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

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If I choose Credit/D/Fail for 2019 Winter Term 2, will I have to repay my Winter Term 2 award?

We encourage you to make decisions related to Credit/D/Fail based on what works best for  your academic records. All awards funded through Enrolment Services (e.g., Presidential Scholar Award, Centennial Award, etc.) will not require any repayment for Winter Term 2 regardless of the students’ academic record or credit load.

UBC understands that the decision to move classes online partway through the second term may have created additional challenges, and we want to support students as best we can during this time. Many of our externally funded awards will also not expect repayment for 2019 Winter Term 2.

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


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?

We want you  to make decisions related to Credit/D/Fail based on what works best for your  academic record. We 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.


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.


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. Currently, the Act will only cover courses up to and including Term 1 of the 2020 Winter Session at UBC (Sep – Dec 2020). Depending on guidelines and direction from our provincial and federal health authorities, UBC is waiting to determine whether the CARES Act will extend to include Term 2 of the 2020 Winter Session (Jan – 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.


I lost my job due to COVID-19, and I 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. 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?

The Government of Canada has announced the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). Application for these benefits is through the Government of Canada. Read the full announcement.

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


What is the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and how can I apply for it?

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a benefit issued by the Government of Canada that may provide you with temporary income support if you’ve stopped working due to COVID-19. Find out more about the benefit and how to apply on the Government of Canada website.


What is the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and how can I apply for it?

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) is a benefit issued by the Government of Canada that provides support to students and new graduates who have stopped working due to COVID-19, and are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI).

Find out more about the benefit and how to apply on the Government of Canada 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 summer tuition by the deadline. What should I do?

UBC will not be placing students on financial hold or applying interest charges for May 2020, but will resume after June 15, 2020.

Enrolment Services Advisors can help you explore available options, and they have the ability to provide urgent emergency funding if needed.

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.


Will 2019 Winter Term 2 tuition and fees be refunded due to the COVID-19 outbreak?

UBC will not be refunding student tuition because the University is working hard to make sure that students still have the ability to complete their coursework, take exams, and receive grades for the courses in which they are enrolled.

UBC recognizes that the student experience has changed significantly in recent weeks with the decision to transition to online instruction and exams. The transition is necessary due to COVID-19 health considerations and the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer.

As a result, UBC’s faculty and staff are working hard to ensure this transition does not impact the quality of education received at the University. UBC’s commitment to providing quality learning experiences has not changed, despite the UBC community having to adapt to unexpected circumstances. While online delivery is not what anyone expected, it is required at this time to keep you and your fellow students, faculty, and staff safer during COVID-19.

Your tuition is vital to maintaining the academic continuity and operations of UBC, in addition to and providing the support you require now and when the University returns to normal operations. The University is following direction from the provincial government on matters such as tuition and student housing costs, as well as working to address the financial pressures faced by students at this time. Additionally, UBC continues to work closely with the provincial and federal governments to provide financial assistance for students experiencing financial difficulty due to unforeseen circumstances.


Will the deadline to pay 2020 Summer Session fees be extended?

The Summer Term 1 tuition deadline has been extended to June 15, 2020. You may disregard the May 15, 2020 payment deadline notification in your Student Service Centre account.


What if the Summer Session course I registered in is cancelled because it’s not offered online?

If your course section is cancelled, you will receive a refund to your original payment method.


Will I still be charged for my U-pass?

The U-pass program has been suspended as of May 1, 2020. Please see the April 9 update from UBC.


I live in a UBC residence and I’m worried I can’t pay my housing fees, what do I do?

Enrolment Services Advisors can help you explore available options, and they have the ability to provide urgent emergency funding if needed.

Please contact an Enrolment Services Advisor at 604 822 9836 or submit your question online .

If you’d like to defer your payment to a later date, visit the UBC Vancouver Housing FAQ page.


Am I able to receive financial support from UBC if I’m currently not a registered student?

Although you should be registered in the session you are requesting help, we know that exceptions apply and you may have just completed your program last week or have just started a leave. Enrolment Services Advisors can help you explore available options and review your situation. They have the ability to provide urgent emergency funding if need is determined to get you through some immediate shortfall – although this is not guaranteed. This is available to international, domestic, undergraduate and graduate students.

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


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?

If you need a laptop for a short period of time or your laptop was stolen, you can borrow one from a limited supply of basic UBC laptops. These laptops will come with limited features and software.

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 to help you through your immediate needs.


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

If you’re in a professional program such as Pharmacy, Medicine, Dentistry, and Law, you can 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 April 30, 2020 @10:11 am PDT