In August 2020, the Provincial Government introduced the BC Access Grant – the needs-based grant we were pushing for! There is still distance to travel in terms of the number of students who are able to receive the Access Grant, but this is a great start. Student action works!
Needs-based Grants Background:
The majority of students from middle- and lower-income families need to take out student loans to pay for their education, and these students are more likely to come from marginalized backgrounds. When students who have to take on loans graduate, they often start out in the labour market with huge amounts of debt – a burden that perpetuates their economic disadvantage. Personal debt loans limit their purchasing power and capacity to engage in the economy for years after graduation.
Students from marginalized groups are statistically likely to continue to make less money over their lives in comparison to their university-educated peers. This means that due to the interest rates on student loans, a poor and/or otherwise marginalized student will pay more for their education than someone coming from a more privileged background – and they will pay for a longer period of time.