The Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training has made some funding available for students.
Domestic students are now able to receive $3.5 million in funding, while $1.5 million will be available for Indigenous students, with $203,000 going to Okanagan College students who may need it.
The funding comes as a relief for post-secondary students who often work in precarious, low-wage jobs with only a few shifts a week due to their busy study schedules.
“Students and their families in the Okanagan are in a time of financial insecurity like we have never seen before,” Alex Starker said, chairperson of the Okanagan College Students’ Union.
“This investment in emergency funds will help to ensure rent can be paid and food can be on the table during these troubling times.”
With the emergency funding, there is now $140,000 available for Okanagan College’s domestic students and $48,000 for Indigenous students. The college’s student union has also committed $15,000 for emergency relief for international students.
“The Okanagan College Students’ Union was created to provide support to our members, and in this time of crisis, this financial commitment is something more we can do to provide that support,” Starker added.
The provincial government has stated the money can be used for students’ expenses, including food, rent, and equipment necessary for online and remote learning. The funding will be administered through financial aid offices at B.C.’s 25 public post-secondary institutions.