Awards and Financial Aid

The Awards and Financial Aid Office helps students to obtain the funds necessary to finance their UNBC education and to provide educational budgeting services. Funds may be obtained from a variety of sources, including: government and bank loans, private, corporate, and public scholarships and bursaries, and UNBC awards.

Teaching assistantships

Many graduate students receive all or part of their financial support through teaching assistantships. This support requires the graduate student to be involved in instruction and/or marking, and they are not guaranteed to any student. Minimum grade standards must be met, and the awards are made available, in part, in response to instructional needs within program areas. Students should contact specific programs for more information.

British Columbia Student Assistance Program (full-time students)

Students may borrow money in the form of a government student loan on a promise to repay the loan at a specified time in the future.

Government student loans are available to students who can demonstrate financial need. Therefore, funds are loaned only to students whose financial resources from parents, summer employment, part-time work, and other sources do not cover the estimated cost of their education.

Canada Student Loans, a federal program, and British Columbia Student Loans, a provincial program, both provide interest-free loans for full-time students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.


To be eligible for B.C. funding, students must be residents of British Columbia as defined by established governmental criteria. Assistance will be provided to eligible students who will be enrolled in a minimum of 60% or nine credit hours of a full program of studies each semester, or be enrolled as full-time graduate students.


Application for federal and provincial loans is made through a single application form, available from the Ministry of Advanced Education (1-800-561-1818) or from any college or university. Students may also apply online at StudentAid BC.

Students may apply for loans before they have been accepted at the educational institution of their choice. In order for funding to be in place at the onset of Fall classes, it is advisable for students to submit their loan application before June 30. Students who apply after that date may not receive their loans until well into the semester, and may not qualify for tuition deferments.

Students from other provinces

Students from other provinces are required to seek information from their respective provincial student assistance branches.

Government part-time loans and grants

Federal loans are also available for part-time students. These loans fund only direct educational expenses such as tuition, books, supplies, and childcare while the parent is at school.

Canada Study Grants for High-need, Part-time Students assist students who are unable to meet the eligibility requirements of the full-time loans program and whose income falls below a prescribed threshold. Students with dependants who receive a high-need, part-time grant may also qualify for additional assistance in the form of a Canada Study Grant for Students with Dependants.


Students must be Canadian citizens residing in a province that issues Canada Student Loans, and be taking between 20% and 59% (less than nine credit hours per semester) of a full course load, or be enrolled as part-time graduate students.


To be eligible for part-time federal or provincial grants, students must apply for a federal part-time loan, as grant eligibility is determined using the federal loan criteria. A single application form for the part-time Canada Loan and/or Canada Study Grants must be submitted to UNBC Awards and Financial Aid for consideration.

If applicable, grant monies will be awarded first, and any remaining unmet need will be met through a federal part-time loan document

Further information on part-time loans and grants is available from Awards and Financial Aid.

International students

Students who plan to attend UNBC on a Student Visa are advised to check with their own country’s government office with respect to any student financial aid that may be available to them for study abroad.

UNBC is listed as an eligible school under the Paras Foundation; an organization that provides financial assistance to international students. Information regarding eligibility may be obtained from the Paras Education Services website.

U.S. citizens who plan to attend UNBC may be eligible for financial assistance under the Federal Stafford Direct Loan program. Applications may be submitted on the Federal Student Aid website. U.S. students are advised to contact the UNBC Awards and Financial Aid office at least three weeks prior to the start of classes for further instructions on how to receive their student loan funding. Failure to do so may result in a delay of the receipt of such funds.

Assistance for students with permanent disabilities

As part of the Canada and Provincial Student Loans Program, assistance options are available for full-time or part-time students with permanent disabilities: Canada and Provincial Student Loan Assistance and Canada Study Grants.

Canada and provincial student loan assistance

Relaxed eligibility criteria for Canada Student Loan Assistance are designed to encourage full-time or part-time students with permanent disabilities to participate in post-secondary education. For example, a full-time student with a permanent disability may be eligible for full-time loan assistance if he or she is enrolled in a minimum 40% or six credit hours of a full program of study, if he or she is enrolled as a part-time graduate student. To be eligible for federal grants, students must first apply for loan funding to cover their direct educational costs.

Canada study grants for students with disabilities

Federal Canada Study Grants are designed to assist students with disabilities with exceptional education-related costs associated with certain permanent disabilities. The grants are to be used for the purchase of goods and services which will help the students to access post-secondary education. Technical aids, computer technology, restorative devices, and vehicle modification are examples of eligible goods and services; tuition and books will not be funded under this program.

Students must complete a separate application form if they wish to be considered for a Canada Study Grant. For more information on Canada Study Grants for Students with Disabilities, or for more information on how to apply for  a Canada Study Grant for Students with Disabilities, please contact the UNBC Access Resource Centre.

Additional information and application forms

Additional information and application forms for federal and provincial student assistance programs as described above are available from Awards and Financial Aid, or from any other post-secondary institution in BC, or by contacting the Ministry of Advanced Education toll-free at 1-800-561-1818. Information can also be obtained by accessing the Ministry's web site at  StudentAid BC.