To support low- to middle-income post-secondary students when they need it most, Budget 2020 takes the next step in making life more affordable for B.C. students. Building on the elimination of interest on B.C. student loans, a new needs-based, up-front BC Access Grant will remove barriers to education and provide support for learners to complete their studies. In time for the 2020 fall semester, more than 40,000 eligible students at public colleges and universities throughout the province will receive immediate support with the up-front costs of their education. The BC Access Grant complements the Canada Student Grant for Full-time Students, ensuring B.C. students receive up to $4,000 a year to help with the cost of programs leading to a degree, diploma or certificate.
Program length BC Access Grant Canada Student Grant for Full-time Students Total
Under 2 years Up to $4,000 a year N/A Up to $4,000 a year
2 years and over Up to $1,000 a year Up to $3,000 a year Up to $4,000 a year
The grant design reflects best practices and research that needs-based, up-front grants not only improve access to education, but also encourage completion by making life more affordable for students as they begin post-secondary studies at the start of each school year. The new grant is created with a new $24 million investment over three years, and by re-designing existing grant programs based on input from B.C. student advocates. This is in addition to approximately $37 million government is reinvesting from grants to ensure students get the help they need when they need it most. This means that almost double the number of students will receive support. The BC Access Grant program continues important support for labour market priorities, modernizes student financial aid and is flexible to meet high-demand occupations, such as early childhood educators, health care assistants and trades workers. This is the first time that provincial grants will be available to part-time students and students in programs of less than two years in a much broader range of programs. The BC Access Grant program builds on the B.C. government's work to make life better and more affordable for people, including historic investments and policy changes in the post-secondary sector:

Opening doors to post-secondary education and training:

Supporting safe and state-of-the-art learning environments:

Investing in the jobs of today and tomorrow:

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