BC Student Bursary

British Columbia Bursary for Students with Visual Impairments & Blindness (BCBSVIB)

BCBSVIB was established to provide support for BC students who are visually impaired or blind in pursuing a post-secondary education. The bursary is jointly administered by the Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI) and the BC Vision Teachers Association (BC VTA).

The bursary promotes education and life-long learning for students with visual impairments. The BCBSVIB provides financial support to students who have demonstrated commitment to their secondary school studies and community activities. Blind and low vision students, who may face barriers in the pursuit of post-secondary education due to financial constraints, are encouraged to apply to the BCBSVIB for financial assistance. 

Applications in support of 2023-2024 post-secondary study are open from April 11, 2023. The deadline to apply is Friday, June 2 at 4:00 PM PDT. 

Amount of Award

The BCBSVIB will be awarded on an annual basis to one student in the amount of $1000. In the case of a tie, the Selection Committee may, at their collective discretion, share the bursary between two finalists. Further, the Selection Committee may not award the bursary if no qualifying candidate can be identified.

The total amount of the bursary will be paid directly to the awardee's post-secondary institution by the Vancouver Foundation. 

Eligibility Criteria

  • Students must have a qualifying visual impairment and be registered with the Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI).
  • Students must be graduating in June 2023 with a Dogwood Certificate or be leaving secondary school in June 2023 with an Evergreen Certificate.
  • Students must be accepted to a degree or certificate program at a registered post-secondary institution (i.e., must have an active student account with the post-secondary institution by June 2, 2023). 

Selection Criteria:

The Selection Committee is composed of the PRCVI Manager and up to two (2) designated representatives from the BC VTA. Evaluation of candidates’ written statements and letters of support proceed under the following key areas and according to the corresponding weighting for each:

Demonstrated academic engagement (30%) within the last five years.

  • A high level of academic engagement is evident not only by a student’s grades. Students show a high level of academic engagement through participation in class work, a high level of organizational skill, and care in completing submitted work. Academic engagement also includes participation in arts-based learning and performance, science fairs, etc.

Demonstrated leadership (40%) within the last five years.

  • Students demonstrate leadership abilities when they undertake workshop or other training to increase their self-determination skills and/or strategies for supporting these skills in others.
  • Leadership opportunities may include organizing events and initiatives that uplift and support others, organizing charitable fundraising, and participation in training such as the Blind Beginnings’ Youth Leadership and Pre-Employment program.

Demonstrated engagement in the community (30%) within the last five years.

  • Students engage in engage in community service when they contribute to initiatives to better their communities.
  • Engagement could involve active participation in extra-curricular activities, clubs and organizations. 
  • Community service typically involves volunteering at events such as food drives and/or volunteering in a service role such as visiting with residents at a long-term care facility.

How to apply:

Step 1 – Complete Online Application Form

Link to Online Application Form (open until June 2, 2023). Please be sure to have reviewed all information on this webpage before starting the online application. Students should complete the online application form, answering in their own words.

Step 2 – Secure a Nomination Letter

A letter (maximum 750 word) from a nominator is required. A nominator can be a principal, teacher of students with visual impairments, or classroom teacher – any educator who can speak to your suitability for this award. Ask your nominator to send their nomination letter to registration@prcvi.org with your name and the name of the bursary (BCBSVIB) in the subject line and filename.

Step 3 – Scan and Email Acceptance Documentation

Email scanned copies of your offer of acceptance letter from your intended post-secondary institution to registration@prcvi.org. Please be sure to include your name and “BCBSVIB” in the filename and email subject line. While not required, covering letters can be submitted with acceptance documentation to the same email address.

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