Financial resources

Learn about the costs of post-secondary and options for financial aid.

Types of expenses

On top of tuition, there are additional costs to studying. It's important to understand all of the fees associated with your studies to ensure that you are prepared ahead of time. There are three types of fees that you can expect to pay: tuition fees, student fees, and additional fees. 


The tuition will tell you approximately how much your program is going to cost you but it’s important to know that this does not include all your fees. You can find tuition estimates for programs in the Search section on a program page. Costs can vary greatly due to the institution, program choice and the courses that you take.

Student fees 

All institutions have student fees that are used to support student services, athletics/recreation, transit (U-Pass BC), and health and medical insurance. 

Additional fees 

Additional fees are based on your chosen program and course selection and may include books, art supplies, lab, co-op, field trip fees, work equipment and tools. Refer to the institution’s website and the program pages for a detailed breakdown of all costs associated with your studies. You can also use StudentAid BC's Education Budget Worksheet to start planning how much money you will need for your post-secondary education.

Living expenses

It’s important to consider your living options. Are you wanting to stay close to home and if so, will you be living there? If you decide you want to move away from home, you'll need to consider accommodations. Will you live in on-campus housing, or will you rent an apartment or house? Don’t forget to include expenses like electricity, phone, internet, as well as food, transportation, and entertainment. Take the time to understand your expenses and make a realistic budget as part of your planning.

Types of financial supports

It’s important to do your research. There are many funding options that are available to help you pay for your post-secondary studies. 


A scholarship is a type of financial aid awarded to students to help pay for their education. Scholarships are typically based on academic merit, financial need, or a combination of both, and are usually provided by schools, organizations, or private individuals. Scholarships do not need to be repaid. View a list of some scholarships available through government organizations below.


A bursary is a type of financial aid awarded to students to help pay for their education. Bursaries are typically based on financial need, and are often provided by schools, government agencies, or private organizations. Like scholarships, bursaries do not need to be repaid.


A grant is non-repayable financial assistance – money that you will not have to pay back. Like scholarships, grants have specific qualifications and each one is a bit different. Make sure you read the requirements to see if you are eligible. Grants are available for full- and part-time students, students with disabilities, low- and middle-income students, adult upgrading, and more. 

Discover over 400 programs that are now eligible for the StrongerBC future skills grant.

Full-time student funding 

If you are a full-time student, enrolled in at least 60% of a full-time course load, you are eligible to apply for a student loan. B.C. offers Canada-B.C. integrated student loans, meaning there are two lenders, the governments of Canada and B.C. and the interest is paid by both governments while you are attending school full-time. Repayment of the student loan will begin six months after your studies end.

Part-time student funding 

If you are studying part-time, you may be eligible for the federal part-time student loan program. It’s important to note that the assessment for part-time students is different than for full-time students and does not cover living costs. It allows for: tuition, books, supplies, transportation and childcare up to the funding maximums.

Provincial tuition waiver program

If you’re a current or former youth in care studying full- or part-time at the undergraduate level, you may be eligible for having the tuition and mandatory fees charged by your institution could be waived so that you do not have to pay. 

Find more information here.

StudentAid BC 

You can view a full list of available grants, scholarships, and other non-repayable financial supports on StudentAid BC’s website or on your institution’s financial aid website.


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