Happy 2022! Reimagining accessibility; learning, serving and collaborating with you. “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”—Albert Einstein

M6: Student Loans, Grants & Scholarships

Here are some important points you need to know when planning for a student loan.

  • You don’t have to get a student loan.
  • Not everyone is eligible.
  • If you do apply, make sure you fill out the “I have a disability” check box.

Students could be eligible on a case by case basis and students need to demonstrate $1 of need for financial assistance.

  • A determining factor can be whether you receive assistance from your family or not.
  • Applying for a student loan, and getting approved can open doors in terms of equipment funding as well as grants and bursaries. This could affect your parents’ income if you do claim that they assist you (check with Student Aid Canada and BC).
  • You can appeal a student loan decision. In order to do this and have a better chance of getting approval, you need to present new information. Submitting a letter (either by the student or Audiologist) outlining some Audiological needs that might not have been accounted for could provide that need. For example, hearing aid batteries could cost $120.00, depending on the size of the batteries, for the duration of a four year degree. Custom ear molds can cost $340.00 (this is based on 2 sets over a four year program). This adds up to $460.00. There are other costs, depending on the student’s needs. The total should exceed the ”excess funds” outlined by Student Aid BC.

Once you have decided to apply for a student loan, you will need to go to the following sites:

Canada Loans https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/education/student-aid/grants-loans.html

Student Aid BC https://studentaidbc.ca/

Register for a Student Loan BC Account

  • Note you do need your SIN#.
  • In order to create an account, note your new username and password. (your new binder is a great place)
  • Tips: When speaking to anyone about applications, take down the information.
  • You may need a BC Services Card and to take it to get activated at a Student Loan BC designated location.
  • On the original Student Loan Application, check off “I have a permanent disability” in order to allow you access to grants and bursaries.

The chart below highlights some information to get you started.

Loans and Grants

Loans Only

  • Based on assessed financial need of at least $1
  • Money taken will need to be returned by end of the studies
  • Interest accumulated over time

Applies to both

  • Funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education
  • Renewable each program year (submit an application each year)
  • Money awarded should be used for educational purposes, including paying for living costs

Grants Only

  • Based on eligibility for student loan (no student loan = no grant)
  • Money given will not need to be returned
  • No interests involved
  • Some grants will require verification, such as proof of low-income and permanent disability

TIP: When considering your eligibility for a student loan, the gap between your assets and expenses determines the amount of student loan you can apply for. The larger the gap, the more student loan you may be eligible for.

When you apply for funding through StudentAid BC, you are automatically considered for loans, grants and bursaries. To help calculate your costs, you will find a helpful budget worksheet on the StudentAid BC website, along with other valuable financial assistance information. https://studentaidbc.ca/apply/eligibility#financial

Grants

The grants listed below specifically require the following document:

  • Verification of permanent disability (Appendix 8 Form) – completed by yourself, your Accessibility Advisor and your audiologist, who will also provide a copy of your audiogram.

Once this document is submitted along with your student loan application and your status is approved, you are automatically eligible for all the applicable grants (those that are checked on the form). There is no need to apply for each individual one.

Available Grants

Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities

Amount: $2,000.00 per program year

Distribution method: direct deposit to your bank account

Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities (see Note 1)

Amount: up to $20,000 per program year specifically for services and equipment (e.g., note-takers, tutors, interpreters, technical aids such as FM system equipment)

Distribution method: cheque sent directly to your institution, Accessibility Advisor will for your signature to transfer the amount to the institution so they can pay AT-BC for equipment or transcribing/ captioning/interpreting services

BC Access Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities

Amount: replaces the student loan amount up to $1000.00 per program year

(e.g., if you receive $1000 worth of student loan, the loan is replaced with this grant)

Distribution method: direct deposit to your bank account

BC Supplemental Bursary for Students with a Permanent Disability

Amount: $400 (part-time) or $800 (full-time) per program year

Distribution method: direct deposit to your bank account

Grants with special criteria

BC Access Grant for Deaf Students

Criteria: Assists Deaf and hard of hearing students with additional costs incurred while attending specialized post-secondary institutions where curriculum is delivered in ASL (e.g., Gallaudet and National Technical Institute for the Deaf)

Assistance Program for Students with Permanent Disabilities

Criteria:

“Depending on your need, grants of up to $10,000 ($12,000 if an attendant is required at school) are available for students attending public and private post-secondary institutions in B.C.”

Note: This grant can only be used once all the funds from the Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities have been used up.

You can explore other grants on the StudentAidBC website.

Scholarships

Lastly, there are scholarships you can pursue to build up your assets for the duration of your education. The list below is by no means exhaustive.