Provincial Tuition Waiver Program

This program waives tuition fees for B.C. students who are former youth in care between 19 and up to their 27th birthday who are attending a B.C. public post-secondary institution.

What is available?

The tuition and mandatory fees charged by your institution, which are required to be paid in order for you to successfully complete your studies, could be waived so your institution may admit you to your program of study without collecting tuition fees.

This program waives tuition fees for former youth in care and is not intended to replace existing programs. Other programs that help offset educational costs for you will continue. Contact your institution’s financial aid department to determine eligibility for other programs and bursaries.

Learn more – Tuition Waiver Fact Sheet (PDF)

Am I eligible?

You may be eligible if you:

  • Are 19-26 years old (inclusive), attending a B.C. public post-secondary institution; and,
  • Have received care from the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) or a Delegated Aboriginal Agency (DAA) through the Child, Family and Community Service Act for a minimum of 24 months (consecutive or accumulated) in any, or a combination, of the following categories:
    • Continuing Custody Order pursuant to sections 41 (1) (d), 42.2 (4) (d) or (7) or 49 (4), (5) or 10 (a) of the Act
      • A protective order in which the court has assigned permanent custody of the child to the Director of Child Welfare (the Director)
    • Temporary Custody Order or Temporary Transfer of Custody s.41(1)(b)
      • A protective order in which the court has assigned custody of the child to the Director on a temporary basis or a protective order in which the court temporarily places the child in the custody of an adult who has an established familial, relational, or cultural connection to the child
    • Special Needs Agreement pursuant to section 7 of the Act
      • A parent of a child with special needs may voluntarily and temporarily agree to place the child in the care of the Director
    • Voluntary Care Agreement pursuant to section 6 of the Act
      • A parent voluntarily and temporarily places the child in the care of the Director
    • Youth Agreement pursuant to section 12.2 of the Act
      • The Director enters into an agreement with a youth (ages 16 – 19) who needs assistance to live independently and cannot be re-established with family
    • Extended Family Plan pursuant to section 8 of the Act
      • A parent voluntarily and temporarily places the child in the care of an adult who has an established familial, relational, or cultural connection to the child
    • Permanent Transfer of Custody Order pursuant to section 54.01 or 54.1 of the Act
      • An order in which the court permanently transfers custody to another (non-parent) family member or another adult with an established relational or cultural connection to the child
    • Interim Custody Order (Interim Custody to the Director s. 35(2)(a) or Interim Custody to a Person other than a Parent s. 35(2)(d))
      • An order granted for an interim period of 45 days

If you fall outside of the eligibility criteria, exceptions will be considered on an individual basis. Submit your request to the System Navigator for consideration.

How do I apply?

Step-by-Step – What you need to do to participate:

  1. Visit your institution's financial aid office and complete a consent form to allow your institution to disclose information, verify your identity, and validate your eligibility with the MCFD.
  2. Your institution will submit your consent form to the MCFD. The verification process can take a couple of days to a month depending on the complexity of your records search.
  3. If you are found to be eligible, your institution will admit you to your program of study without collecting tuition fees. If you have already paid your fees, your tuition fees will be reimbursed.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I claim a waiver retroactively?

    Students may claim reimbursement for tuition paid at any time during the same study period. The one exception will be those institutions that require early application deadlines i.e. January application deadlines for September intakes.
  2. What about part-time students?

    This program applies to part-time students as long as you remain enrolled beyond the drop date for each study period.

  3. Is successful completion a determinant of whether or not a tuition waiver is issued?

    This program applies as long as you are still enrolled in a course or program beyond the drop date for each study period.

  4. What are the limits on the type of programs (e.g., can you get tuition waived for a masters or medical degree)?

    The program does not apply to Masters, PhD or post-graduate courses or programs. It does not apply to any Adult Basic Education programs and/or fees.

    The program will cover a wide range of study programs that are outlined below and unlike StudentAid BC, there is no income test to be eligible, no minimum course duration, course load, or maximum tuition fee coverage. Programs that are eligible for the program are:
  • Credit and non-credit courses leading to a certificate, diploma, credential or undergraduate degree
  • Courses taken during unclassified qualifying years, non-credit-based trades programs and continuing education programs eligible for student financial assistance
  • Apprenticeship training
  • Any non-credit courses associated with lifelong learning or competencies related to the labour market