Province unveils free tuition for kids in foster care

BC Premier John Horgan announced an expanded tuition waiver program Friday in Nanaimo for those living in Provincial care.

Youths aging out of foster care will have new education options with access to free post-secondary tuition.

B.C. Premier John Horgan announced the expanded tuition waiver program Friday at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island University.

“We want youth in our care system to know we are looking out for them and that we believe in their potential. That’s why we are expanding access to post-secondary education for youth aging out of care so they can thrive, not just survive,” said Horgan, in a press release.

The program was already available at VIU and at 10 other post-secondary institutions in B.C., but has now been expanded provincewide.

Young people between the ages of 19 and 26 years old who have been in foster care for a minimum of two year are eligible for the tuition waiver. Any student who fits the criteria who has already paid tuition for the fall will have his or her fees refunded.

“Education can mean the difference between a life in poverty or a life of prosperity. It’s an important equalizer because when we lift people up, all our communities benefit,” said Melanie Mark, minister of advanced education, skills and training, in the press release. “Giving former youth in care the opportunity to access post-secondary education and skills training along with the tools needed to complete their studies will empower them to thrive.”

More to come…