Financial support for Indigenous students

Creating a financial plan

Regardless of what your goal is at UBC, it is good to have a plan in place. Having a financial plan can reduce your stress, which can help you succeed in your studies. There are people and resources available at UBC to support you to develop a financial plan and achieve your academic goals.

Academic and personal costs

When planning to attend UBC, there are many costs to consider: 

  • Tuition and student fees
  • Books and other classroom material
  • Housing
  • Meals
  • Entertainment
  • Personal items
  • Child care

Funding resources for Indigenous students

There are many ways to fund your education at UBC. If you are an Indigenous student, you can request funds from several funding sources, depending on your situation.

Band or community sponsorship

At UBC, some Indigenous students are eligible to receive support from their band to pay for their post-secondary education, including First Nations communities, Metis Associations, or community organizations like the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship CentresDepending on your band, they may be able to offer support with tuition and fees, as well as monthly living expenses.

Get in touch with your band early to determine if this is an option for you. You will be required to have your band fill out a Sponsorship Billing Agreement before the start of every academic year.

Get more info

Government student loans and grants

Government student loans are offered by every province and territory in Canada, and you apply through your province or territory of residence.

These loans remain interest-free while you are a full-time student. You are also not required to pay this loan back until you’re no longer in full-time studies. It’s the most ideal type of credit or loan for students, if you need to borrow funding to attend post-secondary. See types of student loans and how to apply.

When you apply for student loans, you’re also considered for government grant funding, depending on your family size, income, and more. Grants do not have to be paid back and you’re only eligible for them if you apply for government assistance.

Things to consider

  • Sponsorship funding is typically not counted as an asset towards your loan calculation. Please verify this with your Provincial Loan Provider. You are encouraged to apply for both sponsorship funding and student loan funding at the same time.
  • If you are eligible for and receiving government student loans, you are also eligible for the UBC Bursary Program, a funding that you do not have to pay back.
  • For students studying part-time, there are loan options and grant funding that can cover the cost of tuition, books, and classroom materials.

UBC scholarships and bursaries for Indigenous students

There are many scholarships and awards available to all UBC students, awarded based on a number of different criteria, including academic standing, involvement in extracurricular activities, or financial need. See if you are eligible for:

You can also use the UBC Award Search Tool to explore the general awards and scholarships by faculty and year level.

Jobs and career resources

UBC offers many job opportunities for students to build work experience and earn money.

  • Work Learn program
    Work part-time in a UBC department or unit for 10 - 20 hours per week while still taking classes.
  • UBC Co-op program
    Gain work experience in the industry through a four- or eight-month full-time position and apply your classroom knowledge in a practical setting. 
  • Other on-campus jobs
    Browse a list of places at UBC that regularly hire students.
  • Career resources for Indigenous graduates
    If you’re graduating from UBC, view the resource guide to help you move through the next steps of your career journey.
  • Job Search
    Learn how to be strategic in finding job opportunities.

Emergency situations

Sometimes even with the best planning, the unexpected happens. If you find yourself in a financial emergency, or if you see an essential expense that you have not budgeted for, please contact your Enrolment Services Advisor or the Indigenous Student Support team (es.indigenous@ubc.ca) right away to discuss available options. There may be short-term emergency funding available to support you.

What the emergency funds can cover: 

  • Support with rent
  • Groceries
  • Medical costs
  • Tutoring
  • Technology
  • Other essential living expenses

What the emergency funds cannot cover: 

  • Tuition
  • Student fees

If you need help

The Indigenous Student Support and Advising Team in Enrolment Services works closely with other teams on campus, including the following:

From the beginning of your UBC journey until graduation, Enrolment Services Advisors are here to make sure you get the support you need when you need it, helping you:

  • Create a financial plan
  • Understand the different funding options
  • Develop a scholarship or award application 

All undergraduate students have an assigned Enrolment Services Advisor for personalized advising. If you do not have an assigned advisor, you can email the Indigenous Advising Team (es.indigenous@ubc.ca) for help.

Contacting the team

  • If you have an assigned Enrolment Services Advisor, please contact them directly through email or phone.
  • If you are an Indigenous student (prospective, undergraduate, graduate, or post-baccalaureate), you can ask questions or book a one-on-one advising appointment by emailing es.indigenous@ubc.ca.
  • During the academic year, on Wednesdays from 12:00 to 2:30 pm, drop into the UBC First Nations Longhouse to speak with an Enrolment Services Advisor and member of the Indigenous Student Support Team. 
  • If you’re a UBC Okanagan student, please contact the UBC-O Indigenous Student Advising Team.