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 2020-2021 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: $865
Books: $200
Total Cost: $1,065

8 Courses (24 credit hours)
Tuition and Fees: $5,384
Books: $1,600
Total Cost: $6,984

10 Courses (30 credit hours)
Tuition and Fees: $6,522
Books: $2,000
Total Cost: $8,522

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: $4,321
Books: $1,500
Total: $5,821

Full-time Students
Tuition and Fees: $6,747
Books: $3,000
Total: $9,747


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: $2,192
Miscellaneous: $2,408
Public Transit: $1,032
Total: $5,632

Single, living away
Rent: $7,280
Food: $2,336
Miscellaneous: $2,856
Public Transit: $904
Total: $13,376

Married, no dependents
Rent: $14,728
Food: $4,312
Miscellaneous: $4,408
Public Transit: $1,656
Total: $25,104

Single, one dependent
Rent: $12,616
Food: $3,920
Miscellaneous: $4,040
Public Transit: $1,648
Total: $22,224

Graduate Students

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

Single, living at home
Rent: $0
Food: $3,288
Miscellaneous: $3,612
Public Transit: $1,548
Total: $8,448

Single, living away
Rent: $10,920
Food: $3,504
Miscellaneous: $4,284
Public Transit: $1,356
Total: $20,064

Married, no dependents
Rent: $22,092
Food: $6,468
Miscellaneous: $6,612
Public Transit: $2,484
Total: $37,656

Single, one dependent
Rent: $18,924
Food: $5,880
Miscellaneous: $6,060
Public Transit: $2,472
Total: $33,336


Estimated Total Costs per Academic Year

Undergraduate Students (8 Courses)
Single, living at home: $12,616
Single, living away: $20,360
Married, no dependents: $32,088
Single, one dependent: $29,208

Undergraduate Students (10 courses)
Single, living at home: $14,154
Single, living away: $21,898
Married, no dependents: $33,626
Single, one dependent: $30,746

Graduate Students (Part-time)
Single, living at home: $14,269
Single, living away: $25,885
Married, no dependents: $43,477
Single, one dependent: $39,157

Graduate Students (Full-time)
Single, living at home: $18,195
Single, living away: $29,811
Married, no dependents: $47,403
Single, one dependent: $43,083


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 and extend funding to eligible students. 

Students may receive:

  1. A Canada Student Loan (repayable) and/or
  2. A BC Student Loan (repayable) and/or
  3. Canada/BC Grants (not repayable)

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 eligible for 2020-2021 listed below.

Student, no dependents
Canada Loan or Grant: $11,900
BC Loan or Grant: $3,740
Total: $15,640

Student, maximum* with dependents
Canada Loan or Grant: $11,900
BC Loan or Grant: $4,760
Total: $22,100*


StudentAid BC Application Procedures

Full-time Studies

  1. If you wish things to be in place prior to semester start, complete a loan application online via www.studentaidbc.ca at least six (6) weeks before classes start.  Applications can be started as late as six (6) weeks prior to the end of the semester.  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 if you are approved for funding, the funding type (loan and/or grant), and funding amount.
  5. Prior to issuing any funds, StudentAid BC must receive your Master Student Financial Assistance Agreement (MSFAA).  The MSFAA normally remains in place for the loan duration.
  6. Your student loan/grant monies will be deposited directly into your personal bank account once UNBC confirms your enrolment.  UNBC can confirm enrolment 15 days prior to the start of class each semester.  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 (see below for the link).
  3. Once completed, applications for part-time study MUST BE RETURNED to the UNBC Awards & Financial Aid Unit for processing via awards@unbc.ca.

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 15th.

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

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 "UNBC Leadership Award" application as well as additional supporting documentation.