Student loans provide you money to help cover the costs of post-secondary education. You have to pay them back once you've finished studying. In BC, student loans are run by StudentAid BC.
Surprise! You might even qualify for a grant! When you apply for a student loan, you are automatically assessed and will receive the grant with your student loan if you are eligible.
Do I qualify for a student loan?
Actually, it's not you that qualifies, it's the school you want to go to. If you want to attend any major college, institute, or university in BC, you should be fine. If you're unsure whether your school you're attending qualifies, check StudentAid BC's list of eligible schools.
How do I apply for a student loan?
- Create a StudentAid BC account.
- Start your online application. You can save and come back to it later. It's pretty long.
Here's what you'll need to finish the application:
Social Insurance Number (SIN)
Student ID number
School and program name
School start and end dates
Sources of income
Childcare costs (if you have kids)
Any funding you've received from scholarships, grants, bursaries, or tuition waivers
Vehicle information (if you have one)
If you were in care until your 19th birthday or are currently in care, answer Yes to Question 29: Youth in Continuing Care of the B.C. Director. A window will pop up to tell you how to apply for the Youth Education Assistance Fund. The fund gives you money for school that you won't have to pay back.
- Submit your application when it's finished. (Yay! That's a feat in itself.)
- Print off in your application and the two consent forms. The consent forms are StudentAid BC Declaration and Canada Revenue Agency release form. You will not receive your loan until these forms are signed.
- Sign and mail your consent forms to:
PO Box 9173 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC V8W 9H7
- Check your application status by calling 1-800-561-1818 or logging in to your StudentAid BC account.
Who can help me with the application?
If you need help with your student loan application you can call StudentAid BC toll-free at 1-800-561-1818. Staff are available Monday to Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm Pacific time.
The Province of BC has announced the new B.C Access Grant.
Students who apply for a student loan as of September 2020 will automatically be assessed for the B.C Access Grant.
Click here to learn more.
When do I have to pay the money back?
You have to start repaying the loan seven months after you finish school. Finished school means:
- You completed your program.
- You transferred to part-time studies.
- You're taking time off from school.
- You decided not to finish the program.
StudentAid BC will contact you to create a payment plan when you finish school. If you don't think you can make your payments, apply for the Repayment Assistance Plan. If you don't respond, they'll automatically withdraw payments from your bank account when those seven months are up.
If you can't afford your loan payments, you can apply for repayment assistance through the NSLSC.