Young people leaving foster care now will have access to free tuition at all 25 of British Columbia’s public post-secondary institutions, Premier John Horgan announced today.
This program – previously only available at 11 public post-secondary institutions – provides tuition waivers to former kids in care, who are less likely to have access to post-secondary education or training than young people who grew up with family supports.
Students accessing the program must be: from British Columbia, aged between 19 to 26 years, and have been in care for a minimum of 24 months.
“Education can mean the difference between a life in poverty or a life of prosperity. It’s an important equalizer because when we lift people up, all our communities benefit,” said Melanie Mark, Advanced Education, Skills and Training Minister. “Giving former youth in care the opportunity to access post-secondary education and skills training along with the tools needed to complete their studies will empower them to thrive.”
The expanded tuition waiver program is the first of a number of improved supports government is developing for young people who have aged out of care.
Any eligible student who already has paid fees for September enrolment will be refunded.
A more comprehensive program, with wrap around supports, is being developed in partnership with the Ministry of Children and Family Development, as part of the 2018-19 budget process.