February 22, 2018
What are needs based grants?
The up-front cost of education creates a barrier for low-income students in being able to access a post-secondary education.
As opposed to scholarships that are given on the basis of academic and extracurricular merit, grants are sums of money provided to students on based solely on their financial needs.
Why do we need them?
British Columbia currently stands as the only province in Canada without a need-based grants program.
In 2004, the BC Government eliminated needs-based grants which left a significant gap in our provincial student aid program.
BMO’s annual student survey in 2013 found that B.C. students expect to owe an average of $35,000 when they graduate and have a collective debt of $28.3 billion according to a 2012 report from Statistics Canada. Students who have to obtain loans, start in the labor market with a limit on their purchasing power and their capacity to engage in the economy from day 1.
How you can help:
The Simon Fraser Student Society along with other BC student associations are encouraging the BC government to take the issue of access to education more seriously and create a comprehensive needs-based grants program.
Sign the petition below to demand the BC government to give access to education for all. This access can be provided through a comprehensive needs-based grants program.
WHEREAS the BC Government eliminated needs-based grants in 2004; and
WHEREAS every province in Canada except BC has a comprehensive needs-based grants program; and
WHEREAS public opinion polling conducted for the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC shows that 82% of British Columbians support more grants to low and middle income students; and
WHEREAS BMO’s annual student survey in 2013 found that B.C. students expect to owe an average of $35,000 when they graduate; and,
WHEREAS students have a collective debt of $28.3 billion according to a 2012 report from Statistics Canada;
THEREFORE We, the undersigned, call on the Government of British Columbia to immediately implement a comprehensive needs-based grants program for post-secondary students.