Financing Your University Education

By choosing to attend UNBC, you’ve chosen to invest in your future.

The Awards & Financial Aid Unit can assist you in finding the resources you need to finance your education.

Awards & Financial Aid provides information and guidance on applying for government financial assistance and University scholarships and bursaries.

The actual costs depend on you – how many courses you take, where you live, how much you earn, and so on.  The following costs are an estimate based on 2015-2016 amounts to give you an indication of how much it costs for one year of study at UNBC.


Estimated Costs per Academic Year

Undergraduate Students

2 Semesters = Academic Year

Per Course (3 credit hours)
Tuition and Fees: $816
Books: $200
Total Cost: $1,016

8 Courses (24 credit hours)
Tuition and Fees: $5,088
Books: $1,600
Total Cost: $6,688

10 Courses (30 credit hours)
Tuition and Fees: $6,160
Books: $2,000
Total Cost: $8,160

Graduate Students

3 Semesters = Academic Year
NOTE:  Some Graduate Programs have different Program tuition/fees amounts associated with them than are listed below, go to http://www.unbc.ca/finance/accounts-receivable/fees-unbc for a more specific breakdown.

Part-time Students
Tuition and Fees: $3,518
Books: $1,500
Total: $5,018

Full-time Students
Tuition and Fees: $5,804
Books: $3,000
Total: $8,804


Estimated Living Costs

Undergraduate Students

Academic Year - over 8 months
Costs are based on BC Government Moderate Standard of Living.  NOTE: Students staying in the UNBC Residences should go to www.unbc.ca/housing for Residence/Meal Plan costs for Rent/Food Semester amounts.

Single, living at home
Rent: $0
Food: $2,056
Miscellaneous: $2,248
Public Transit: $960
Total: $5,264

Single, living away
Rent: $6,808
Food: $2,184
Miscellaneous: $2,680
Public Transit: $840
Total: $12,512

Married, no dependents
Rent: $13,784
Food: $4,032
Miscellaneous: $4,120
Public Transit: $1,552
Total: $23,488

Single, one dependent
Rent: $11,808
Food: $3,672
Miscellaneous: $3,776
Public Transit: $1,552
Total: $20,808

Graduate Students

Academic Year - over 12 months
Costs are based on BC Government Moderate Standard of Living

Single, living at home
Rent: $0
Food: $3,084
Miscellaneous: $3,372
Public Transit: $1,140
Total: $7,896

Single, living away
Rent: $10,212
Food: $3,276
Miscellaneous: $4,020
Public Transit: $1,260
Total: $18,768

Married, no dependents
Rent: $20,676
Food: $6,048
Miscellaneous: $6,180
Public Transit: $2,328
Total: $35,232

Single, one dependent
Rent: $17,712
Food: $5,508
Miscellaneous: $5,664
Public Transit: $2,328
Total: $31,212


Estimated Total Costs per Academic Year

Undergraduate Students (8 Courses)
Single, living at home: $11,952
Single, living away: $19,200
Married, no dependents: $30,176
Single, one dependent: $27,496

Undergraduate Students (10 courses)
Single, living at home: $13,424
Single, living away: $20,672
Married, no dependents: $31,648
Single, one dependent: $28,968

Graduate Students (Part-time)
Single, living at home: $12,914
Single, living away: $23,786
Married, no dependents: $40,250
Single, one dependent: $36,230

Graduate Students (Full-time)
Single, living at home: $16,700
Single, living away: $27,572
Married, no dependents: $44,036
Single, one dependent: $40,016


Funding Sources for Education

There are four main sources of funding for students who wish to pursue post-secondary education:

  1. You - Your savings, part-time employment earnings, summer jobs, and assets.
  2. Your family - If you have been out of high school for less than four years, your parents will be expected to contribute to your education.
  3. Your government - Both the federal and provincial governments offer student loans and grants.
  4. Your university - UNBC awards a number of scholarships, bursaries and awards each year.

Government Financial Assistance

Full-time Students

The federal and provincial governments cooperate in offering interest-free loans to eligible students.  The basis of this program, Canada Student Loans (CSL), is supplemented by the province in which you are a resident (i.e. BC residents will apply to StudentAid BC).  StudentAid BC will review the student’s application forms and extend funding to eligible students. 

Students may receive:

  1. A Canada Student Loan and/or
  2. A BC Student Loan and/or
  3. Canada/BC Grants

Students cannot receive a grant by itself, it is always awarded in conjunction with a loan. Government loan programs are intended to supplement the other sources of funding that students should have and are extended on the basis of demonstrated financial need.  The maximum amounts that students may be eligible for depending on their final assessment are noted below.

Student, no dependents
Canada Loan or Grant: $7,140
BC Loan or Grant: $3,740
Total: $10,880

Student, with dependents
Canada Loan or Grant: $7,140
BC Loan or Grant: $10,200
Total: $17,340


StudentAid BC Application Procedures

Full-time Studies

  1. Complete a loan application online via www.studentaidbc.ca at least six (6) weeks before classes start.  New academic year (Sep-Aug) forms are usually online by mid-June.
  2. Loan applications can be completed before being officially accepted or registered at an institution.
  3. The student must plan to register in at least nine (9) credit hours per semester (60% full course load).
  4. StudentAid BC will email you a Notification of Assessment which will tell you the type (loan and/or grant), amount of funding approved, when it will be received and where sent.
  5. Prior to issuing any funds, StudentAid BC must receive your signed Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement which the student takes to a designated Canada Post Outlet.  The MSFAA normally remains in place for duration of loan.
  6. Your student loan/grant monies will be deposited directly into your personal bank account once UNBC confirms your enrolment.  Because of this it is important to: a) register at least 3 weeks prior to Semester start, and b) keep StudentAid BC informed of any address changes.

Part-time Studies

  1. Part-time Canada Student Loans and Canada Study Grants are available to students who are enrolled in less than 60% of a full course load (1-2 courses) and covers tuition/fees/books.
  2. Application forms can be downloaded from StudentAid BC website or can be picked up from the Office of the Registrar.
  3. Once completed, applications for part-time study must be returned to the Awards & Financial Aid Unit for processing.

For more information visit www.studentaidbc.ca or call 1-800-561-1818.


UNBC Scholarships & Bursaries

Scholarships and bursaries are awarded to both new and continuing students at the undergraduate and graduate level.  Student may receive awards for academic achievement, athletic ability, community service, extra-curricular activities, and for financial need.

Note: A limited number of undergraduate admission awards are based solely on academic standing and are provisionally offered to those applying for early admission. 

To be considered for Early Entrance Awards*, please apply for admission by December 15.

Online Award Applications must be done with a new application submitted for each new academic year (and award competition) as they are not carried forward. 

Review the list of awards available and check to see if you meet individual award eligibility/criteria via the online Scholarship, Bursary and Award Guide at: www.unbc.ca/financial-aid


UNBC Award Application Deadlines

President’s Silver Anniversary & Leadership Awards * - December 15th

Graduate Entrance Scholarship - December 15th (September / May entries) and May 1st (January entry)

Graduate Entrance Research Award - December 15th (September / May entries) and May 1st (January entry)

Small Fall Competition - September 15th to October 14th (must be registered in the September Semester to be eligible to apply for this competition)

Graduate Awards (Master’s & PhD) - October 15th to March 1st

Undergraduate Entrance Awards - October 15th to March 1st

In-Course Undergraduate Awards (2nd to 4th year) - October 15th to March 1st

General Awards (open to undergraduates and graduates) - October 15th to March 1st

* President’s Silver Anniversary & Leadership Award applications must include an online awards application as well as additional supporting documentation.