Ministry of Advanced Education

Student Resources | Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training

Are you an Aboriginal student planning your post-secondary education? These resources can help you get the most out of your experience.


Wondering what jobs are in demand, and what institutions offer the courses you need? Check out these sites:

Financial Services

Going to college or university is a big investment. You will want to be in control of your finances and able to focus on your studies.

Planning your finances

Financial health is an important part of your well-being as a student. There are great resources to help you plan and manage your financial life before and after school.

If you are a status First Nations person then you may be eligible for funding from the federal government through your Band, Nation or community. The Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development link has information to help get you started.

If you are not a status First Nations person, or if your Band funding is not enough, there are several types of financial assistance that could help you.

  • Student loans – educational loans offered by the province. If you have dependents or are from a lower income family, part of your funding may be in the form of a grant that you do not have to repay.
  • Bursaries – awards to students with dependents or from lower income families. See the Financial Advisors at your institution for a list of bursaries you can apply for.
  • Scholarships – awarded mostly for academic achievement but some may require achievement in other areas such as leadership, community service, artistic endeavours, and athletics.
  • Awards – have an academic requirement but also emphasize community involvement or other non-academic qualifications.
  • Emergency Financial Assistance – Each public post-secondary institution has funding to assist students who have urgent unforeseen financial needs that might prevent them from finishing the school year. Contact the Aboriginal Student Services at your institution for more information.

  • Other Financial Aid – Your institution may also have awards specifically for Aboriginal students.  Be sure to check with Aboriginal Student Services at your institution.

Student Support

While you're in school, explore the following support services and resources.

Aboriginal Gathering Places have been built on almost all public post-secondary institution campuses in B.C. with the financial support of the Ministry of Advanced Education.

They are unique spaces that reflect the culture and traditions, of Aboriginal students. You can use these spaces to meditate, hang out, study, celebrate, and hold ceremonies.

Gathering Places Locations (click on a marker for more details).

This downloadable student handbook [PDF] was created to help answer some of your questions and to prepare you for the next step in your journey.

Topics include:

  • finding suitable childcare in an urban setting
  • accessing affordable housing
  • meeting new people in an unfamiliar city

Information is current as of May 2010 and through your own exploration, you may find new related links or resources that will be beneficial throughout your journey.