Financial Support to Get KPU Students Through COVID-19

These government and institutional services can help students during hard times

(Kristen Frier)

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people, including students, out of a job as industries shut down or move online. Over the next few months, people enrolled in classes at KPU could struggle to afford food, rent, and whatever else is needed in order to continue taking online classes.

Fortunately, there are resources for students in need of financial assistance.

The B.C. government has announced a $3.5 million investment in emergency funding for public post-secondary students. The funds will be administered through financial aid offices at B.C.’s 25 public post-secondary institutions. This includes KPU.

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

KPU gave up to $250 to students in need who had enrolled in at least one class for the Spring 2020 semester. The funding became available on May 30 and has since been exhausted.

The KPU Student Awards and Financial Assistance website lists a slew of other resources as well.

Bursaries can help KPU students struggling to pay the bills. The amount approved is determined by the student’s financial need, the number of eligible applicants, their programs of study, and other factors.

In order to apply, students must be enrolled in a minimum of nine undergraduate credits at the 1100 level or higher and must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.

Unfortunately, international students are not eligible for bursaries.

SAFA also provides Indigenous financial assistance. This is emergency assistance for Indigenous students who are enrolled in a full-time or part-time program, in good academic standing, and who have demonstrated financial need. The maximum amount given is $700 per academic year.

The City of Vancouver’s Vancouver Rent Bank helps individuals who don’t have enough funds to pay rent and are at risk of eviction. They provide one-time interest-free loans to low-income people in temporary financial crises as well as advocacy and referral services.

The federal government is also helping out with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. The CERB provides $500 per week for up to 16 weeks to individuals who have stopped working because of COVID-19.

In order to qualify, applicants must reside in Canada, be at least 15 years old, and have lost — not voluntarily quit — their job. Applicants need to prove that they have made at least $5,000 in the 12 months prior to the date of their application, and that they have been unemployed for at least 14 consecutive days.

Students have had issues with eligibility for the CERB, but the federal government has claimed that work is being done to change that.

In addition, all student loan borrowers will automatically have their loan repayments and interest suspended until September 30, 2020, as announced by the government.