BC Government Student Loans and Grants

Contact Financial Aid and 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

Helpful Student Loan Tips

StudentAid BC applications

  • Applications for the 2021/22 year are now available
  • Applications for the 2022/23 year will be available June 2023

Canada Student Financial Assistance Program

  • Canada Student Grant funding amounts remain doubled until July 31 2023
  • Effective April 1, 2023, the Government of Canada has permanently eliminated interest for Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Program
  • The Government of Canada outlines various enhancements to financial assistance for the school year starting August, 1, 2023. It proposes to:
    • increase Canada Student Grants by 40%, to provide up to $4200 for full-time students
    • raise the interest-free Canada Student Loan limit from $210 to $300 per week of study
    • waive the requirement for mature students, aged 22 years or older, to undergo credit screening in order to qualify for federal student grants and loans for the first time. 

Benefits of the Canada Student Loans Program – Launch of New features!

 Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP) Details and Status updates:

Authenticated Live Chat

  • Clients who are logged into their secure online account can initiate an online chat with an NSLSC agent who can guide them to self-service options to address their loan(s)/account-related questions, including newly-launched digital features.
  • Live Chat can be accessed through the self-serve Instant Answers feature, available on the NSLSC.ca website, and on the ‘Contact Us’ webpage.
  • Live Chat will be available Monday-Friday, between 8am – 8pm

Clients on RAP can see the current status of their RAP period, including:

  • RAP start and end date
  • Approved affordable payment amount
  • Number of payments made

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

You must be a BC resident to qualify for a BC student loan and/or grant. You are considered to be a B.C. resident when you have resided in BC for 12 continuous months (not including full-time post secondary study). International students are not eligible, unless you have dual citizenship and meet the residency requirements as set by StudentAid BC. You can apply for a student loan through the province in which you are a resident. To apply for BC student loan funding, you must meet the following:

  • Full-time status - enrolled in minimum of 60% of a full course load
  • 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 BC 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 BC 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 and Awards office for current information.

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:

Learn more about Government of Canada Student Financial Assistance

  • 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)
  • Effective April 2021, the Government of Canada has suspended the accumulation of interest on Canada Student Loans until March 31, 2022. Subject to Federal Parliament approval, the Government of Canada has proposed to extend this measure until March 31, 2023.
  • 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 and 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

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.

The StrongerBC future skills grant (FSG) is open to British Columbians aged 19 years or older – regardless of financial need – and covers up to $3,500 per person for eligible short-term skills training at public post-secondary institutions. The grant helps learners access eligible short-term skills training to further their careers, upgrade their skills, and enhance their productivity. For more information and application, please visit StrongerBC future skills grant.

  • 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)

The Canada Learning Bond is $500 offered to help you start saving for your child's education after high school. Plus, your child could get an additional $100 every year until he or she turns 15 years old to a maximum of $2,000. 

Visit ITA BC 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.