Students attending post-secondary institutions on northern Vancouver Island 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 on Northern Vancouver Island have received a combined total of $916,000 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:
- North Island College - $324,500
- Vancouver Island University - $591,500
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.
Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox –
“Students at North Island College have faced significant challenges over the past year. The emergency fund was created to support students when they need it, and I hope everyone can breathe a sigh of relief knowing it will be there for them this coming school year.”
Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo –
“The pandemic has been tough on students in our community. This funding will help lessen any unexpected financial burdens and help students focus on their studies.”
Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan –
“Student life can be stressful at the best of times, and the pandemic has created additional pressures. I’m glad people will have access to these funds, which will help students make ends meet so they can continue with the education they deserve.”
A backgrounder follows.