Access to post-secondary education expanded for former youth in care | News | Vancouver Island University

Former youth in care in BC of all ages will now have their tuition waived for post-secondary education, as the government takes action to remove age requirements for the Tuition Waiver Program for Former Youth in Care and make it available for a lifetime.

Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills and Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development, came to Vancouver Island University (VIU) on Tuesday, March 14 to make this important announcement.

In 2017, the BC government developed the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program that waived tuition and fees for former youth in care between the ages of 19 and 26. Now, this expanded tuition waiver will be made available to all BC former youth in care at any age , as part of StrongerBC’s Future Ready plan to make education and training even more accessible and affordable.

“At VIU, our goal is to welcome more people and more diverse populations so that they can become learners because we know that post-secondary education helps open doors for everyone and helps build healthy communities,” said Dr. Deborah Saucier, VIU President and Vice-Chancellor. “This is an incredibly important program at VIU and helps us support not only our students and youth but our surrounding communities. It provides access to more opportunities and a brighter future – a future that is increasingly reliable on access to post-secondary education.”

For VIU student Mallory Woods, the Tuition Waiver Program has made them feel safe enough to take the leap into post-secondary education.

“It took a village to get me this far. And it will continue to take a village to get others here beside me. But the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program offers to those who have been in care the possibility to make strong strides towards the life they want to live, even if they, like me, once thought that life was unattainable. I truly can’t say what a gift that is. On a personal level it is life changing, both for me and for any lineage after me. On a community level, the tuition waiver program sounds to me like a love letter, from the university to potential students. It says, ‘you have been through something impossibly hard, but you are welcome here, no explanation needed.’ It is an example of unconditional love, institutionalized.”

View the full BC Government news release.

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