BUDGET 2020: New BC student grant program of up to $4,000 annually

Feb 18 2020, 2:06 pm

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.

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.