Fund provides relief for students experiencing financial difficulties
Teanna Jagdatt // Contributor
Sara Nguyen // Illustrator
With the majority of students taking remote classes, U-Pass fees can seem like an unnecessary expense for some students. However, other students rely on the U-Pass to attend in-person classes and get to work. In response, the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) has created a bursary that reimburses approved applicants 50 percent of the fall semester’s U-Pass BC fees. “We knew we had to look at the options for September,” explained CSU President Emily Bridge.
Over the summer, the CSU worked with the U-Pass Advisory Committee and TransLink to explore U-Pass program options. Eventually, the committee decided to reinstate the U-Pass for students who needed affordable access to transit during the fall semester. The U-Pass Hardship Fund was created to respond to the needs of students facing financial hardship.
Although all full-time students are automatically enrolled in the U-Pass program, not all students are eligible for the CSU U-Pass BC Hardship Fund. Only students enrolled in at least one in-person class and who live in Metro Vancouver can apply—the rest need to request a fee exemption from the Capilano University Financial Aid office.
Students can apply online and fill out a 10-minute application with their student information, eligibility and financial hardship due to COVID-19. After the application is completed, the CSU will go through a review process. “We really want to support students going into this fall term, but also at the same time, we want to go through the applications as thoroughly as possible,” said Bridge.
The CSU provides other forms of aid for students who don’t meet the requirements of the program. “If you end up not eligible, but still are in financial need, there are many other options for you to receive funding,” said Bridge, citing the CSU’s discounted TELUS internet, affordable electronics repair services, and food bank services.
Students in need of emergency financial assistance are encouraged to reach out to the CapU Financial Aid and Awards office to discuss their options.