Awards, Loans, and Tuition FAQ on COVID-19

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Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. Awards & scholarships
  2. UBC Bursary
  3. Financial hardship
  4. Student loans
  5. Tuition & fees
  6. Government supports
  7. Transportation

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If I opted for a Credit/D/Fail in 2019 Winter Term 2, or if my grades dropped because I didn’t do as well in my classes as I’d hoped, will that impact my eligibility for 2020/21 awards?

Enrolment Services will review each student’s situation on an individual basis and take this into consideration for all awards adjudicated through Enrolment Services.

Any student who falls below the GPA or credit load requirement has the option to submit an appeal to an Enrolment Services Advisor over the summer to explain their situation. Our main goal is to help students maintain, renew, or apply for a new award even if their studies were interrupted.

If you have questions, please contact an Enrolment Services Advisor at 604 822 9836, or submit your question online


How can I receive my UBC scholarship or award funding while Brock Hall is closed?

Most scholarships and awards offered by UBC will pay towards your tuition fees you still owe first. To receive any remaining amount of the award directly, please sign up for direct deposit though your Student Services Centre (SSC) using your Canadian chequing account information. 


Will 2020 Winter student fees be discounted as classes will primarily be conducted online?

Student fees include fees authorized by student referendum, the UBC Board of Governors, the Alma Mater Society (AMS), and other student societies and organizations. 

AMS fees are collected by the University at the request of the organization. For the upcoming 2020W session the AMS has decided to temporarily exempt students from the AMS Athletics and Intramural Fee ($21).  This fee is a student-referendum approved fee that goes towards funding programming related to student athletics and recreation on campus ex. fitness facilities and events like Storm the Wall.  For the 2020W session only this fee will not be charge or collected.

 Additionally, for the upcoming 2020W session payment will be delayed for the Athletics and Rec Fee ($230.82) until the next registered term in the 2020/2021 academic year, meaning that the fee will not be assessed in Term 1, but will be assessed in the next registered subsequent term. This fee provides important funding for the continued operation of sports facilities and delivery of recreation programs at this time and for when the university returns to regular operations.

Please review the Academic Calendar for a detailed lists of all student fees as well as which fees you have the option to opt-out of and how to request those opt-outs. You can also review opt-out options and find out about fee subsidies by contacting your AMS


Will I need to repay my bursary if I didn’t spend the money as originally planned?

If you didn’t spend all of the money you received because you withdrew from your course or no longer have the same costs as before, you will not need to repay any part of your 2019 Winter Term 2 UBC Bursary. An example might be for childcare costs.


When applying for my Canadian Student Loan how should I answer any questions that ask if my program is an online program?

For loan application from any province in Canada, questions in reference to your program being offered online should be answered as though there has been no change to the method your program is being offered as a result of Covid-19. For example, if your program has historically been offered in-person and has moved to online for term 1, please indicate that you are not studying in an online program. 

If your program was an online program before the university’s announcement that term 1 would primarily move to being offered online, please indicate that you study in an online program. 


Will I still be eligible for US Direct Loans if I take online courses or distance education?

Under normal circumstances, students are not eligible to receive Direct Loans while taking distance education or online courses. Any violation of this would make them ineligible for Direct Loan funding for the duration of their degree.

The CARES Act temporarily allows US students to participate in typically ineligible courses, such as Distance Education, Online/Web Learning, and Flexible Learning classes. The Act has now been updated to cover courses up to and including Term 1 and Term 2 of the 2020 Winter Session at UBC (Sep 2020 – Apr 2021).

Under the CARES Act, students are allowed to take online courses without it having a negative impact on their eligibility for Direct Loans during the health crisis.

During regular sessions that are not covered by the CARES Act, students participating in any ineligible courses will lose Direct Loan eligibility for the duration of their degree. 

If you have further questions, please email the US Loans Team at usloans.inquiry@ubc.ca.


Will I still be charged for my U-pass?

UBC worked closely with its partners at the AMS, TransLink, other student associations, and post-secondary institutions to temporarily suspend the U-Pass BC program from May 1 as course-delivery moved online due to COVID-19.

The suspension is currently agreed to be in place up until the end of August 2020. However, as the changes to online course delivery that also impact the delivery of the U-Pass BC are expected to continue into the fall term, discussions with partners are ongoing to determine if and when the U-Pass BC program can resume. 

In the meantime, you may have noticed that your fee statement may include the U-Pass BC fee for fall course registration. Please note, this fee is still subject to change, as no decision has been made yet about the operations of the program. If the U-Pass BC remains suspended for the fall term, UBC will provide those students who have paid the U-Pass BC fee an account-credit or a refund.

If you’re a registered UBC student in Summer Term 2, have difficulty paying for public transit during July and August 2020, and have already purchased a monthly transit pass, you may complete the AMS & GSS transit subsidy form to have your pass partially refunded. The credit will be applied towards your tuition account and viewable on your Student Services Centre (SSC).

If you are taking transit, there are resources available to help you plan your route and make the most of your budget. For example, if you take transit multiple times a week, it may be better for your budget to purchase a monthly pass rather than single fares.

Transit resources


I lost my job due to COVID-19, and I unexpectedly can’t make my rent payment and other basic needs such as food or medication. What should I do?

If you are facing financial challenges due to COVID-19, please contact an Enrolment Services Advisor at 604 822 9836 or submit your request online .

Enrolment Services Advisors can help you explore available options. They have the ability to provide urgent emergency funding if needed to get you through some immediate shortfall. Any potential funding offered to students through this source is highly dependent on a student’s individual circumstances. Advisors take a personalized approach to determining eligibility and recognize that no two student situations are exactly alike. 

This is available to international, domestic, undergraduate and graduate students.

Please also see  student resources available to you during this time.


What government resources are students eligible for?

If you are applying for student loans in September 2020 through Student Aid BC, you will automatically be assessed for the BC Access grant.

The BC Government now offers free, open access for online textbooks

For other supports, please see the list of student resources and services available to you during this time.


What is the BC Access Grant and how can I apply for it?

The BC Access grant is a needs-based benefit issued by the BC government that provides students in undergraduate programs with additional funding for post-secondary education. 

You must be eligible to apply for and receive a student loan to access the grant. Once you apply for your loan, you will automatically be assessed for the grant. 

For more information, visit the StudentAid BC website.


If I have questions about my Canadian and US student loans, who can I speak with?

Enrolment Services Advisors are available to help you with questions around BC student loans, loans from all provinces in Canada, and US student loans.

Connect with an Enrolment Services Advisor at 604 822 9836 or submit your question online.


I can’t cover my tuition by the deadline. What should I do?

Enrolment Services Advisors can help you explore available options. Please contact an Enrolment Services Advisor at 604 822 9836 or submit your question online.


Will 2020 Winter Term 1 tuition be discounted as classes will primarily be conducted online?

UBC’s commitment to providing quality learning experiences and services has not changed as we adapt to current circumstances and offer new modalities of delivery to keep you, your fellow students, faculty, and staff safe during COVID-19. Given this and the commitment to increased student financial assistance, tuition rates will be assessed as approved by the Board of Governors in December 2019.                        

Tuition is vital to maintaining the academic continuity and operations of UBC and providing the range of supports students require now and when we are able to transition to more in-person learning.

UBC has worked closely with the provincial and federal governments on the new programs that have been introduced for students experiencing increased financial need. We have also increased funding to the university’s financial assistance programs to support students.


What support does UBC offer if I have additional costs due to classes being moved online, such as not having access to a computer or webcam and lack of internet access?

Please contact Enrolment Services at 604 822 9836 or submit your request online and they will review your situation and let you know what is available for you.

If you have additional costs due to classes being moved online, an Enrolment Services Advisor can help you explore your financial options.

UBC may be able to provide some funding through the UBC Technology Bursary to help students who experience financial hardships and face difficulties accessing technology essential to learning online. Please reach out to an Enrolment Services Advisor for more information. 


Related COVID-19 resources

If you still have questions

Undergraduate students

Find the contact information for your ES Advisor in the “UBC Contacts” section under “Personal Information” in your Student Services Centre.

Graduate students

Please call 604 822 9836 to speak with an ES Advisor or submit your question online.

See additional COVID-19 updates for graduate students.

Post-baccalaureate students

Students in Medicine and Dentistry, please email es.medsupport@ubc.ca.

Students in Law please email es.lawsupport@ubc.ca with your questions. 

All other students in a professional program please call 604 822 9836 to speak with an ES Advisor or send in your question online

All other students

If you don't have an Enrolment Services Advisor, please call 604 822 9836 or complete the online form.

Last updated on September 9, 2020 @ 8:24 am PDT