is due.
  • You 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 Centre 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 first day of class. Plan accordingly.
  • Fall semester starts: early July
  • Spring semester starts: early November
  • Summer semester starts: early March

We recommend you apply early, at least 6 to 8 weeks before your tuition is due and classes begin.

Current grant information

See StudentAidBC grants, scholarships and other funding opportunities for the most current information. 

BC Access Grant

A needs-based, up-front BC Access Grant is available to low- and middle-income students enrolled in full- and part-time studies at BC public post-secondary institutions. 

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 BC public post-secondary institutions. You will be automatically assessed for these grants when you apply for a student loan.


Policies and procedures for StudentAid BC may change from year to year. Please contact the Financial Aid and Awards office for current information or visit StudentAidBC

Yes. Attending more than one post-secondary institution at the same time is called a "split enrollment"

Your "home" school is the one where you will take most of your courses. Apply for your student loan through your home school. Your home school will issue your credential, and must approve the courses you take at the other school.

Yes, it may. Repeat or duplicate courses don't count towards the course load required for funding. You could submit an appeal to StudentAidBC but the process takes time, and you may be denied.

Here is the link for BC students: Ask for an Appeal | StudentAid BC.

For other provinces and territories, see Student grants and loans – Apply with your province -

You will receive your funds 10 to 15 days after the first day of class. Plan ahead.

You funds will deposited to the bank account that you indicated on your student loan application.

Student Loan repayment tips and information

Repayment is the process of returning the money you have borrowed. Repayment 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:

Learn more about Government of Canada Student Financial Assistance

You might qualify for these debt reduction and loan forgiveness programs.

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.

It is possible. For information and help, see StudentAid BC loan rehabilitation.

For students from other provinces or territories, see NSLS Stages of a loan, In collections section

Other government programs and funding opportunities

The Adult Upgrading Grant (AUG) is funding from the provincial government that you do not pay back. It is for students enrolled in Adult Basic Education, Workplace Essential Skills Training or English as a Second Language. For more information, go to Adult Upgrading Grant funding.

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

BC offers a tuition waiver to youth who have aged out of care. See youth aged out of care

The Canada Learning Bond is $500. It's offered to help build savings for a child's education after high school. The bond provides $100 every year until age 15. The total bond amount is $2000.

You may be eligible for training and support. The money is for single parents getting income or disability assistance. The goal is to help you get a long-term job. For more information visit BC Single Parent Employment Initiative.

Visit Skilled Trades BC to learn how to determine the right trade for you. You can find an Advisor in your region to talk to. You can find out about a challenge certification in your trade. You can discover trades training in the K-12 system.

The StrongerBC future skills grant (FSG) is open to British Columbians aged 19 years or older.

  • It is open to all, regardless of financial need.
  • It covers up to $3,500 per person for eligible short-term skills training at public post-secondary schools.

The training is for things that will further your careers, upgrade your skills and enhance your productivity.

For more information, please visit StrongerBC future skills grant.

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

Yes! Many of Canada's banks and credit unions offer student loans and lines of credit. A co-signer is often required.

Check out paying for university including these possibilities: