Education Awards

In addition to offering the Terry Smith Memorial Trust Fund, Community Savings also contributes to The Credit Union Foundation of B.C., which is a provincial wide philanthropic arm of the credit union system. This foundation, provides money to public colleges and universities throughout B.C., which are disbursed to deserving students in need of financial assistance. Students should check their school’s calendar for descriptions of the awards or consult with their Awards Office on eligibility. Click here to go to the application information.


Applicant Criteria

  • The prime criteria is demonstrated financial need.
  • It is expected that the main funding is in place and every effort through normal channels available to students to access funds has been made. This includes applying for government student loans and school bursaries.
  • Acceptable grades are required.
  • Applicants must be B.C. residents (as described by the student loans criteria) who are Canadian Citizens or have Landed Immigrant status.
  • Applicants must be in attendance at a public post secondary school within the province of B.C. when the application is submitted.
  • Applicants attending accredited private schools will only be considered if the program is not offered at a public school. Applicants must provide a statement as to why they are not attending a public school and provide a receipt for tuition.
  • Applicants attending at a school out of province will only be considered if the program is not offered within B.C. A statement regarding this must accompany the submission as well as a receipt for tuition.
  • For students whose home town is near the Alberta border and it makes economical sense to attend school in that province, requests will be considered.
  • Students taking part in overseas field trips or exchange programs are not eligible unless it is a requirement to obtain the degree.
  • Programs of study may be vocational, technical, technological or academic.
  • Graduate and post graduate students are not eligible. However students on designated programs of study required to become a professional such as a lawyer, doctor, teacher, etc. may apply.
  • Consideration is also given to mature students.

Applications are accepted at the start of the students' academic year; only one application per calendar year will be accepted. The deadline is the date the application must be received at the Foundation's address.

If starting
Submissions Open
Award Notice
Fall semester
September 1
October 15
Winter semester
January 1
February 15
Spring/Summer semester
May 1
June 15

Only complete signed applications will be reviewed. Incomplete applications will be returned. Please refer to for details on the program and application form.

Click here to go to the application information 



  1. Can credit union staff or relatives of staff apply?
    Yes. All applicants receive the same consideration.
  2. Can a non-member apply?
    Yes. To keep the charitable status granted by government, the Foundation must accept and review all requests. A non member is viewed as a potential member.
  3. How much are the awards?
    Award amounts are based on financial need, type of program, school attended, length and level of the program, etc. Presently the maximum that can be awarded is $2400: Eg. up to $3000 is available for a PDP student on fifth year university program having to take twelve months consecutively of 15 credits per semester (45 credits per year); a first year college student taking two full credit semesters can expect up to $800.
  4. Can I apply for a specific scholarship?
    Not necessary. Our awards are primarily bursaries, not scholarships, as the prime criterion is financial need. Information shown on the application will determine from which Trust Fund the award will be made available if granted.
  5. My grades were not the highest in high school - would I still be eligible for a bursary?
    Awards are available to all students with acceptable grades. Many career goals are not dependent on having the top academic grades from high school. Copies of official transcripts are required to substantiate that courses have been passed and are not being repeated.
  6. Do I have to be approved for a government student loan to be eligible?
    Not necessarily. There are many circumstances where a student may not be eligible to take out a student loan. However an explanation must be entered on the form and a copy of the decline notice provided.
  7. Should I send the application in early - before the acceptance dates?
    No. Acceptance dates are shown on the form. Students must be registered in their program of study and in attendance at the college or university before applying. Applications submitted prematurely frequently lack full information, inaccurate estimates are presented, and/or documents are missing; incomplete submissions are simply not reviewed. As the awards are primarily based on financial need, the financial status section must be shown as accurately as possible. If the student has to move closer to the school, expenses such as rent, utilities, and public transit often do not become known until the student has arrived at their new residence.
  8. What if I am missing documents by the deadline?
    Only government student loan award notices which are sometimes delayed will be accepted up to one month following the deadline. Send the complete application so that it is received by the Foundation during the period of acceptance and indicate that the document is to follow. No other material will be accepted after the initial submission.
  9. Why does the application ask that I apply at the beginning of my academic year and why are awards disbursed during the course of study, not before?
    The awards are not intended to be the main funding source, but rather supplemental grants in aid assistance in order to complete the program of study. Students should not enter into a program without establishing their main funding available to them. After a few weeks at school, students will most likely know whether they will be continuing or withdrawing from the chosen courses or program of study. Also, awards are not granted retroactively, that is, not available for past semesters taken.
  10. When will I know if I will get an award?
    Decisions are final and will be conveyed in writing approximately two months after the deadline. Eg. Deadline was October 15, award notice will be issued by December 15.
  11. Why do I have to give my SIN?
    As it is requirement of Revenue Canada for any monetary awards, T4A's (for which the SIN is required) are issued to all recipients the following February. It is the student’s responsibility to provide any change of address.

To learn about the credit union education awards, visit