Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Student Awards & Financial Support

This information pertains to distance learning through Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning (TRU-OL). If you require information about on-campus learning at TRU Kamloops, click here.

Applying for Financial Assistance

Students should contact Student Awards & Financial Support for part-time or full-time application forms and information.

Phone 1.800.663.9711 Ext. 4 (toll-free in Canada) or 250.852.6802 (Kamloops and International)
Fax 250.371.5668

  • Applicants may submit part-time application forms to the TRU-OL Student Awards & Financial Support office. Faxed copies are not accepted.
  • Applicants may submit full-time application forms online at .
  • Students making up a full-time course load from more than one institution or TRU division, including on-campus courses at TRU Kamloops or Williams Lake (split-enrolled), must inform each institution's or TRU division's financial aid office before registering.

Forms and Information in PDF

The following financial aid forms and information are provided in PDF format to download and print:

Residency Requirements

Currently, only Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents (Landed Immigrants) are eligible to apply for financial assistance.

Detailed information about residency requirements for part-time and full-time assistance is provided at .

Full-time Assistance

The Canada Student Loans Program defines a student's province of residence for the purposes of full-time assistance as the last province lived in for twelve consecutive months as a non full-time student, or if the student has immigrated within the last year, the province in which they landed.

Canadian citizens or landed immigrants (permanent residents) who do not qualify as residents of BC may apply for full-time government loans and grants through the province of which they are considered to be residents. If the student's chosen program of study is available at institutions in their province of residence, the student may not be eligible for provincial loans and grants through some provinces while studying in BC.

Part-time Assistance

Applicants must be resident in BC at the time of application to receive part-time assistance through TRU-OL. For students not residing in BC, the Part-time Canada Student Grant (CSG) can be applied for directly through the government in the province in which the student is residing.

Part-time Bursaries and Grants
(non-repayable aid)

To apply for part-time funding which includes: The Canada Student Grants, CKNW Bursary, Barbara Guttmann-Gee Bursary or Open Learning Bursary, for studies commencing between August 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017, download a 2016/17 Part-Time Studies Application form; for studies commencing between August 1, 2015 to July 31, 2016, download a 2015/16 Part-Time Studies Application form along with the TRU-OL Course Registration Form. Then mail the original completed application and Course Registration to: TRU Open Learning, c/o the Student Awards & Financial Support Office, 900 McGill Road, Kamloops, B.C. V2C 0C8. Allow between two to four weeks for processing.

The programs listed in this section pay for all direct educational costs, including tuition and fees, required textbooks, miscellaneous allowance and some childcare when applicable.

Upon approval of a bursary or grant application, the student is registered in the requested course(s), or, if already registered, is reimbursed by cheque or credit card refund if applications are received within two months of the original date of registration.

Bursaries and grants are available to applicants who demonstrate financial need (according to the formula used by StudentAid BC) and, for Canada Student Grant only, all students must be studying between 20% to 59% of a full-time course load. Applicants must be in good standing with any previous Canada or BC student loans.

Canada Student Grant for Part-time Students (CSG)

This federal grant program (CSG) provides funding to low-income students registered in qualifying post-secondary courses who are pursuing a certificate, diploma or degree. The maximum funding per student per program year (August 1 to July 31) is $1,800.

Erm Fiorillo - Hal Davis CKNW Orphans' Fund Bursary

Established by the CKNW Orphans' Fund, this endowment provides funding to students in distance courses who are single parents. Preference is given to those not already receiving funding through other programs, who reside in the Greater Vancouver area, and who have not previously completed a post-secondary program of study.

Barbara Guttmann-Gee Bursary

Established by BC Open University 1991 graduate Barbara Guttmann-Gee, this endowment provides funding to female students in distance courses. Preference is given to older females in financial need and those pursuing a TRU-OL certificate, diploma or degree.

Open Learning Bursary

This endowment gives preference to the applicants in distance courses who do not have access to other sources of financial aid and those pursuing a TRU credential.

Adult Upgrading Grant (AUG)

This provincial grant program provides funding to students enrolled in Adult Basic Education courses; Grade 10, 11, or 12 completion; ESL (English as a Second Language); or Basic Literacy. First time AUG applicants may only be funded for up to two courses, and must successfully complete both courses before being concurrently funded for more than two courses.

To apply for AUG funding download an Adult Upgrading Grant Application Formand TRU-OL Registration Form in PDF format and submit the original completed forms to: TRU Open Learning, c/o Student Awards & Financial Support Office, 900 McGill Road Kamloops, B.C. V2C 0C8. Allow up to four weeks for processing. 

Full-time Student Loans and Grants

Students may apply through StudentAid BC at Applications should be submitted a minimum of six weeks before funding is required.

Students may check their loan application status on the web at

Six Key Steps to Apply

  • Read the following section about StudentAid BC. Make sure that self-paced study and highly structured full-time loans will work for you.
  • Select your study period from one of 12 possible terms.
  • Apply to Keep a copy of your application number and your pass code.
  • Register with TRU-OL by the registration deadline:
    a) Online, with a credit card
    b) By phone, with a credit card, at 1.800.663.9711 (toll-free in Canada)
    c) By submitting a paper Full-Time Fee Deferral Application
  • Mail, scan & email or fax the Study Contract to TRU-OL Student Awards & Financial Support after selecting a study period and signing it.
  • Wait a minimum of four weeks after submitting your application to receive notice of your funding.

Student Awards & Financial Support - Distance Education Terms

TermStart DateEnd Date
September September 1 December 31
October October 1 January 30
November November 1 February 28
December December 1 March 31
January January 1 April 30
February February 1 May 31
March March 1 June 30
April April 1 July 31
May May 1 August 31
June June 1 September 30
July July 1 October 31
August August 1 November 30

The late deadline for registration online (by credit card) is the tenth (10) day of each month. The deadline for registration using a fee deferral is the day prior to the start of the study period.

To Check Your Application Status
(with your S.I.N. and application number)

Online at

From Vancouver, phone 604.660.2610
From Victoria, phone 250.387.6100
From elsewhere in BC, phone 1.800.561.1818

Contact Student Awards & Financial Support 1.800.663.9711 Ext. 4 (toll-free in Canada) if you have questions about using student loans at TRU-OL or have general questions about financial aid.

StudentAid BC

This program provides Canada Student Loans and BC Student Loans to BC residents who demonstrate financial need and who are enrolled full-time in post-secondary programs.

The maximum award for both educational and living costs is $320 per week for eligible students without dependents and $510 per week for eligible students with dependents.

To be considered a full-time student in the program, it is necessary to register in and complete a minimum course load of nine new credits per four-month loan period. (Repeat registrations can be used only when no assignments were passed in the previous registration.)

For distance education students, this is a shorter completion schedule than TRU-OL imposes. This can be a challenge for students unfamiliar with studying at home and it is recommended that new TRU-OL students begin with part-time study or that they familiarize themselves with the new method of study before taking out loans. Information about taking distance courses is provided on this website to help students start and continue successfully as distance learners.

Much of the flexibility of open learning is lost when applying for full-time government student loans.

There are 12 distance education loan periods, each four months long, which start the first of each month. Students are required to register in a full-time course load within the month prior to the start date of each period (e.g., register in August for the September term). Late phone and web registrations are permitted up to the tenth day of each month after the term start date.

Any continuous-entry registrations received after the final deadline on the tenth day of the month can only be applied to the following term (e.g., a January 1 registration can be applied only to the February loan term).

All students receiving student loans or grants are required to sign a Study Contract.

After registration, full-time status for distance courses is maintained by submitting assignments each month and submitting all coursework during the loan period in nine credits (the minimum required for full-time status). Loan documents and grants are not released past the study period midpoint without sufficient academic progress.

Final examinations may be written in the month following the loan period (e.g., examinations may be written in May for a January to April loan).

Failure to submit assignments on a regular schedule throughout the loan period or failure to submit all coursework by the end of the loan period, may be regarded as a "technical" withdrawal from full-time study even though a student does not formally withdraw.

This may result in a portion of the loan being placed in "over award" and becoming immediately repayable ("over award" portions of a grant are retroactively converted to an interest-bearing loan).

Eligibility for further funds, interest-free status and other privileges associated with full-time status may be affected.

Interest-Free Status

Students enrolled in full-time studies who are not negotiating a new Canada Student Loan or BC Student Loan should contact Student Awards & Financial Support for information about keeping their existing loans in interest-fee status.

Full-time Single Parents Bursary Endowment Fund

Established by the CKNW Orphans' Fund, this endowment provides funding to students in distance courses who are single parents, have received the maximum student loan amount and still have "unmet need." Applicants must be returning students and have successfully completed their last full-time term through TRU. The Full-time Single Parent Bursary Application is provided in PDF.

TRU-OL Emergency Bridging Loan Fund

This fund is used to provide short-term bridging loans to enrolled distance education students who incur unforeseen delays in their financing (normally student loans). Loans of up to $700, interest-free, are provided for a period of up to 60 days, provided the pending financing is guaranteed and assignable (e.g., an approved student loan).

These loans cannot be issued prior to the first day of a student's study period. The Full-time Emergency Bridging Loan Application is provided in PDF.

Government of Canada's Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP)

Canadian residents and/or their spouses can withdraw up to $10,000 per year from their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to finance full-time studies at post-secondary institutions including TRU-OL. Information is available on the Canada Revenue Agency Website.

Other Sources of Assistance

There are other private bursaries and scholarships available to students attending BC's post-secondary institutions; most of these are available to students registered in TRU-OL courses. Application procedures for these awards vary, and most have restrictions and conditions imposed on them. Information about private awards is also available on the Internet (for example,, and

Annual Awards and Bursaries

Governor General's Silver and Collegiate Bronze Medals

Refer to information on the TRU website for details.

Rosemary Keene Zonta Club Bursary Endowment Fund

Established by the Zonta Club of Vancouver in memory of Rosemary Keene, this endowment provides annual bursaries to students pursuing a first credential in business and administrative studies or science and technology through TRU-OL. Awards are made once a year. Applicants for Part-time Student Assistance are considered for this bursary. No other application is necessary.

Donald Weir Scholarship in Literature

One award of one free course is made annually to the student(s) achieving the highest standing in any of the 400-level TRU-OL English courses. Recipients are pursuing a TRU-OL Bachelor of Arts degree with either a major or a concentration in English and have completed a minimum of 12 TRU-OL credits. No application is required.

Scholarships for Students from Caribbean Countries

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) in partnership with Canadian Virtual University is pleased to offer scholarships to students from the Caribbean region for the Certificate in Information Technology offered through TRU-OL.

Scholarships for online programs allow international students to remain in their home countries while completing Canadian university courses. All courses are delivered online or through print materials sent in the mail.

Information on eligibility is available from the Canadian Virtual University website.

Cameron Beddome Endowment Award

The Cameron Beddome Endowment Fund has been established by family, friends, Thompson Rivers University (TRU) employees and community partners in memory of Cameron Beddome, Chief Recruitment Officer TRU, Open Learning (2007-2011). Cameron died tragically in an automobile accident in December 2011.

Cameron believed in the principles of Open Learning and displayed his dedication to helping all those who took up the challenge of bettering their personal and professional lives through education. Through his leadership, professionalism and compassion Cameron exemplified the very best attributes of TRU, Open Learning.

The Cameron Beddome Endowment award is given annually to a TRU, Open Learning program student who has successfully completed a minimum of one Open Learning course in the last two years. The award is to be used for further enrolment. Candidates are asked to submit a short essay (maximum 250 words) describing how the award will help them achieve their personal and professional educational development goals. The essays are adjudicated by a panel and the winner(s) are announced in mid-October of each year.

Interested award applicants can email and list "Cameron Beddome Endowment Award" in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed annually after the third Friday of September.