BC tuition waivers come with strings attached

September 29, 2014

BC’s Representative for Children and Youth Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is “appalled” to learn that as PSE institutions continue to offer tuition waivers and bursaries to foster children and former youth-in-care, the BC government is cutting back equivalent amounts from other support funding given to these youth. In one case, an 18-year-old foster child was awarded a $1,300 college bursary only to have the same amount deducted from the tuition funds granted by the Ministry of Children and Family Development. “The whole point of universities doing this is basically to lessen the load of the financial burden of kids in care. It was not for the ministry to freeload and deduct the money from kids in care,” said Turpel-Lafond. The ministry defended the action by explaining that as a foster child, shelter and food costs are already covered, so it is acceptable to cut back the funds allocated for tuition. Turpel-Lafond said it would have been “decent” to let the teen keep the money for other expenses, such as tutoring or school supplies. Vancouver Sun