VICTORIA, BC — Capilano students are celebrating today’s announcement of the new BC Access Grant — an up-front, needs-based grants program to support low- to middle-income post-secondary learners. This new grant program removes some of the financial barriers to education, providing students who need it most with financial assistance to access the education needed to start a new career and support a family. 

“It’s rewarding to see that students can have a direct impact on government decisions addressing affordable access to education” said Joey Sidhu, vice-president finance & services at the Capilano Students’ Union. “Capilano students have been advocating for needs-based grants in partnership with our lobbying partners the Alliance of BC Students, for seven years, so as we celebrate today we recognize all the work done by past student leaders that made today’s announcement possible.”

This $24 million investment over three years builds on last year’s elimination of student loan interest to make life more affordable for students in BC. Beginning this upcoming fall semester, students can expect to receive up to $4,000 per year, including those in programs under two years. 

“We’re excited about the introduction of non-repayable, needs-based grants because we know that these can help to reduce so many of the financial barriers that a lot of students experience when trying to start their education” explains Emily Bridge,  Capilano Students’ Union president. 

The province’s old needs-based grants program was cut in 2004, leaving BC as the only province in Canada to not offer a non-repayable grant program. This announcement today not only brings the province in line with the rest of the country, but also ensures students have the financial opportunities available to access the education needed for their career, and reduces the debt for new-graduates navigating BC’s affordability crisis.