Financial Aid and Awards

Adult Upgrading Grant (AUG)

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, unsubsidized child care and technology.

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

  1. Download the pdf application form.
  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. 
  4. Financial Awards will assess your application and will let you know if you qualify

Emergency funding

Okanagan College and the Okanagan College Foundation are dedicated to supporting students who demonstrate a need for financial assistance to purchase technology required for online learning. Okanagan College has a limited amount of emergency funding to assist eligible students experiencing an unexpected financial hardship. 

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 do not own and laptop/computer needed for their online education. 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.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Enrolled in a minimum of two classes, or in a full-time vocational program
  • Have exhausted all other sources of financial assistance
  • Require a laptop/computer for online learning
  • Do not own or have access to a laptop or computer
  • Demonstrate financial need

If you feel you meet the criteria above, please click the button below to complete the application.

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. Please click here to complete the application. 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. If you require assistance completing the application, you can make a virtual 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. Attach any relevant documentation to the application 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.
  5. Paper copies are still available.  Please contact Financial Aid & Awards.

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. Please click here to complete the application.
  2. If you require assistance completing the application, you can make a virtual 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. Attach any relevant documentation to the application 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.
  5. Paper copies are still available.  Please contact Financial Aid & Awards.

Criteria

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

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

  • Be an Indigenous 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. Contact the Aboriginal Transition Planner for your campus
  2. Please click here to complete the application.
  3. Attach any relevant documentation to the application 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.
  5. Paper copies are still available.  Please contact Financial Aid & Awards.

Youth in Care

How do I apply for the tuition waiver?

Complete the Former Youth in Care consent form and email the completed form to financialaid@okanagan.bc.ca.

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.

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. Please complete the online application.
  2. If you require assistance completing the application, you can make a virtual 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. Attach any relevant documentation to the application 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.
  5. Paper copies are still available.  Please contact Financial Aid & Awards.

Other support and resources

OC Serves Up

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.

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.

Check back in Fall for dates.

Central Okanagan Food Bank

If you are struggling to make ends meet, you can register with the Central Okanagan Food Bank and get a food hamper once a month.

For program information and how to register, please click on the links below.