Earlier this month, the Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Training announced additional emergency funding for all 25 public post-secondary institutions in British Columbia. Selkirk College will receive $175,000 in funding for 2021 to go along with the $159,500 provided in 2020.
“People studying at the Selkirk College have been dealing with all the added challenges brought on by the pandemic this year,” says Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson. “I hope they’re relieved to know that if they run into financial challenges, this fund is available to assist them and allow them to focus on their studies.”
The Provincial Government has boosted its emergency student funding for post-secondary institutions in British Columbia to assist those hit hardest by COVID-19 challenges. In total, the government has provided $334,000 in emergency student funds to Selkirk College since the pandemic began in 2020.
The non-repayable emergency assistance can be used to help with a broad range of costs, including living expenses, food, travel, portable computers and other supports for students who are returning to campuses for 2021-22. Part of the $9 million invested by the province since March 2020 to help B.C. post-secondary students, the Selkirk College funds include $47,500 specifically allocated for Indigenous learners.
Connecting Students with Vital Resources
With accessibility and student well-being at the forefront of planning over the last 12 months, Selkirk College provided more than $800,000 in scholarships/bursaries, emergency funding and technology access grants in the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Easily eclipsing the average of $460,000 in annual scholarships/bursaries, the additional funds were provided through the generosity of donors who gave to the COVID-19 Student Relief Campaign last spring, provincial emergency funding and the ongoing Forward Together campaign.
Though Provincial Government emergency funding is specifically earmarked for British Columbia residents, the additional funds raised ensure that both out-of-province students and international learners have access to financial relief.
“We know that the pandemic continues to provide significant challenges for all students and this additional funding will assist those having the hardest time,” says John Kincaid, Vice President of Students & Advancement. “As an example, through technology access grants we have been able to provide 68 laptops to low-income students so they have the tools they need to successfully adapt their learning to the altered environment we find ourselves in. We will continue to do everything in our power to make sure we help students reach their academic goals through access to this type of financial assistance.”
With almost $16,000 in emergency funding distributed to Indigenous students on all Selkirk College campuses in the region last year, the additional round of provincial funding will push the total to $47,500 and comes at the right time.
“Indigenous students overcome many challenges to attend post-secondary and emergency funding bursaries ensure students can meet basic needs for themselves and their family while studying,” says Dianne Biin, Manager of Indigenous Education & Engagement at Selkirk College. “We are thankful these provincial funds exist as they provide equitable access and support for Indigenous students to build future paths.”