BC college offering students free tuition for a year to fight low enrolment numbers

Jul 4 2018, 3:59 am

In an effort to battle declining enrolment numbers, a BC college is trying a new incentive to entice future students: Free tuition for a year.

Located in Merritt, the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) has announced it will offer all Grade 12 graduates from School District 58 an Immediate Entry Secondary School Transition Bursary, totalling  $2,525 of tuition for one year of study.

The bursary will be awarded to those learners who are admitted and registered into 1st year studies on or before July 31, 2018.

“Our local area has one of the lowest grade 12 graduate immediate entry to post-secondary transition rates in the Province – almost 17% lower than the provincial norm,” said NVIT President Ken Tourand. “We know cost and fears of failure and the unknown are often determining factors related to entering post-secondary studies.”

As such, Tourand said NVIT “saw an opportunity to reduce the barriers to access post-secondary, possibly increase the grade 12 graduate transition rates in our local district.”

He also noted there is evidence that suggests that those who attend a post-secondary institute or college within their local school district region have 17% higher retention rates than those that relocate to start their post-secondary journey.

“Ideally, over time, these post-secondary graduates will return to the Nicola-Similkameen and positively impact the quality of life for this region,” he added.

The bursary totals $2,525 maximum for the year. If a student does not use the whole amount because they only take a 60% course load, for example, remaining funds cannot be carried over to the following year.

To qualify for the “Immediate Entry Bursary,” potential students must meet the following list of requirements:

    • Must be a grade 12 graduate from SD 58 and a direct entry from high school;
    • Must apply, be accepted and registered at NVIT by July 31st;
    • Must take a minimum 60% course load each semester (2018 Fall and 2019 Spring)

Students should also note the bursary is for first-year college level and higher coursework only. It is non-transferable, non-deferrable, and is for tuition only.

“NVIT was founded in the Nicola Valley by our five local bands and NVIT is the post-secondary provider for School District 58,” says Tourand. “With the expansion of programs and the opening of our new building which includes a brand new gymnasium and fitness Centre, students will experience the NVIT difference while realizing significant savings.”

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