Students attending post-secondary institutions in northern British Columbia have access to emergency assistance funding to help them cope with financial pressures caused by COVID-19.

“This emergency financial assistance provides an important safety net for students to ensure they have the funds to focus on continuing their education,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “We know that pursuing post-secondary education can be challenging and stressful at any time, and particularly during a pandemic. That’s why we are taking steps to make sure students facing unexpected circumstances can access financial help.”

Since March 2020, post-secondary institutions in northern B.C. have received a combined total of $1,283,500 to assist students, including Indigenous students, who are experiencing an unexpected financial emergency that may affect their ability to complete their studies and handle expenses, especially those related to COVID-19:

  • Coast Mountain College - $333,000
  • College of New Caledonia - $312,000
  • Northern Lights College - $197,000
  • University of Northern British Columbia - $441,500

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 returning to campuses for 2021-22. This emergency funding is part of $9 million invested since March 2020 to help B.C. post-secondary students.

Students who attend one of B.C.’s 25 public post-secondary institutions, as well as the Native Education College and students enrolled in post-secondary programs at Indigenous institutes, may apply to access these funds by contacting their school’s financial aid office or Indigenous student service centre.

Quotes:

Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast

“Pursuing a post-secondary education is already a challenge, but it’s particularly difficult during a global pandemic. This emergency funding will help make sure students have the necessary funds to continue their education.”

Nathan Cullen, MLA for Stikine

“Students going to college and university in B.C. have had a very challenging and stressful year due to the pandemic. This funding will help relieve some of the financial stress students and their families have been facing and help pay for some of those extra costs.”

A backgrounder follows.