Financial Aid and Awards

Who we are and what we do

The value of your education will last a lifetime. Financial barriers should not be obstacles towards achieving your dreams: explore the numerous awards, scholarships and bursaries available to you.

The Financial Aid and Awards Office can help you find the resources, make sense of terminology, and assist with applications.

Whether you are starting your very first semester or continuing your studies, a student award in the form of a scholarship or bursary can help you achieve your goals. Awards are available for full-time or part-time students in certificate, diploma or degree programs.

Student Loans

Loans are funding that the student is required to repay.

Awards

Awards are funding that the student does not need to repay.

Other Funding

Other funding is available for emergency funding, upgrading and former youth in care.

Student loans

Loans are funding that the student is required to repay.

Eligibility for Financial Assistance

BC offers Canada-BC integrated loans that require only one application.  You are automatically assessed for any loan and grant you might be eligible for.

BC Residency Requirements

To receive student financial assistance through StudentAid BC, you must be a resident of BC according the criteria below.

For Independent students, residency is defined as the Canadian province you have most recently lived in for 12 continuous months (excluding time spent in full-time post-secondary study).

For Dependent students, residency is defined as the Canadian province in which your parent(s), step-parent(s), sponsor or legal guardian has most recently lived in for 12 continuous months.  If you parents are separated or divorced, or your parent is single, only one parent's financial information is required.  This is the parent who is your main financial supporter.

For more information, go to the BC Residency Requirement page

You must be enrolled in and attend a minimum of 60% course load (or 40% course load for students with permanent disabilities as approved by StudentAid BC) for the entire educational period covered by your application. The minimum 60% course load requirement as outlined by Okanagan College is:

  • All university transfer, degree and diploma programs: 9 credits per semester
  • All vocational, trades and health certificate programs: the full program as outlined in the Okanagan College Calendar
  • NOTE: If you will be taking less than the full program, you must speak with a Financial Awards Assistant to ensure you are enrolled in right amount of course load

Previously passed courses and courses which are audited or waitlisted, Adult Academic and Career Preparation (upgrading), and Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) are NOT counted in the minimum course load requirement. It is your responsibility to ensure that the courses you are registered in meet the minimum course load require. Should you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid & Awards Office.

You are eligible for interest-free status if you:

  • Are attending Okanagan College full-time in an eligible program
  • Have started (or are within 30 days of starting), or have not finished your study period
  • Have not received funding for your current study period
  • Have student loan in good-standing

BC students please apply through StudentAid BC.

For student from other Provinces/Territories, please apply through your home province/territory.  Links can be found on the Out-of-Province/Territory tab.

NOTE: If you are receiving a loan for the current study period, you DO NOT need to request for interest-free status as once funds are released your file will be marked as “in class.”

  • Interest starts accruing immediately after you leave school, but you have a grace period of 6 months in which no payment is required. Repayment will start on the seventh month after you leave school. Visit Paying Back your Canada Student Loan for more information.
  • If you cannot afford the monthly payment on your student loan, there are Repayment Assistance plans available. Visit Repayment Assistance for more information.

If you are in a full-time student loan eligible program but taking the program on a part-time basis, you can apply for part-time funding. To receive student financial assistance through StudentAid BC, you must be a resident of BC.  Residency is defined as the Canadian province you have most recently lived in for 12 continuous months (excluding time spent in full-time post-secondary study).

BC offers Canada-BC integrated loans that requires only one application. Visit StudentAid BC to download the application.

Submit your completed application to the Financial Awards office.

Part-time students are enrolled in 20% to 59% course load (or 20% to 39% for students with permanent disabilities as approved by StudentAid BC). The 20% to 59% course load requirement as outlined by Okanagan College is:

  • All University transfer, degree and diploma programs: 3 to 6 credits per semester
  • All vocational, trades and health care certificate programs: please speak with a Financial Awards Assistant to ensure you are enrolled in right amount of course load

BC offers Canada-BC integrated loans that requires only one application.

You are eligible for interest-free status if you:

  • Are attending Okanagan College part-time in an eligible program
  • Have started (or are within 30 days of starting), or have not finished your study period
  • Have not received funding for your current study period
  • Have student loan in good-standing

BC students please apply through StudentAid BC.

For student from other Provinces/Territories, please apply through your home province/territory.  Links can be found on the Out-of-Province/Territory tab.

  • Interest starts accruing immediately after you leave school, but you have a grace period of 6 months in which no payment is required. Repayment will start on the seventh month after you leave school. Visit Paying Back your Canada Student Loan for more information.
  • If you cannot afford the monthly payment on your student loan, there are Repayment Assistance plans available. Visit Repayment Assistance for more information.

If you are a non-BC resident, you will need to apply for assistance through your home province.  Below are the links to the relevant website for each province and territory.  Please note that it is your responsibility to understand how your home province/territory's program works, so please read the information carefully.

Apprentices registered in a Red Seal trade apprenticeship program who meet the eligibility requirements for Canada Apprentice Loan (CAL) may receive up to $4000 in interest-free loans per period of technical training.

The purpose of the Canada Apprentice Loan is to provide apprentices registered in Red Seal trades with loans to assist with the costs of attending technical training.

The Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG) is a one-time taxable cash grant of $2,000 maximum available to registered apprentices who have successfully completed their apprenticeship training and obtained their journey-person certification in a designated Red Seal trade on or after January 1, 2009.

Apprenticeship grants are provided to increase access to apprenticeships in the Red Seal trades by helping apprentices cover expenses such as the purchase of tools and other materials required for learning on-the-job and travel expenses associated with classroom training.

There are three types of training tax credits:

  • Basic credit for the first two levels of non-Red Seal training programs
  • Completion credit for level 3 or level 4 for both Red Seal and non-Red Seal training programs
  • Enhanced credit for First Nations individuals and persons with disabilities

The Apprentice Incentive Grant helps pay for expenses while you train as an apprentice in a designated Red Seal Trade. It is a taxable grant of $1,000. 

The Apprentice Incentive Grant for Women is a taxable grant of $3,000 that helps pay for expenses while you train as an apprentice in a designated Red Seal Trade where women are underrepresented.

Awards

Awards are funding that the student does NOT need to repay. 

OC Awards

Disclaimer: The information on this website is provided for the convenience of students only. While every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy and completeness, Okanagan College accepts no liability for any inaccuracies or omissions in the information provided and no responsibility for the content of the linked, non-Okanagan College websites. Students should independently confirm competition details and closing dates by consulting the relevant websites directly.

Application Information

The Awards Guide is a list of all awards that are offered through Okanagan College. You can view and apply for awards through your myOkanagan account.

Aboriginal awards

For self-identified aboriginal students

Fall semester
March 1 to September 15

Winter semester
December 1 to February 15

Summer semester
March 1 to May 31

Entrance awards

For Students Entering their First Semester of Post-secondary Study at Okanagan College

High School entrance awards
October 1 to March 6 - All Campuses

Fall semester
March 1 to September 15 - All Campuses, Kelowna, Penticton, Salmon Arm and Vernon

Winter semester
December 1 to February 15 - All Campuses, Kelowna, Penticton, Salmon Arm and Vernon

Summer semester
March 1 to May 31 - All Campuses and Kelowna

Current and returning student awards

For students who have completed at least one semester of post-secondary study at Okanagan College

Fall semester
March 1 to August 31 - All Campuses, Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon and Salmon Arm
August 1 to September 30 - Okanagan College Tuition Bursary

Winter semester
December 1 to February 15 - All Campuses, Kelowna, Penticton, Salmon Arm and Vernon, Okanagan College Tuition Bursary

Completion awards

For students who have or will complete their studies at Okanagan College by June of the current year

Winter semester
Mar 1 to May 31

Trades completion awards

For trades students who completed their studies within the last 12 months

Trades Completion
February 1 to March 31

Study exchange awards

Okanagan College International Study Exchange Awards (up to 10 awards of $1,500 each) for students going on study exchange, activity and/or experience. 

Deadline:
Ongoing until all available funds are committed.

Derek Cook Memorial Award for Global Exchanges (One or more annual awards of $500 each)

Deadline:
May 31.

Okanagan College Global Education Mobility Grant for Domestic Students (One or more awards from $1,000 to $10,000 each)

Deadline:
Ongoing until all available funds are committed.

Exchange award applications must be submitted prior to going on exchange. Applications submitted after the exchange may not be considered. 

See the External Awards section for more information on exchange awards through other organizations.

Awards below require an interim transcript to be sent directly to the Financial Aid and Awards department before the awards deadline.  At least one reference letter from their school is also required.  Additional references from community/extracurricular/leadership involvement may also be beneficial.  Students will be expected to be enrolled in at least an 80% courseload (4 courses) or 100% courseload (5 courses) for the President’s Entrance Scholarship. 

Okanagan College President’s Entrance Scholarships
Eight Awards of up to $5000

Okanagan College Community Spirit Awards
Up to 40 awards offered as a tuition credit up to $1000

Okanagan College Board of Governors Entrance Awards
Three or more awards of $1000

Rick and Yasmin Thorpe & Friends Scholarship for Secondary School Graduates
Up to four awards of $2500 each for students graduating from a secondary school located in Penticton or Summerland

Rick and Yasmin Thorpe & Friends Entrance Awards for Trades and Technology
Three awards of $2000 for students entering a trade or technology at the Penticton campus and have graduated from a secondary school located in Penticton or Summerland

Penticton Campus Arts Entrance Scholarship
One award of up to $1000

Penticton Campus Science Entrance Scholarship
One award of up to $1000

Johnstone Memorial Award
Two awards of $2400 for students entering the Salmon Arm Campus

Tony Sellar Leadership Entrance Scholarship
One award of approximately $800 for students entering the Vernon Campus

McGillivray Entrance Award for Business
One award of up to $5500 for student entering the Business Administration degree or diploma program at the Kelowna Campus

If you receive an award, we ask that you acknowledge the generosity of the donor(s) by writing a thank you letter. You can inform the donor of how their donation has made an impact on you, about your aspirations, activities and future plans.

To help students we have prepared a thank you letter template (Word Document). This is only a guide to help you compose your letter, your letter does not have to follow this format.

If you are a recipient of multiple awards, please write a letter for each donor contact (these details will be provided in your confirmation of award).

If you are attending an award presentation, please bring your Letter of Thanks with you.

External Awards

The Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society supports post-secondary education by providing scholarships for students attending public post-secondary institutions. The Scholarship Society, in partnership with the Victoria Foundation, manages endowment funds and awards the return on investment to students through scholarship programs.

  • To apply to Okanagan College, download the application. Submit completed applications to Financial Aid & Awards, Student Services, Kelowna Campus, or your campus administration office. Email awards@okanagan.bc.ca if you have any questions.
  • Click here for more details on eligibility.
  • DEADLINE: September 30

DEADLINE: March 31, 2019

Other funding

Adult Upgrading Grant Eligibility

The Adult Upgrading Grant (AUG) is a provincial government grant that you don't have to pay back.

If you are eligible for AUG, you could receive money to help pay for tuition and fees, supplies, transportation and unsubsidized child care.

Students enrolled in any of the following programs are eligible and encouraged to apply:

  • Upgrading, also known as Adult Basic Education (ABE)
  • Adult Special Education (ASE)
  • English Language (EL)

How to Apply for Funding

  1. Download the pdf application form below.
  2. Complete the form and email to upgradinggrants@okanagan.bc.ca
  3. If you do not have a printer, this is a fillable PDF form that allows you to fill out the form electronically. At this time, if you do not have digital signatures, we will still accept the application.  
  4. In the case where you have completed the application on paper but do not have a scanner, you may take pictures of the completed application form and send that instead. 
  5. Financial Awards will assess your application and will let you know if you qualify

    Due to the COVID 19 pandemic outbreak, you may be facing added financial stress due to loss of work, decrease in hours, or layoffs.

    Okanagan College MAY be able to provide you with funding to help pay for unexpected emergencies.  Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. 

    Please note that emergency funding is for current students who are registered in the Spring/Summer semester.  It is not a source of income and is not intended to provide students a monthly living allowance.  It is also not meant to pay for tuition.

    Procedures

    Complete the attached emergency funding application form. This is a fillable PDF form that can be completed electronically without a printer. 

    Please send the completed form to financialaid@okanagan.bc.ca. In the case where you have completed the application on paper but do not have a scanner, you may take pictures of the completed application form and send that instead.

    Okanagan College and the Okanagan College Foundation are dedicated in supporting students who need funding to purchase technology required for online learning.

    Okanagan College MAY be able to provide you with funding to help pay for these costs.   Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. 

    Please note that this funding is intended to support students who do not have access to or own and laptop/computer needed for their online education.

    Procedures

    Complete the attached online learning funding application form. This is a fillable PDF form that can be completed electronically without a printer. 

    Please send the completed form to financialaid@okanagan.bc.ca. In the case where you have completed the application on paper but do not have a scanner, you may take pictures of the completed application form and send that instead.

    Students who are temporarily short on funds for reasons beyond their control may be eligible for a small, short-term emergency loan. Emergency loans may be considered for items essential to attendance at Okanagan College (e.g. books, supplies, rent, food).

    Please Note
    • Emergency loans are NOT given for payment of tuition and/or fees
    • Emergency loans are NOT given at the end of a term/study period as an “advance” on monies anticipated in the following study period
    • Emergency loans are NOT considered for students who are at the end of their study period
    Basic Requirements

    To be considered for an emergency loan, students:

    1. Must have paid their tuition and fees in full OR be approved for a government student loan. Emergency loans are not given for payment of tuition and/or fees;
    2. Must be fully registered and have started attending class;
    3. Must require an emergency loan due to circumstances beyond their control and have exhausted all other potential sources of assistance; and
    4. Must be prepared to provide an explanation as to why they are short of funds, what efforts have been made to secure other sources of funds, what expenses will be paid with the loan, and the method/source of repayment. Proof of repayment may be required if repayment will be from a source other than an expected government student loan and/or grant.
    Procedures
    1. Complete the attached emergency funding application form in full. If requesting an emergency loan for textbooks, you must attach a complete list of required books and prices, including HST. The bookstore will provide you with a printout.
    2. Make an appointment with a Financial Awards Assistant by contacting the Financial Aid & Awards department. Hours of operation are 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. Summer hours of operation are 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Telephone: (250) 862-5419 Toll-free (in BC): 1-800-767-5492
    3. Bring any relevant documentation to the interview regarding what type of expenses the loan is for and the source of repayment.
    4. If your request for an emergency loan is approved, a cheque will be available for pick-up at a predetermined time from the Student Services Office at the Kelowna Campus, or the campus administration office in Penticton, Vernon or Salmon Arm Campus. Photo ID is required to pick up the cheque.

    Okanagan College has a limited amount of emergency funding to assist eligible students experiencing an unexpected financial hardship. The funding is for students who are progressing in their program and demonstrate that they need financial assistance to complete their study period.

    As emergency bursary funds are limited, preference will be given to those students who demonstrate that they have exhausted all other sources of financial assistance, including government student assistance.

    The funding is for immediate living and educational expenses (except for paying tuition and fees).

    Eligibility Requirements

    To be considered for an emergency bursary, students must meet ALL of the following criteria:

    1. Be enrolled and attending an Okanagan College program;
    2. Be in good standing, attending class on a regular basis and progressing satisfactorily. Exceptional circumstances that prevent students from being in good standing or attending will be considered on a case by case basis.
    Procedures
    1. Complete the attached emergency funding application form in full
    2. Make an appointment with a Financial Awards Assistant by contacting Financial Aid & Awards.
      Hours of operation are 8:30am – 4:30pm.
      Summer hours of operation are 8:00am – 4:00pm.
      Telephone: (250) 862-5419, Toll-free (in BC): 1-800-767-5492
    3. Bring any relevant documentation to the interview which supports your request for an emergency bursary (e.g. copy of medical prescription, eviction notice, utility disconnection notice...etc.).
    4. If your request for an emergency bursary is approved, a cheque will be available for pick-up at a predetermined time from the Student Services Office at the Kelowna Campus, or the campus administration office in Penticton, Vernon or Salmon Arm Campus. Photo ID is required to pick up the cheque.

    Criteria

    The Aboriginal Emergency Assistance Fund has been established by the Ministry of Advanced Education to assist Aboriginal students in emergency situations causing unexpected financial hardships

    To be considered for the Aboriginal Emergency Assistance Fund, students must meet ALL of the following criteria:

    • Be an Aboriginal Student enrolled full-time or part-time in any program at Okanagan College;
    • Demonstrate financial need;
    • Be in good standing, attending class on a regular basis and progressing satisfactorily. Exceptional circumstances that prevent students from being in good standing or attending will be considered on a case by case basis

    Procedures

    1. Complete the attached emergency funding application form in full
    2. Contact the Aboriginal Transition Planner for your campus
    3. Provide any relevant documentation that supports your request for emergency assistance (e.g. copy of medical prescription, eviction notice, utility disconnection notice, etc.)
    4. Once reviewed by the committee, you will be notified by email of a decision

    Okanagan College Culinary and Pastry Arts students are launching an innovating new program designed to hone their skills while providing nutritious meals free of charge for fellow students who are struggling financially.

    Students can apply to request a meal by emailing: ocservesup@ocsu.ca

    Meals will be available daily to students in both online and in-person classes, and accessed via a voucher system managed by the OCSU Student Pantry.

    Youth in Care Tuition Waiver

    How do I apply for the tuition waiver?

    Complete the Former Youth in Care consent form and bring it in to any campus after you apply to a program at the College.

    Am I eligible for a tuition waiver?

    To be eligible for a waiver, you must have:

    • Been in foster care for at least two years. This includes youth who were on a Voluntary Care Agreement, a Special Needs Agreement, a Temporary Custody Order, or a Continuing Custody Order
    • OR, Lived with a family member (other than parent) or other adult for at least two years, as part of an agreement or custody order with the Ministry of Children and Family Development or a Delegated Aboriginal Agency. This includes youth who lived with family or another adult on an Extended Family Plan, a Temporary Custody Order, or a Permanent,Transfer of Custody.
    • OR, Been on Youth Agreement for at least two years.

    In addition to meeting one of the above requirement, you must also be aged between 19 and 26 years old and attending a public post-secondary institution in British Columbia.

    If you meet the criteria above, then follow the "How do I apply for the tuition waiver" instructions above to apply.

    Are there any other funding programs for Former Youth in Care?

    The Youth Educational Assistance Fund (YEAF) supports post-secondary education and training for former youth in care through bursaries of $5,500 per educational year, up to a maximum of four years, to help with tuition, books and fees.

    Under the Agreements with Young Adults program (AYA), youth who leave government care at 19 years of age are eligible for supports to cover living expenses while they finish high school, attend post-secondary training or complete a rehabilitation program.

    Visit agedout.com for more information of other funding opportunities for former youth in care.

    Youth Futures Education Fund

    The Youth Futures Education Fund has been established by the Vancouver Foundation to provide a grant to recipients of the Former Youth in Care Provincial Tuition Waiver, to assist with supplemental educational funding for expenses such as books, housing, utilities, or emergency situations.

    Criteria

    To be considered for the Youth Futures Education Fund, students must meet ALL of the following criteria:

    1. Be an Okanagan College student attending on a Youth in Care Provincial tuition waiver
    2. Enrolled full-time or part-time in any program at Okanagan College
    3. Demonstrate financial need
    4. Be in good standing, attending class on a regular basis and progressing satisfactorily. Exceptional circumstances that prevent students from being in good standing or attending will be considered on a case by case basis

    Procedures

    1. Download and complete application in full
    2. Contact the Financial Aid & Awards staff for your campus
    3. Provide any relevant documentation that supports your request for assistance (e.g. copy of book receipts, rent receipts, utility bills, etc.).
    4. Once reviewed by the committee, you will be notified by email of a decision.

    FAQs

    Please visit the links below for other resources that you may be eligible for.

    If a student is unable to complete their study period, they are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid and Awards office via email at financialaid@okanagan.bc.ca to learn about next steps.

    An interruption of study of up to four weeks will have no impact on student eligibility for financial assistance or disbursement of funding if students recommence classes at the end of the interruption.

    If Okanagan College extends the study period in response to an interruption, students are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid & Awards office via email at financialaid@okanagan.bc.ca

    Students may want to request a reassessment from StudentAid BC to receive additional funding. Financial Aid and Awards staff can assist students with this process.

    Students will not be penalized for non-completion of the study period. No withdrawal/unsuccessful completion reporting will be sent to StudentAid BC.

    As each province and territory have different policies, students are encouraged to contact their province directly. If a student needs assistance, they can also email the Financial Aid and Awards office at financialaid@okanagan.bc.ca and we will assist in any way possible.

    • Effective March 30, 2020, the federal government is freezing student loan payments as well a interest accrual until September 30, 2020
    • Students do not need to apply for this; enrolment is automatic
    • This does not apply to student who borrowed money from private financial institutions

    To support people with student loans, B.C. will temporarily pause the repayment of B.C. government-issued student loans in repayment, including those in good standing and in default

    • Effective March 30, 2020, all British Columbia student loans will automatically have their repayment suspended until September 30, 2020.
    • No payment will be required, and people with student loans do not need to apply for the repayment pause.
    • The B.C. Government already removed interest on its student loans, so interest accruing is not a concern.
    • Pre-authorized payments will also be paused.

    Payments will be automatically paused for all borrowers, including those who are in good standing and in default.

    If their six-month grace period ends before September 30, 2020, their payments would be suspended until September 30, 2020.

    Yes, the National Student Loans Service Centre and Revenue Services of British Columbia will still be able to process payments for those wishing to repay their student loans faster.

    Borrowers can make payments via their National Student Loans Service Centre online account or online banking or via Revenue Services of British Columbia.

    Note that a borrower’s National Student Loan Service Centre account may temporarily reflect incorrect loan status until corrections are applied retroactively in the system.

    Yes, student loan borrowers will be able to manage their loans via their National Student Loans Service Centre online account.

    Note that a borrower’s National Student Loan Service Centre account may temporarily reflect incorrect loan status until corrections are applied retroactively in the system.

    The National Student Loans Service Centre call centre is currently open; however, callers may experience longer than average wait times.

    Borrowers are encouraged to access their student loan accounts via the National Student Loans Service Centre online portals.

    Note that a borrower’s National Student Loan Service Centre account may temporarily reflect incorrect loan status until corrections are applied retroactively in the system.

    Borrowers are encouraged to access their student loan accounts via the National Student Loans Service Centre online portals.

    There will no change to the application process. If a student wishes to apply for student financial assistance during the pause, they should apply through StudentAid BC at the following link: https://studentaidbc.ca/

    As of March 30, 2020, all Alberta and Canada student loan repayment and interest charges will be suspended for 6 months.

    If you have incur additional expenses due to COVID-19, you can login to your Alberta Student Aid account to submit a Request to Review and update any supporting documentation.

    For more information, please visit COVID-19 info for Albertans

    Contact the Financial Aid and Awards office at financialaid@okanagan.bc.ca.

    Two really good resources are the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and the CanLearn websites. Here you will find information for before and while you are in school on the following:

    • Saving and budgeting your money
    • Working part-time
    • Repaying loans and debt free solutions

    For most post-secondary students, money is tight. But remember, every dollar you can save while you’re in school is one less dollar that you’ll owe in student debt when you graduate. Consider whether the tips below will work for you:

    • Live at home while in school. Going away for school is a great experience, however it is also a great cost. If you are able, stay at home as long as possible. If it is not, consider living with roommates, sharing accommodations, or living in residence rather than living on your own.
    • Apply for grants, bursaries, and scholarships. These are resources to 'free' money that does not need to be paid back, so it is worth your while to research and apply for as many as possible. Visit the following resources for help finding grant, bursaries, and scholarships:
    • Manage your student loan and other borrowing carefully. If you are assessed for a greater loan amount than you need, request only the amount that is needed. Avoid increasing your debt by spending more than you need to, simply because the funds are available to you. Be sure to stay on track with your budget to make sure that you have enough funds to get you through to the end of the term.
    • Be wary of using credit. Credit cards and other sources of credit are very expensive ways to borrow money if you aren’t diligent in paying off your balance every month. It is a downward spiral that is best avoided all together.
    • Opt out of health and dental coverage ONLY IF you already have similar coverage. If you are still covered for health and dental on your parent’s plan, or another plan you already pay into, you may be able to opt-out of your student health and dental fees and be reimbursed for this money. However, keep in mind that you may need to provide proof of this in order to successfully opt-out, as well as, there may be an opt-out deadline. It is best to discuss your options with the school before making any decisions.
    • Buy, sell, and swap old text books. Take part in selling, swapping and buying used text books whenever possible. Be sure to check with your instructor or school bookstore that you are acquiring the correct or equivalent edition of texts, as they change often and are sometimes unusable once they do. If the school bookstore does not offer used book options, they may have resources as to who does in your area.
    • Use your student discounts. Many businesses offer student discounts and rates, so take full advantage when able. Check with the school’s student association for resources to local businesses that offer student discounts and rates. You can also sign up for the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), which will get you discounts on a range of products and services and is usually free to post-secondary students.
    • Shop around, use coupons, and look for bargains. anywhere that you can save a buck helps. Look for sales, discounts, and specials, and shop as fruitfully as possible.
    • Take advantage of tax deductions and tax credits. Check with both the provincial and federal governments for the tax credits and deductions that are available to students on things like tuition fees, books, moving expenses, and more.
    • Save on transportation costs. Walking, biking, and using public transit are the cheapest ways to get around. Check with the Student's Union Office for student rates on bus passes.

    There are different awards available year round.  Please visit OC Awards Guide for the application period for each award categories.

    Okanagan College provides an Awards Guide that lists all of the scholarships and bursaries available to students through Okanagan College. Since some awards have very specific criteria that must be met, make sure to read the eligibility criteria carefully.

    To apply for awards you must login to your myOkanagan account and navigate to the Financial Aid and Awards channel on the Applicant page or Student page and click on Apply Online for Awards.

    For more information about how to navigate the online awards page, watch this short demo video to help you get started!

    If you receive an Award, we ask that you acknowledge the generosity of the donor(s) by writing a thank you letter. You can inform the donor of how their donation has made an impact on you, about your aspirations, activities and future plans.

    To help students we have prepared a Thank You Letter Template (Word Document). This is only a guide to help you compose your letter, but your letter does not have to follow this format.

    If you applied online for awards you can check your application status online in your MyOkanagan account. Once logged in navigate to the Financial Aid & Awards channel on the Applicant or Student page and click on View Online Awards Applied for.

    View Online Awards Applied For

    Once in the View Applications screen, you will see a list of all awards applications you have completed by term and the individual awards your have applied for. If you are approved you will be emailed directly with details of which award you have received and how/when the award will be presented to you.

    Aboriginal Student Awards

    Fall

    After applications close in mid-September, decisions will be made by the end of October. Award cheques will either be mailed out to recipients or you will be invited to attend the November Kelowna Awards Reception (usually third Thursday in November), depending on the award received.

    Winter

    After applications close at the end of January, decisions will be made by the end of March. Award cheques will either be mailed out to recipients or you will be invited to attend a monthly presentation.

    Summer

    After applications close at the end of May, decisions will be made by the end of July. Award cheques will either be mailed out to recipients or you will be invited to attend a monthly presentation.

    High School Entrance Awards

    After applications close at the end of March, decisions will be made by the end of May for the following awards

    • Okanagan College Presidents Entrance Scholarships
    • Okanagan College Community Spirit Awards
    • Okanagan College Board of Governors Entrance Awards
    • Rick and Yasmin Thorpe & Friends Scholarship for Secondary School Students

    Entrance Awards

    Fall

    After applications close in mid-September, decisions will be made by the end of October. Award cheques will either be mailed out to recipients or you will be invited to attend one of the November Award Reception(s):

    • Kelowna & Any Campus Awards Reception (third Thursday in November)
    • Penticton Awards Reception November
    • Salmon Arm Awards in person presentation arranged with recipients & donors
    • Vernon Awards Reception November

    Winter

    After applications close at the end of January, decisions will be made by the end of April. Award cheques will either be mailed out to recipients or you will be invited to attend a monthly presentation.

    Summer

    After applications close at the end of May, decisions will be made by the end of July. Award cheques will either be mailed out to recipients or you will be invited to attend a monthly presentation.

    Current and Returning Student Awards

    Fall

    After applications close in at the end of July decisions will be made by the end of October. Award cheques will either be mailed out to recipients or you will be invited to attend one of the November Award Reception(s):

    • Kelowna & Any Campus Awards Reception (third Thursday in November)
    • Penticton Awards Reception November
    • Vernon Awards Reception November

    Fall Salmon Arm ONLY

    After applications close in mid-May decisions will be made by mid-June, recipients will be invited to attend the Salmon Arm Awards Reception in June

    Winter

    After applications close at the end of January, decisions will be made by the end of April. Award cheques will either be mailed out to recipients or you will be invited to attend a monthly presentation.

    Completion Awards

    Winter

    After applications close in at the end of May decisions will be made by the end of October. or earlier depending on award. Award cheques will either be presented individually in person with donor or you will be invited to attend the November Award Reception at Kelowna (third Thursday in November).

    Trades Completion

    After applications close at the end of March decision will be made by the end of April. Awards are presented at the Trades Commencement or Summer Convocation.

    Special Applications

    Online

    After the application end date has passed recipients will be notified usually within two months. Award cheques will either be mailed out to recipients or you will be invited to attend a monthly presentation.

    No Application Required

    Awards not requiring application occur throughout the year, students are notified usually via email if they have been successful and awards are either mailed out to recipients or you will be invited to attend a monthly presentation.

    Most full-time programs that are longer than 12 weeks in duration are eligible for funding. If you are not sure whether your program is eligible, please contact our office directly.

    Online applications for government student loans and grants are available on the StudentAid BC website. At this website, you can:

    • apply for student assistance (student loans & grants)
    • check the status of your application
    • find information on the entire student loan process from applying to repaying

    Note: there is only one application for both loans & grants​.

    The StudentAid BC online application portal opens around the beginning of June each year.

    The school automatically notifies the government should you withdraw or drop to below the minimum 60% course load requirement (40% for students with a permanent disability as approved by StudentAid BC). This may put you in an "over-award" situation; over-awards are deducted from future assistance if not repaid.

    If the withdrawal pattern is repeated, you may be denied any more Student Loans.

    There is no separate application for grants. When you applied for student loan, you are automatically being assessed for any grants that you are eligible for.

    If you are still studying full-time but no longer receiving funding through StudentAid BC, you need to apply for interest-free status to delay paying back your student loan. The online interest-free application (on the StudentAid BC website) will need to be submitted, and can only be done by students attending B.C. public post-secondary schools at this time. The online form will then be sent electronically to your school for confirmation of enrollment and then to your loan providers for assessment.

    Government student assistance is designed to supplement, not replace, family resources.
     

    If a student does not meet the government’s criteria to be an independent student, the student’s parental income will be required to determine if a financial contribution is expected.

    NOTE: It is important to note that the government will consider circumstances such as disability and how many dependents are in the family.

    Dependent students are considered by StudentAid BC to be financially dependent on their parent(s), step-parent(s), sponsor(s) or legal guardian(s). Dependent students have never been married, or do not have dependent children, or have not been out of high school for 48 months, or have not been in the labour force for two periods of 12 consecutive months.

    Independent students are regarded by StudentAid BC as being financially independent of their parent(s), step-parent(s), sponsor(s) or legal guardian(s). Independence is determined by such factors as length of time out of high school, marital status, and number of years in the full-time labour force.

    If your student loan/grant assessment comes back to you as denied or with a smaller funding amount than expected, you may be eligible to request a re-assessment or appeal of your application.

    An appointment with a Financial Awards Assistant is required to go over your options and advise you of the correct processes.

    To be eligible for full-time student assistance, you must be registered in at least 60% of a full course load (40% for students with permanent disabilities as approved by StudentAid BC) for the entire educational period covered by your student loan application.

    Please note: previously passed courses and courses which are audited, wait listed, Adult Academic and Career Preparation (upgrading) or PLA (Prior Learning Assessment) are NOT counted in the minimum course load calculation. It is your responsibility to ensure that the courses you are registered in meet the minimum course load requirement. Should you have any questions, contact the Financial Aid and Awards Office.

    The minimum 60% course load requirements by program at Okanagan College:

    • All university transfer, degree and diploma programs: 9 credits per semester.
    • All vocational, trades and health certificate programs: the full program as outlined in the Okanagan College Calendar. If you will be taking less than the full program, you must speak with a Financial Awards Assistant to ensure you are enrolled in the minimum 60% course load (or 40% for students with permanent disabilities as approved by StudentAid BC) for the entire educational period covered by your StudentAid BC application.​

    Students who are receiving B.C. Income Assistance for PWD from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (MSDPR) are (with approval of their Employment and Assistance Worker), eligible to apply for StudentAid BC funding.

    Eligibility criteria:

    • You are a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident or Protected Person
    • You are enrolled in an eligible program (ABE, ASE or EL)
    • You demonstrate financial need

    AUG covers tuition, ancillary fees, supplies, transportation and unsubsidized child care.

    Qualifying courses are as follows:

    • Adult Basic Education (ABE)
    • Adult Special Education (ASE)
    • English Language (EL)
    • English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

    You and your spouse (if applicable) must provide a copy of your previous year's tax return or other proof of income.

    If you are under the age of 22 and reside with your parent(s), your parent(s) must provide proof of income as well. See the application for examples of proof of income.

    If you are taking ABE/ESL and:

    Enrolled in between 3 and 8.75 academic credits: You can apply for Part-Time Student Loans and the Adult Upgrading Grant

    Enrolled in between 9 and 14.75 academic credits: You can apply for Full-Time Student Loans

    Enrolled in between 15 and more academic credits OR Full-time in a vocational program: You can apply for Full-Time Student Loans and the Adult Upgrading Grant

    Money is applied directly to your OC student account first. Any additional money for extra supports such as supplies, transportation and child care will be sent directly to you by cheque.

    Yes! Students can apply for AUG any time prior to the last week of class (subject to government funding).

    How do I release my information

    Parents should note that Okanagan College cannot release student information to any third party (including immediate family, parents, etc.) without prior written consent.

    To Release Information Complete the Following Steps

    1. Go to the students MyOkanagan account
    2. Scroll to the Consent to Release Information box
    3. Complete the form and click the "Save" button

    Upon completing the Consent to Release Information form, the person registered may now have access to the allowed information.

    Contact Us

    Kelowna Campus:
    Student Services Building (S111)
    250-862-5419

    Vernon Campus:
    Administration Building (A300)
    250-545-7291

    Penticton Campus:
    Ashnola Building (PL142)
    250-492-4305

    Salmon Arm Campus:
    Main Building (SA103)
    250-832-2126

    Email

    Note: Be sure to include your full name and OC student ID #
    For general inquiries: financialaid@okanagan.bc.ca
    For award inquiries: awards@okanagan.bc.ca
    For upgrading inquiries: upgradinggrants@okanagan.bc.ca

    Request BlueJeans Meeting

    Office Hours

    September to April (Monday-Friday): 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    May to August (Monday-Friday): 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.