The B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training has announced a one-time $3.5 million emergency to assist post secondary students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This amount will be dispersed to domestic students based on their individual needs through existing financial aid offices at the 25 post-secondary institutions across Canada.

“Our government is taking steps to ensure post-secondary students get some emergency support so they can focus on staying healthy, meet their educational goals and finish their semester,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

“We heard from students who are facing extremely difficult situations, and we’re moving quickly to ensure they have access to immediate financial relief.”

The $3.5 million is non-repayable and can be used to assist students with a broad range of costs like living expenses, food, travel, portable computers and other supports for students who are not already able to study remotely.

This investment is a supplement to the annual $100,000 student emergency assistance funding provided by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

Students can access funds by contacting their respective financial aid offices which can then help them through the application process.

Each post-secondary institution will determine the specific amount a student can receive based on their individual needs.

No such funding has been announced for international and out-of-province students, however the ministry says it is “working directly with public post-secondary institutions to ensure emergency assistance is provided”.

The University of Victoria has established a COVID-19 Emergency Bursary available to domestic and international students to assist with emergency costs that emerged as a direct result of COVID-19.

This bursary can be accessed through the institution’s financial aid office.

Fin Aid offices

On Vancouver Island, student financial aid offices can be reached at:

  • Camosun College: financialaid@camosun.bc.ca
  • University of Victoria: finaid@uvic.ca
  • Royal Roads University: Webmail portal accessible here.
  • Vancouver Island University: financialaidInfo@viu.ca
  • Justice Institute of British Columbia: financialaid@jibc.ca
  • North Island College:
    • Comox Valley: doris.funk@nic.bc.ca
    • Campbell River: brooke.mcintosh@nic.bc.ca
    • Port Alberni: jana.devito@nic.bc.ca
    • Port Hardy: brooke.mcintosh@nic.bc.ca

See all the latest updates about the global COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver Island

According to the latest updates, there are 1,066 cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia, including 72 on Vancouver Island.

In good news, a total of 606 people have now recovered from the virus in B.C.

The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.

Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.

The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19  line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.

As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 983,635.

Over 50,300 people have died from the illness and 206,290 have made a full recovery.