Tuition fees for Government Assisted kids eliminated
October 7th, 2017
The British Columbia NDP is doing away with tuition fees for former Youth in Care
B.C. Premier John Horgan announced in Nanaimo at Vancouver Island University on Friday that British Columbia has waived tuition fees at all post-secondary schools for former youth in care. The removal of tuition fees has been issued as a way to allow those potential students that aren’t privileged to financial assistance from parents or guardians the right to an education.
“The post-secondary education system in British Columbia can be a tool for success, so long as it is financially and geographically accessible,” says Simka Marshall, Chairperson of the BC Federation of Students, “today’s decision to waive tuition fees for youth from the care system opens doors to opportunities that were previously closed for some of BC’s more vulnerable and marginalized young people.”
By bringing down barriers to opportunity, and making advanced education more accessible, we can clear the path to success for these young people,” – Premier John Horgan
The opportunity for former youth in care children to access the waiver was previously established at 11 post-secondary schools in British Columbia but has now reached all of the 25 institutions. The waiver applies to all who have spent a collective minimum of at least two years in foster care, and are aged between 19 and 26.
The decision to offer former youth in care the opportunity to advanced education was influenced by several issues. Approximately 80% of future jobs in the province will require some form of post-secondary degree, and without the family financial support that is common to many university students, they are often unable to meet the growing expense of education.
Additionally, these aged-out youth, that are too old to benefit from government care, are not afforded essential needs such as food and shelter while they study; unlike many other students who are offered these necessities by their parents, former youth in care must fund their studies and provide for themselves. “By bringing down barriers to opportunity, and making advanced education more accessible, we can clear the path to success for these young people,” says Horgan.
Students eligible for the waiver who have already paid their tuition fees for the current year will be refunded, following their application acceptance.