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Education Awards Program

Bursaries and awards for post-secondary education and training programs.

About

The Education Awards Program helps people living in subsidized housing or those on the Rental Assistance Program pursue their educational goals as a way to achieve success and personal growth. Bursaries and awards are for post-secondary education and training programs.

We offer five education awards and bursaries. We encourage you to apply for as many awards as you’re eligible for. We grant one award a year to each successful applicant based on academic achievement and financial need.

Education Awards Program

Annual Dates & Deadlines

  • January – Annual program launch
  • April 30 – Application Deadline – All applications must be received by 2:00 pm
  • July 31 – Notifications sent to applicants (congratulations and regrets)
  • August 30 – Deadline for Award – Winners must confirm their September enrolment
Award/Description

BC Housing Bursary

Eligibility:

  • You are between the ages of 17 and 64 and living in housing subsidized by BC Housing at the start of courses.
  • You must be registered at a recognized B.C. post-secondary or vocational institution on a full- or part-time basis in September of the application year (part-time is considered to be two courses attended in September of the application year).
  • You are not receiving government income assistance. Applicants on disability assistance can apply for this bursary.

BC Housing Award for Full-Time Studies

Eligibility:

  • You are between the ages of 17 and 64 and living in accommodation subsidized by BC Housing at the start of the courses.
  • You are registered at a recognized B.C. post-secondary or vocational institution on a full-time (60 per cent course load) basis in September of the application year.
  • You are not receiving government income assistance.
Gail Burak Bursary

Eligibility

  • You are between the ages of 17 and 64 and living in housing subsidized by BC Housing at the start of courses.
  • You are registered at a recognized B.C. post-secondary or vocational institution in a health-related field on a full-or part-time basis in September of the application year.
  • On completion of the program, you must be eligible to register with a professional regulatory body (for example, social work, nursing or vocational rehabilitation).
  • You are not receiving government income assistance. Applicants on disability assistance can apply for this bursary.

This award recognizes Gail Burak's key leadership role as former BC Housing senior housing and health services manager, and her pioneering work in developing an integrated model of housing and health services.

Margaret Mitchell Outstanding Achievement Award

Eligibility

  • You are graduating from Grade 12 with a record of achievement in academics, sports, the arts or community involvement.
  • You have been nominated by a fellow student, teacher, community leader or neighbour.
  • You are living in housing subsidized by BC Housing at the start of the courses.
  • You are registered in post-secondary education or vocational training at a recognized B.C. post-secondary institution in September of the application year as a full-time student (60 per cent course load).
  • You are not receiving government income assistance.

Margaret Mitchell was a dedicated housing advocate and played a key role in the development of the BC Housing Education Awards Program. This award is named in her memory.

Minerva Foundation Award for Aboriginal Women
  • Minerva Foundation Award application.
  • $1,000 for Aboriginal women pursuing post-secondary education, including:
    • Single mothers
    • Women with children fleeing abusive relationships
    • Mature women pursuing education after a long absence
    • Women in non-traditional fields of study
    • Women with disabilities

Eligibility:

  • You are an Aboriginal woman between the ages of 17 and 64 and living in housing subsidized by BC Housing at the start of the courses.
  • You are registered at a recognized B.C. post-secondary institution in September of the application year as a full-time student (60 per cent course load).
  • You are not receiving government income assistance.

Questions

Individuals who are:

  • Pursuing vocational education or post-secondary education at a recognized B.C. institution on a full- or part-time basis in the coming school year (September of application year)
    • Part-time means attending at least two classes per term during September of the application year
    • Full-time means holding a minimum 60 per cent course load during September of the application year
  • Enrolled in courses that begin or continue through September of the application year
  • Living in accommodation subsidized by BC Housing at the start of courses (Rental Assistance Program clients are eligible)
  • Between the ages of 17-64 during the application year Not receiving government assistance (please read: What is government income assistance?
  • On BC disability assistance income (eligible to apply for the $750 BC Housing Bursary)

BC Employment and Assistance is a provincial program administered by the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation. This program assists British Columbians by helping people move from income assistance to sustainable employment and by providing income assistance for those who are unable to fully participate in the workforce.

  • Individuals receiving assistance are permitted to have paid employment and earn income up to a certain amount. The BC Housing Education Awards of either $750 or $1,000 are over the amount BC Employment and Assistance recipients are allowed to earn in a month. As a result, recipients’ assistance would be reduced by the amount of the award, making the Education Awards Program ineffective in supporting educational goals for BC Employment and Assistance recipients.
  • An $800-a-month earnings exception for disability assistance was introduced in the fall of 2012. Applicants on BC disability assistance income are now eligible to apply for the $750 BC Housing Bursary.
  • Student loans (national and provincial)
  • Rental subsidies
  • Canada Pension Plan
  • Disability Canada Pension
  • Private retirement pension (before age 65)
  • BC disability assistance (for $750 BC Housing Bursary only)

A full application package includes:

  • A completed application form
  • A personal statement of no more than 500 words that includes educational and personal goals, community involvement and challenges you have overcome
  • Two letters of reference—from an employer, community leader, volunteer supervisor or teacher
  • Academic transcripts (unofficial transcripts accepted
  • Nominator’s statement (for Margaret Mitchell Award applicants only)

No, completed application forms and all required documentation must be submitted for each individual submission.

Completed applications may be faxed, dropped off or mailed to the address below, or to any of our regional offices.

Education Awards Program
510-369 Terminal Avenue
Vancouver, B.C.  V6A 4C4
Fax: 604-609-7031

Regional Offices

Vancouver Island Region Office
301-3440 Douglas Street
Victoria, B.C.  V8Z 3L5
Fax: 250-475-7551

Interior Region Office
290 Nanaimo Avenue West
Penticton, BC  V2A 1N5
Fax: 250-492-1080

Northern Region Office
1380 2nd Avenue
Prince George, BC  V2L 3B5
Fax: 250-562-6488

BC Housing’s selection committee will advise award recipients and non-recipients by the end of July. It is the award recipient's responsibility to ensure all requested documentation is received prior to August 30.

Once we receive all the required documentation from award recipients, we will mail cheques directly to the mailing address they provided by the end of September. Bursary and award cheques will not be mailed to your educational institution.

The program you are attending must be offered by a recognized private or public B.C. post-secondary institution.

Unfortunately, the BC Housing Awards program does not award funds retroactively, and we only award funds in September each year. As such, only students who are enrolled in September of the application year will be eligible for awards.

No, an applicant can apply every year he or she is eligible.

While applicants can submit multiple application packages, each applicant is only eligible to win one award per year.

If you cannot submit an official transcript, you may submit an unofficial transcript.

  • A transcript is a record of all courses taken and grades received at an academic institution.
  • An official transcript usually needs to be requested from the institution’s registrar, will be stamped or sealed by the academic institution, and there is usually a cost to obtain it.
  • An unofficial transcript is free, less formal and in some cases can just be printed off by the student or by the institution’s administration. It can also be a printed out as a screen shot of your grades from a B.C. academic institution website, clearly showing your name, grades, course description(s) and date.

A nominator can be a family member, fellow student, a teacher, a community member, a neighbour, etc.

A letter in which the writer makes a general assessment of the qualities, characteristics and capabilities of a person or confirms details about that individual’s situation or circumstances.

This letter can be from an employer, community leader, volunteer supervisor or teacher.

Yes, as long as the program is offered by a recognized private or public B.C. post-secondary institution and meets the BC Housing requirements for full- or part-time study.

Unfortunately, due to the large volume of applications and other information requests, BC Housing is not able to return calls to check the receipt of an application. We thank you in advance for ensuring all application packages are complete and submitted through appropriate channels.