Financial Aid Directory

Government Funding Programs in British Columbia

Employability Assistance for People with Disabilities

In British Columbia, as elsewhere in Canada, the EAPD Program has been in operation for over a year. During the first year very few changes in program funding were reported. At this time, changes in implementation of the program are taking place but new guidelines, including a decision on eligibility of post-secondary education are not expected until the autumn of 2000.

Presently, the resources available through the EAPD program are used to support the activities of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS), among other things. VRS is a unit in the Province's Ministry of Social Development and Economic Security. When this information was collected officials reported that EAPD, through the VRS Program, could be used to pay for costs associated with post-secondary education, including tuition, books and adaptive technology. It was further reported that eligibility is determined by a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and must be part of a vocational plan that will result in the acquisition of entry-level employment skills. Waiting lists of varying lengths across the province were also reported. Those interested in the program should expect a delay of at least one-month before an initial meeting with a VRS counselor.

For more information students can either contact the Financial Aid Office at their school, or speak with the disability services coordinator.

Assistance Program for Students with Disabilities

This program offers a grant of up to $12,000 a year to assist with exceptional education- related costs of having a disability. These costs may include equipment and services needed to access post-secondary education, such as note takers, tutors, readers, attendant care, specialized transportation and / or technical aids. It is also important to note that there are no course load minimum restrictions with this program. You do not need to be eligible for assistance under the BC student assistance program to qualify for this support.

Applications are available from the Adult Special Education Coordinator or the Financial Award Office at all public post-secondary institutions in British Columbia.

Assistive Technology BC - AT BC

The Adult Services program is a government initiative to provide special technology services to support post-secondary students or employees who have a disability. The aim is to reduce barriers in reaching educational and vocational goals. In British Columbia, post-secondary students and employees with disabilities who use adaptive technology may acquire their equipment through the Adult Services Program (ASP). The Program houses a loan bank of adaptive technology which eligible students and employees can access through referring agents (disability service coordinators, or vocational rehabilitation consultants with Vocational Rehabilitation Services). Support services for adaptive equipment include consultation, and training. For more information contact:

Assistive Technology BC - AT BC
#112 - 1750 West 75th Ave.
Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2
Web Site:

Student Loans Program

The British Columbia Student Assistance Program (BCSAP) is a needs based program. It is designed to provide additional financial assistance to eligible students enrolled in at least 60 percent of a full post-secondary level course load (40 percent for students with permanent disabilities), for credit, for a minimum of 12 weeks. Students must attend a designated post-secondary school, and their studies must lead towards a certificate, diploma or degree.

BCSAP is intended to supplement, not replace funds available to students through work, savings/assets and family resources/income. The Program is needs based, considering income and resources against basic educational costs and a moderate standard of living.

There is a limit to the amount of funding available to students, based on the number of weeks of study. In addition, both the federal and provincial programs have lifetime maximums.

Students in high cost programs may need to seek other sources of funding to assist with direct educational costs.

Canada Student Loans

Canada Student Loans are provided to eligible students through a standard application process. The amount of assistance you may receive is determined through a standard needs assessment. Policies for eligibility and needs assessment processes are set by the federal government, under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act and related regulations and policies. The province of BC adheres to these policies in the assessment of all student loan applications received.

The Canada Student Financial Assistance Act and BC Student Assistance Program policy require that students "attain a satisfactory scholastic standing" to be eligible for continued assistance.

The federal government pays the bank or credit union the interest due while the student is enrolled in full-time study at a designated post-secondary school. These loans must be repaid.

British Columbia Student Loans

British Columbia Student Loans are provided to eligible students through a standard application process. The amount of assistance you may receive is determined through a needs assessment. The province of BC follows similar policies and regulations as those set by the federal government. To be considered eligible for provincial assistance you must first be eligible for a Canada Student Loan.

The provincial government pays the bank or credit union the interest due on the loan, while the student is enrolled in full-time study at a designated post-secondary school and for six months following the student's study end date. These loans must be repaid.

Students are responsible for making repayment arrangements (principal and interest) with the bank or credit union beginning six months after leaving classes.

British Columbia Grant

The BC Grant was introduced in 1987 as one of a number of recommendations from a review of student financial assistance in British Columbia. The grant funding is available to eligible high need students enrolled in their first 136 weeks of full-time post-secondary study. High need students are those whose assessed need is in excess of $105 per week of study.

Students attending private training schools are not eligible for the BC Grant. To be considered eligible for a grant you must first be eligible for a Canada Student Loan.

Previously, British Columbia Grants were available only to high-need students in their first 68 weeks of study. Now all students are eligible for three granting programs. Eligibility will be automatically calculated for each type of grant. The amount of the grant indicated on this Notice of Assessment may consist of any combination of:

  • British Columbia Grants.
  • Canada Study Grants.
  • Canada Millennium Foundation Scholarship Grants.

For more information contact:

British Columbia Student Services Branch
Tel.: 250-387-6100 (Victoria area)
Tel.: 604-660-2610 (Lower Mainland)
Toll-free: 1-800-561-1818 (anywhere else in Canada/US)
TTY: 250-952-6832