Provincial Scholarships Program Policy
Date came into force or revised
July 1, 2016
The purpose of the Provincial Scholarships Program is to recognize student achievement and encourage students to pursue post-secondary education. Both public and independent school students may be eligible for scholarships.
Rationale or purpose of policy
To inform students of the scholarships available to them through the Ministry of Education’s Provincial Scholarships Program
Authority: legislation, regulations, orders
- See Ministerial Order 302/04, the Graduation Program Order (PDF)
Policy in full
To be eligible for the Provincial Scholarships Program, a student:
- Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident (landed immigrant) at the time of registration in the school year for which the scholarship is awarded
- Must be a B.C. resident.
- Must be or have been, in the school year for which the scholarship is awarded:
- Enrolled in a British Columbia public school (including Distributed Learning schools), or
- Enrolled in a Group 1, 2, or 4 British Columbia Independent School, or
- Enrolled in a Continuing Education Centre, or
- Registered with a public, independent, or distributed learning school in B.C. as a homeschooled child;
Students may qualify for scholarships only for the school year in which they graduate. Students wishing to improve their Language Arts 12 provincial examination score for the purpose of scholarship eligibility must rewrite their exam by August 31, 2017.
In addition, recipients must meet the specific selection criteria for each scholarship. A student may receive multiple provincial scholarships with the following exceptions:
- Only one of each scholarship in their lifetime, including:
- BC Achievement Scholarship;
- District/Authority Scholarship;
- BC Excellence Scholarship; and
- Pathway to Teacher Education Scholarship
- Only one of the Pathway to Teacher Education Scholarship or the BC Excellence Scholarship
International students or study permit students are not eligible for any of the provincial scholarships listed above. However, they may be eligible for International Education - Province of British Columbia Scholarships and Awards.
To redeem a scholarship voucher, recipients must be registered and attending a regular program (i.e., a program that leads to a credential) at a designated post-secondary institution (i.e. approved for Canada Student Loans by B.C.) or an Industry Training Authority (ITA) authorized trades training provider in B.C. and must have paid tuition equal to or greater than the amount of the voucher. Recipients have five years from their date of graduation from high school to redeem their vouchers (seven years for the Pathway to Teacher Education Scholarship only). The expiry dates are stated on the vouchers.
BC Achievement Scholarship
BC Achievement Scholarships recognize broad achievement on courses meeting 2004 Graduation Program requirements (both required and elective). The Ministry will determine recipients based on students’ achievements in Grade 10-12 courses that satisfy graduation program requirements. A cumulative average of marks will be calculated and form the basis for awarding the BC Achievement Scholarship. This average includes required and elective courses from Grades 10, 11, and 12 (48 credits in required courses, 28 credits in elective courses), but excludes Graduation Transitions.
All courses must have a percentage score; however, one 4-credit TS or SG indicator among the scores is allowed with the exception of the Language Arts 12 course used for graduation requirements (English 12, Communications 12, Français langue première 12, or English 12 First Peoples) which must have a percentage score, not TS or SG. Ties among students will be broken using the Language Arts 12 score (as noted above).
Adult Graduation Program graduates are not eligible.
Recipients must meet basic eligibility requirements, fulfil graduation requirements of the 2004 Graduation Program by August 31 of the student’s graduating year, attain a “B” (73% or above) or better grade in their Language Arts 12 course (English 12, Communications 12, Français langue première 12, or English 12 First Peoples), and write and pass their Language Arts 12 provincial exam.
The BC Achievement Scholarships are capped at 8000 ($1250 per scholarship) for the 2016/17 school year.
The District/Authority Scholarships recognize graduating students for excellence in their chosen area of interest or strength. These scholarships are intended to assist with tuition for post-secondary education.
The Ministry will allocate 5500 scholarships pro-rated to school districts and independent school authorities based on September 30th Grade 12 enrolment.
The scholarship is a $1250 voucher that can be used toward post-secondary education tuition.
In addition to basic eligibility requirements and fulfilling B.C. Graduation requirements of either the 2004 Graduation Program or the Adult Graduation Program by August 31st of the student’s graduating year, students must meet criteria set by the local scholarship committee, which requires a student to demonstrate outstanding achievement in any of the following areas:
- Indigenous Languages and Culture, demonstrated at school or in the community
- Fine Arts (e.g., Visual Arts, Dance, Drama, Music)
- Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies (e.g., Business Ed, Technology Ed, Home Economics, Information Communication Technology)
- Physical Activity (e.g., Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics, not limited to Physical Education)
- International Languages (International Languages Curriculum or External Assessments, including AP and IB courses)
- Community Service (Volunteer Activity), which includes awareness of local, global, and cultural issues
- Technical and Trades Training (e.g., Carpentry, Automotive, Mechanics, Cook Training)
Students should apply in the year they are graduating directly to their local scholarship committee, established by the local Board of Education.
An independent school selection committee established by the Federation of Independent School Associations (FISA) determines District/Authority Scholarships for independent school students. This committee is comprised of representatives from independent schools around the province. FISA sends specific details for the application and selection of these scholarships to Group 1, 2, and 4 independent schools. For further information on scholarships for independent schools, contact FISA.
Each school district is responsible for providing the Ministry with the report listing the District/Authority Scholarship recipients and their respective areas of achievement by June 30 each year. FISA is responsible for reporting on recipients from independent schools by June 30 each year.
BC Excellence Scholarship
The BC Excellence Scholarship recognizes 55 well-rounded B.C. graduates demonstrating service and leadership, both inside and outside school, as well as commitment and aptitude to their chosen career path. Recipients receive $5000 scholarship vouchers to use for post-secondary tuition. Each secondary school in B.C. may nominate one eligible student for this scholarship.
Nominees should complete the required application package, have their school administrator complete the nomination confirmation section, and submit it to the Ministry by February 15. Applications must be submitted in the mandatory format. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Application packages will be adjudicated by a selection committee comprised of B.C. teachers, and schools will be notified if their nominee is a conditional winner in June. After graduation and eligibility are confirmed, winners will receive their scholarships by mail in the fall.
Nominees must meet basic eligibility requirements, be in their graduation year with graduation to occur by August 31 of the school year in which they are nominated, be eligible for a BC Certificate of Graduation (Dogwood Diploma), and fulfill graduation requirements of the 2004 Graduation Program by August 31, 2017 of the school year in which they are nominated. In addition, nominees must have at least a “B” (73% or above) in their Language Arts 11 final mark; a “B” average or better in final course marks that fulfill graduation requirements of Science 11 or 12, Math 11 and Social Studies 11 or 12, with no more than one “C+” (67% or above) final course mark; write and pass their Language Arts 12 provincial exam; and maintain a “B” average or better in Grades 11 and 12 final course marks required for graduation.
Pathway to Teacher Education Scholarship
The Pathway to Teacher Education Scholarship (PTES) is awarded to 20 outstanding high school graduates who have demonstrated a commitment and aptitude for a career path in K-12 teaching. Each recipient will receive a $5000 scholarship voucher.
PTES scholarship vouchers must be redeemed within seven years of the recipient’s high school graduation year at an approved K-12 teacher education program at one of nine B.C. Faculties of Education.
Applicants must meet basic eligibility requirements, be in their graduation year with graduation to occur by August 31 of the school year in which they apply, be eligible for a BC Certificate of Graduation (Dogwood Diploma), and fulfill graduation requirements of the 2004 Graduation Program by August 31, 2017. In addition, applicants must have at least a “B” (73% or above) in their Language Arts 11 final mark; a “B” or better average in final course marks that fulfill graduation requirements of Science 11 or 12, Math 11 and Social Studies 11 or 12, with no more than one “C+” (67% or above) final course mark; write and pass their Language Arts 12 provincial exam; and maintain a “B” average or better in Grades 11 and 12 final course marks required for graduation.
Eligible students wishing to apply must complete and submit the application package to the Ministry of Education by February 15. Applications must be submitted in the mandatory format. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Application packages will be adjudicated by the ministry selection committee and schools will be notified of their conditional winners in June. After graduation and eligibility are confirmed, winners will receive their scholarships by mail in the fall.
Graduation Program Examinations Scholarship
The Graduation Program Examinations Scholarship has been phased out. The final allocation of this scholarship went to Grade 12 students in the 2015/16 school year. These final recipients, as well as students who have already received the Graduation Program Examination Scholarship, may redeem their scholarship vouchers until the expiry dates stated on the vouchers.
Passport to Education
The Passport to Education program was phased out in the 2014/15 school year. Students who have received stamps will continue to be able to redeem them toward post-secondary tuition until the expiry date stated on the stamps. The Ministry of Education cannot redeem or extend expired Passport to Education stamps.