BC government announces $3.5 million emergency fund for post-secondary students

Apr 2 2020, 10:31 am

Post-secondary students in BC who are experiencing emergency financial pressures will benefit from a one-time investment of $3.5 million in emergency financial assistance, the provincial government announced on Thursday.

“Our government is taking steps to ensure post-secondary students get some emergency support so they can focus on staying healthy, meet their educational goals, and finish their semester,” said Melanie Mark, BC’s minister of advanced education.

The government said this investment will supplement existing student emergency financial assistance and support domestic students who are “experiencing an unexpected financial emergency that may affect their ability to finish their studies and handle expenses.”

The non-repayable emergency assistance can be used to help with a broad range of costs, including living expenses, food, travel, portable computers, and other supports for students who are not already able to study remotely.

“We heard from students who are facing extremely difficult situations, and we’re moving quickly to ensure they have access to immediate financial relief,” said Mark.

In making this announcement, the government noted that international and out-of-province students are also facing “unique challenges” during this time. As such, the ministry said it is working directly with public post-secondary institutions to ensure emergency assistance is provided.

Each year, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, invests $100,000 in public post-secondary institutions for student emergency assistance.

This latest investment, the ministry said, represents a “significant boost” to the existing supports to help students who may be experiencing financial hardships.