If you're living - or have lived - as a youth in care in BC, you could qualify for financial support to cover some of the costs of your education at Northern Lights College.
BC Provincial Tuition Waiver Program
The BC government created the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program to improve access to education for former youth in care. This program covers all tuition and mandatory fees you would ordinarily be charged to attend your program.
If you are between 19 to 26 years of age (inclusive) and were in care for a combined total of two years or more, you may qualify. View the eligibility requirements on the BC Ministry of Education website to see if you qualify for the waiver.
If you qualify:
- Apply for admission to Northern Lights College.
- Download and complete the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program Application Form. This form allows us to validate your eligibility for funding with the Ministry of Children & Family Development (MCFD).
- Submit your Tuition Waiver Application Form to Financial Aid and Awards at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We will let you know when you've been approved - usually within just a few days.
What costs are covered by the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program?
The program covers all tuition and mandatory fees you would ordinarily be charged by NLC.
This includes the application fee. You can request an application fee waiver before you apply by contacting the Registrar at email@example.com. If you've already paid the application fee, it will be refunded automatically when your eligibility has been confirmed by MCFD.
This also includes the admission deposit and registration deposits. Financial Aid Officers will add deposit waiver(s) to your account so that you do not need to make payments for these deposits.
If you're approved for funding
When you register at NLC, tuition charges will be applied to your account. However, if you are approved for funding the tuition charges will not be collected (because of the waiver).
Once you're approved for funding, you don't need to apply again while attending NLC.
Already paid your fees? You can still apply
If you've already paid your fees and submit your Provincial Tuition Waiver Program Application Form before your last class or exam for the semester, your tuition fees will be refunded if you're approved for funding.
What courses or programs does the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program cover?
You can use this funding to take credit and non-credit courses that lead to a certificate, diploma, credential, or undergraduate degree.
You can be taking classes part time or full time, as long as you stay enrolled past the drop date for the semester.
You can also use this funding to pay for courses that you take during unclassified qualifying years and for Continuing Education courses that relate to the labour market.
If I'm under 19 or over 26, can I still access this funding?
The Provincial Tuition Waiver Program is available to students between 19 and 26 years old.
But if you're under 19, you should talk to your social worker or any Ministry of Children and Family Development office or delegated agency to review your funding options. You may also submit a request to the System Navigator (firstname.lastname@example.org) for consideration. The System Navigator is a liaison connecting government, institutions, and students around these tuition waivers.
And if you're between 26 and 27, you can ask the government to consider an exception. Students 27 or older at the time of signing the consent form are not eligible for the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program. Talk to a Financial Aid Officer for assistance.
Other resources for former youth in care
Financial Aid & Awards
Our financial aid officers can help you review your specific circumstances to determine the options available.
Contact us to discuss.
Youth Futures Education Fund (YFEF)
This program supports students who are receiving funding under the BC Provincial Tuition Waiver program and helps with living expenses, textbooks, school supplies, child care and other expenses. Learn more about eligibility criteria on the StudentAid BC site, and contact a financial aid officer for information on how to access this fund.
The Youth Futures Education Fund was collaboratively established by: Coast Capital Savings, The Province of British Columbia, and the Office of the Representative for Children and Youth. The Youth Futures Education Fund is guided by an Advisory Committee, held at the Vancouver Foundation and is administered by United Way of the Lower Mainland.
Youth Education Assistance Fund (YEAF)
This program provides grants of up to $5,500 per program year to former BC youth in care students between 19 and 24 years of age.
Visit the Youth Education Assistance Fund page on the StudentAid BC website for details.
Agreements with Young Adults (AYA)
This program helps cover the costs of expenses such as housing, child care, tuition and health care while you go back to school, or attend a rehabilitation, vocational or approved life skills program.
Learn more on the Agreements with Young Adults page on the Aged Out website.
Aged Out - a website just for you
This website was created by and for youth in and from government care in BC. You'll find tools and information on education, health and wellness, housing, finances, personal life and more.
Aged Out - empowering youth in and from government care in BC
The Storwell Foster Children Bursary Program
Storwell offers an annual $2,000 bursary to help foster children attend post-secondary schools and to offer a hand up as they make their way forward in life.
Eligibility requirements and access to the application form can be found at: https://www.storwell.com/bursary-application