Frequently Asked Questions

It’s never too late to learn. Whether it’s building new job skills, taking one more course to finish your high-school diploma or starting towards a new degree, this is your chance.

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Q: What is upgrading?
A: Upgrading is your opportunity to graduate from high school, improve your high school marks to be accepted into the post-secondary program you’re after or take courses that must be completed as pre-requisites (required courses) to a particular post-secondary program offered at public post-secondary institutions (college and university programs) throughout B.C.
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Q: Why upgrade my education? What's in it for me?
A: Upgrading can be your next step towards unlocking exciting and fulfilling opportunities. There are so many reasons to upgrade. Whether you just want to learn new things, have a new passion you want to explore, improve your reading, writing, math and digital skills to be more successful in your current job, or find a better job that helps you build the career you want. Upgrading can help you get the reading, writing and math skills you need to achieve your dream career. You’ll learn with other adults like you and with instructors who are experts at teaching adults. Plus you’ll meet people just like you – who are choosing to go back to school to better their lives. Upgrading can help you get a better job, build a career, and give you a sense of accomplishment.
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Q: Is upgrading really tuition-free?
A: Yes. Upgrading is completely tuition-free for courses in school district programs, adult learning centres and public post-secondary institutions; other education costs such as registration fees and textbooks may not be free. However, if you take upgrading at a public post-secondary institution you may be eligible for an Adult Upgrading Grant that does not have to be paid back. The Adult Upgrading Grant is available to eligible low-income students enrolled in Adult Education programs at public post-secondary institutions. The non-repayable grant covers books, supplies, transportation and unsubsidized childcare. Visit StudentAidBC to find out more and apply for the grant or talk to your local college or university. Use the search tool to locate and contact a public post-secondary institution.
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Q: What types of courses are available?
A: Reading, writing and math courses are the most common; however, there are many courses available depending on what your needs are. You can find out more through your local school district, adult learning centre, or public post-secondary institution. Tuition-free upgrading courses are available for all adults throughout B.C. who want to learn and take the next step to build a bright future with better employment opportunities.
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Q: What kind of jobs are available after upgrading?
A: Too many to name! Whatever your passion or goal, upgrading your education can open the door to exciting new careers: from automotive technician to building inspector, bus driver to brew master, engineer to doctor. Visit Career Trek BC to see more examples and then use the online tool to contact a learning centre or public post-secondary institution near you to find out which upgrading courses you need to pursue the career and job that interests you.
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Q: How and where do I sign up?
A: Upgrading is the first step towards the career you always dreamed of - get started and find a program near you.
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Q: Where can I upgrade my education?
A: Upgrading can happen anywhere; in a classroom, online, in urban or rural centres and in community settings. Check out your best options and search for a program near you.
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Q: How do I know if I'm eligible to upgrade tuition-free?
A: Upgrading courses are tuition-free for adult learners 18 years and older. In some cases, exceptions can be made for younger people. Tuition-free upgrading is for B.C. residents – Canadian citizens, naturalized Canadian citizens, and refugees and other newcomers who are Permanent Residents. Use the search tool to contact a learning centre or public post-secondary institution near you and find out which tuition-free courses are offered. International students are not eligible for tuition-free upgrading.
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Q: What kinds of courses are offered? Where, when and how can I study?
A: You have choices. Different learning centres and public post-secondary institutions offer different tuition-free upgrading courses. Courses are offered throughout B.C., including in cities and rural areas. There are different options to suit your learning style and schedule. Some courses are at night and others are in the day. You can learn at your own pace in self-guided study or complete your courses during a structured set learning time. Classes are available online, by distance or face-to-face. You can study at Continuing Education Centres, local schools, colleges and other post-secondary institutions, or at home. Many high school level and several pre-post-secondary courses are offered. Some examples include computer studies, math, science, English, and social studies. Use the online tool to find a learning centre or public post-secondary institution near you that offers tuition-free upgrading courses. Check out their websites or call them to find out about the courses they offer and which ones might be right for you.