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UNBC welcomes increased provincial aid for students amid COVID-19 pandemic

UNBC interim president Geoff Payne

UNBC is welcoming measures, announced today, to help students deal with issues arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During these extraordinary times our students are facing many challenges, financial and otherwise, as they adapt to the current reality,” said UNBC Interim President Dr. Geoff Payne, in a statement issued to local media. “This additional funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training will help students when they need it most.” 

Students attending British Columbia’s 25 public post-secondary institutions, who are experiencing emergency financial pressures, will benefit from a one-time investment of $3.5 million in emergency financial assistance.

“Our government is taking steps to ensure post-secondary students get some emergency support so they can focus on staying healthy, meet their educational goals and finish their semester,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “We heard from students who are facing extremely difficult situations, and we’re moving quickly to ensure they have access to immediate financial relief.”

The $3.5-million investment will supplement existing student emergency financial assistance. This funding will support domestic B.C. students who are experiencing an unexpected financial emergency that may affect their ability to finish their studies and handle expenses. This 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 not already able to study remotely.

Each year, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training invests $100,000 in public post-secondary institutions for student emergency assistance. This investment represents a significant boost to the existing supports to help students who may be experiencing financial hardships.

Students who attend one of B.C.’s 25 public post-secondary institutions can access these funds by contacting their school’s financial aid office, which will assist with the application process. Each post-secondary institution will determine the specific amount a student can receive based on their individual needs.


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