The provincial government announced today it will replace the existing BC post-secondary education grant with a new and expanded program benefiting more students.
Beginning in September 2020, just in time for the new school year, the new BC Access Grant will create an upfront needs-based student grant program, replacing the existing completion grants and providing for students who need the financial assistance the most.
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It is estimated the new grant will benefit over 40,000 students attending public post-secondary institutions, with students eligible to receive up to $4,000 annually to help cover the cost of tuition.
Additionally, the new provincial grant program will be opened up to part-time students and students enrolled in programs of less than two years, such as individuals pursuing shorter-duration certificate and diploma programs. This marks the first time a provincial grant program will include students enrolled in programs shorter than the traditional degree programs.
“This will help people land good-paying jobs in high-demand fields like early childhood education, healthcare, and the skilled trades,” said BC finance minister Carole James in her speech. “This grant is about investing in our shared future. A future where BC’s workforce is flexible, innovative, and ready to thrive in a world shaped by advancing technology, global trade, and climate action.”
To support the BC Access Grant, the provincial government will increase funding by $24 million over three years, effectively increasing funding to a total of $41 million.
The provincial government is also planning to expand its post-secondary technology programming by increasing funding to reach $42 million annually by 2022/23, completing a six-year expansion that will create 2,900 new post-secondary spaces in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and 1,000 new annual STEM graduates by 2023.