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FACT SHEET: Adult Basic Education and the Adult Upgrading Grant

Posted on February 6, 2015

Starting April 2015, Vancouver Community College will collect tuition for Adult Basic Education (ABE) programming. As a result of provincial government change of policy; VCC made the decision to charge tuition in order to keep offering ABE programs.

About Adult Basic Education and Adult Upgrading Grants (AUG):

  • The provincial government is now allowing post-secondary institutions to charge tuition, while providing support for low-income students. “Adult students who have the means to do so will be expected to contribute to the cost of the upgrading needed for further studies and entry into the workforce,” (government fact sheet).
  • To be considered for an AUG, a student must be a resident of B.C., and a Canadian Citizen, a Permanent resident, or a protected person.
  • The program applies to Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, or Adult Special Education students. 
  • Income thresholds for AUG eligibility are $23,647 per year for a single person and $36,192 per year for a family of four. See for more information.
  • ABE will remain tuition free for adults who have not graduated from secondary school.

How VCC is responding to the changes of policy:

  • Tuition for all programs will be $1,600 per full-time semester.
  • Many of our ABE and ESL students will be eligible for Adult Upgrading Grants (formerly ABESAP) to fully or partially offset their tuition fees.
  • Our Registrar staff, instructors and financial aid staff have been directed to help ABE and ESL students by making them aware of the new AUG program.
  • VCC did start showing the tuition fee for students enrolled in the winter term (January 5, 2015), however, no student is required to pay the tuition until April 2015.
  • All students were notified directly via email in December and January, prior to the winter term; VCC encouraged all students enrolled in the winter semester to apply for the new Adult Upgrading Grants (AUG). 

VCC is collecting information on student eligibility so we can better plan for the new tuition-based ABEprogram in the future.