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Welcome to the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres

The Friendship Centre movement is built on community support, trust, strong leadership, tradition and faith and is mandated to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal Peoples throughout Canada.   Located in Victoria BC, the BCAAFC is the umbrella association for 25 Friendship Centres throughout the Province of British Columbia.

Student Bursary

The 2013-2014 FCF Student Bursary is now closed. The 2014-2015 FCF Application will be available September 1st, 2014.

The First Citizens Fund Student Bursary Program provides funding to students of Aboriginal ancestry to help support their post secondary education. It's funded by the Province of British Columbia and delivered by the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres.


(please see the bottom of this page for other Aboriginal student bursary programs)

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:
The First Citizens Fund student bursary program is funded by the Province of British Columbia and delivered by the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres. This program provides financial assistance to Aboriginal students enrolled in post-secondary education.  Aboriginal students that are ordinarily resident in British Columbia and are enrolled full time in a recognized post-secondary university or college in a minimum two-year program are eligible to apply for a First Citizens Fund student bursary.  The level of assistance will be determined by need and will reflect the amount of assistance received from other sources.  The maximum level of assistance is $700/year for Band or Tribal Council funded students and $2,000/year for non-funded students.  

HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS:
The First Citizens Fund student bursary program is designed to reward students for successful completion of their term of study.  When a student sends an application in, if all the eligibility criteria are met, funds will be committed to students on a first-come, first-serve basis.  However, funding will not be sent out until a student’s official transcript is received.  Once the student’s official transcript is received, if the student’s grades and enrollment meet the program requirements, a cheque will be sent out to the student.  That cheque may be used for any purpose. Students may apply for a bursary for the year they are currently enrolled in until May of that year.  If students would like to receive funding for the next year, they must reapply with a new application form.  They do not, however, have to send all the supporting documents again, unless they have switched programs.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE:

  • Post-secondary students of Aboriginal ancestry (status, non-status, Métis, and Inuit).
  • Applicants who are permanent residents in British Columbia for six months or more at the time of application (not including attendance at post-secondary institution).
  • Applicants registered full-time in a minimum two-year academic program at any BC recognized post-secondary institution.

Full time is considered as follows:

  • undergraduate students, at least 3 full time credit courses (60%) per term
  • students with a disability that affects academic performance, a least 2 full credit courses (40%) per term
  • Graduate students, a letter from your academic advisor confirming satisfactory progress at a full time level (for a maximum of 3 years for Masters Students, and 5 years for Doctorate students).


WHAT ARE THE SELECTION CRITERIA:

  • The applicant is of Aboriginal ancestry.
  • The applicant must provide a recommendation in writing by a band council or recognized Aboriginal organization.
  • The applicant attains a minimum 2.5 grade point average or C+ grade equivalent.
  • Applicants completing graduate studies demonstrate satisfactory progress at a full time level.
  • Applicants completing a 40% course load have provided proof of a permanent disability.
  • The applicant must demonstrate a financial need.
  • Students will not be eligible for a bursary to repeat a course or academic year, for which a bursary has already been received.


HOW TO APPLY:

Students submitting an application must complete the following:
1. A completed, signed and dated application form.
2. A letter written by the applicant on ancestry, family background, education and employment history, and career or academic goal. (first time applicant)
3. Proof of full-time registration in a college or university
4. A letter of support from your band or recognized Aboriginal Organization. (first time applicant)
5. Supporting evidence of Aboriginal ancestry, or a further explanation.  (first time applicant)
6. Applicants with a disability that affects academic performance  must provide one of the following documents explaining academic performance limitations:

  • verification of receipt or qualification for federal or provincial assistance for persons with disabilities, or
  • a medical certificate from a licensed medical practitioner e.g. physician or specialist, or
  • a learning disability assessment, or
  • a Verification of Permanent Disability form.

(Note: Medical documentation must be signed and certified by the prescribing medical practitioner.)
7. Any additional information pertaining to the application can be included on a separate page.

Graduate students must also provide:
1. an official transcript verifying enrolment, a letter from your academic advisor confirming advisor’s role, full time level and satisfactory progress, advisor contact information, and dated and signed on university letterhead.

Returning Applicants:  Please provide a completed application for academic year and proof of academic registration.  If you have a disability affecting academic performance you must provide a current document stating disability and academic limitations.

WHAT ELSE DOES AN APPLICANT NEED TO KNOW:

  • Applications can be made for each academic year required to attain a diploma, degree or graduate degree.  In the event that a student changes programs, the first academic year in the new program will not be eligible; however, second and subsequent years will be considered.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered for funding.
  • Applicants may be asked to provide additional supporting information at the discretion of the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres.
  • A declined application can be appealed within 30 days of the date of decision.  Consideration will be based on the submission of supporting information or a change in circumstances.
  • T4As will be sent in February of the next year for tax purposes.
  • If you are moving or have a change of circumstance, it is your responsibility to notify the bursary office.


OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS:
Students who do not submit their official transcripts for the 2013-2014 Academic year by June 30th, 2014, may be ineligible for funding for the 2013-2014 academic year.

WHERE TO SEND APPLICATIONS AND MAKE INQUIRIES:
All applications, official transcripts, correspondence, and telephone inquiries should be sent to:

Jamin Zuroski, FCF Student Bursaries Administrator
BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres
551 Chatham St.
Victoria, BC
V8T 1E1
Phone: 250 388-5522
Fax: 250 388-5502


 

Additional Bursary Resources:

Finding Your Gifts

This site has been developed based entirely on the contributions of Aboriginal students from a diversity of Nations who chose to take time out of their busy lives to offer stories of their personal experiences in post secondary education. As you plan your own academic journeys, these gifts provide insights into when, where and how to access resources, how to develop strategies for success, how to find balance in your life and how having a strong sense of identity and purpose can carry you through this sometimes challenging pathway to your future.

Aboriginal Bursary Programs (.pdf) 182 KB

Teacher's Guide (.pdf) 316 KB

Aboriginal Student Transition Handbook (.pdf) 2.94 MB

Contact Us

BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centers
551 Chatham St.
Victoria, BC, V8T 1E1 Canada
Phone: (250) 388-5522
Fax: (250) 388-5502
The BCAAFC is
a scent-free office.
Good sense is no scents.