Students attending post-secondary institutions in the southern Lower Mainland 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 the south Lower Mainland have received a combined total of $1,012,000 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:

  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University - $323,500
  • Langara College - $376,000
  • University of the Fraser Valley - $312,500

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:

Henry Yao, MLA for Richmond South Centre –

“Post-secondary students in Richmond have experienced a lot of challenges over the last year, and I applaud their perseverance and dedication. With this continued funding, our government is making sure that unexpected financial emergencies won’t stop students from reaching their goals.”

Harry Bains, MLA for Surrey-Newton

“This pandemic has put students in an even more precarious situation to complete their studies and therefore I am proud of the much needed support that will be offered. This funding is critically important to offsetting the costs that could negatively impact a student’s success in their studies.”

Pam Alexis, MLA for Abbotsford-Mission

“It is so inspiring to see how students across the province adapted and persevered with their studies, despite the challenges the pandemic has brought. Students are our future, and it is so important that we help them succeed. I'm grateful to see our government investing in these emergency funds at the University of the Fraser Valley, and all public universities across B.C.”

Megan Dykeman, MLA for Langley East –

“Students have sacrificed a lot over the past year. They have pivoted to online learning and missed their hard-earned graduations all while navigating the stress of an unprecedented global pandemic. These emergency funds from our government will give students in the Fraser Valley and across the province a little bit more breathing room, providing some financial relief as they start new semesters.”

A backgrounder follows.