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  NEWS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release

2006AE0031-000915

July 10, 2006

Ministry of Advanced Education

Office of the Premier

 

GOVERNMENT BOOSTS STUDENT GRANT FUNDING BY $4M

 


VICTORIA An added $4 million a year in grants for adults upgrading their basic education and for post-secondary students with dependants will help British Columbians build futures for themselves and their families, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today.

 

“Access to education and increased literacy form the foundation of a healthy, prosperous society,” said Campbell.  “With this additional funding, learners will have more support to get the education they need to participate in B.C.’s booming economy.”

 

Students at public post-secondary institutions taking developmental programs – which include adult basic education, English as a second language, and special education programs for those with disabilities – will have access to $1 million more in grants to pay for books, supplies and tuition where applicable. The grants are based on financial need.

 

Last year, the adult basic education student assistance program provided $4.3 million in grants to about 8,000 post-secondary students. As well, 26,846 students were enrolled in adult basic education at B.C. high schools, which is tuition-free as part of government’s commitment to literacy.

 

Funding has also been increased for post-secondary students with dependants. The weekly limit on B.C. Student Loans has been increased by $30 to a maximum of $260, to allow families to meet expenses. More than $3 million has been added to the B.C. loan reduction program, which will be used to forgive extra debt incurred by students with dependants.

 

 “Now more than ever, people need to have the skills to take advantage of our growing job market,” said Advanced Education Minister Murray Coell.  “These funding increases, along with the new spaces we’re adding at post-secondary institutions across the province, make it a great time to get an education in B.C.”

 

The B.C. loan reduction program, funded by the provincial government and the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, forgave $67.1 million in B.C. student loans to about 28,000 students, including about 2,600 students with dependants. Students with dependants in their fifth year of borrowing were forgiven the full amount they borrowed from the B.C. student loan program.


 

The British Columbia Student Assistance Program was created to help students with the costs of post-secondary studies. The needs-based program supplements funds available to students through work, savings, assets and family resources.  For more information about any B.C. student assistance program, go to www.bcsap.bc.ca. 

 

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