The first thing you will need to do is check your school designation under StudentAid BC. To receive funding, your school must be deemed eligible. In addition, there is special information if you are attending two schools, if you attend a private institution, or if you are going to school outside of B.C.
Here are some important things to consider before beginning your studies at a private post-secondary school in B.C.
- Is your school approved?
Private post-secondary schools in British Columbia are regulated to ensure that standards of integrity and educational competence are met by private institutions offering post-secondary education in B.C.
- Career training schools
You can only receive StudentAid BC funding if the private post-secondary school holds a Designated Certificate from the Private Training Institutions Branch, Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training, and has been designated by StudentAid BC.
- Degree granting schools
Private schools that want to award degrees in B.C. must be approved through the Degree Quality Assessment Board. You can only receive StudentAid BC funding if the private degree-granting school is approved and has been designated by StudentAid BC.
- Signing an enrolment contract
Once you have been accepted by a B.C. private post-secondary school that holds a Designated Certificate, you must sign an enrolment contract. Enrolment at a school designated by StudentAid BC requires that you complete this contract.
The enrolment contract should contain the following information:
- Name and address of the school.
- Name of your course or study program.
- Start date, end date and duration of the course.
- Cost of the course.
- Date that the contract is entered into.
- Name, mailing address and signature of the student or guardian.
- Signature of the school official.
- A tuition payment schedule if you are paying by instalments.
- The school's tuition refund policy.
Attending more than one post-secondary school at the same time is called "split enrolment." In some cases, you can receive StudentAid BC funding for courses taken at the second school.
Before registering at your second school, check with the financial aid office at your "home" school about student assistance options. The home school is the one that will issue your credential at graduation time.
You may be eligible for funding if courses at the second school are:
- Offered with the same start and end date as those taken at the home school.
- An essential element of your study program.
- Counting for credit towards your certificate, diploma or degree at your home school.
- Either not offered by your home school or are full.
Your second school must be a designated school under StudentAid BC.
Split enrolments involving private vocational/trade schools are not permitted.
Students from a private in-province or out-of-province institution are not eligible for B.C. student loans unless one of the following three things is true:
- Your distance education program has an equivalent course with an equivalent study period offered on site (at the institution itself).
- You will earn the same number of academic credits in the same time period as students in other programs eligible for StudentAid BC funding, delivered on site at the same institution.
- You will earn undergraduate academic credits, in the same amount of time as the same course recognized at another designated institution listed in the B.C. Transfer Guide or other acceptable joint agreements from other jurisdictions.
My program is not already approved
If the program is not already approved for B.C. student loan funding, a confirmation of StudentAid BC distance education eligibility form will be mailed to you before your B.C. student loan application is processed.
This must be completed by the financial assistance officer at your school and returned to StudentAid BC for you to be considered for B.C. student loan funding.