Financial Aid

Western Maritime Institute is committed to providing our students with financial aid information. You may find that you need financial assistance to invest in your career and future. Western Maritime Institute is designated by the Private Training Institutions Branch of the B.C. Ministry of Education and as such is a Designated Learning Institution, which means our students are eligible for funding that is not available to students attending non-accredited career colleges. Check out some of the financial aid options we’ve curated below and contact your Admissions and Career Advisor at 1-866-632-6888 if you have any questions or need help with your financial aid applications.

Marine Scholarships and Bursaries

Buck Suzuki Legacy Bursary

The TBuck Suzuki Foundation is accepting applications for our annual Buck Suzuki Legacy Bursary, valued at $1000. Students in oceans, fisheries, food or marine related studies at the undergraduate, graduate, or trades level are welcome to apply. .

Deadline: July 11, 2022


Eligible candidates must be enrolled in a marine-related undergraduate, graduate, or trade program in a Canadian institution.

Some examples include marine trades, shipwright, vessel master, marine biology or ecology, fisheries science, social justice, community health sciences, or natural resource management.

Preference will be given to students with family connection to the marine sectors

How to apply:

Please provide a letter or video (max. 3 pages/3 minutes) addressing the following questions:

  • In your opinion, what is the greatest challenge facing our oceans and fisheries today? How will your studies help address these challenges and build a brighter future?
  • Please describe your relationship to the ocean or marine community.
  • How do you interact with the marine environment?
  • If applicable detail family employment in the marine sector, and/or any connection to marine industry.

Supporting documents are encouraged. Please include a letter of reference, transcripts, CV or list of accomplishments including awards, presentations, publications, work experience, public service that you feel would strengthen your application.

Please submit all bursary application materials to by July 11th, 2022.

BCFMWU/WMI Colin Laird Memorial Scholarship

The Western Maritime Institute and BCFMWU are proud to offer full scholarships to two (2) successful members for the fall and spring Deckhand/Bridge Watch Rating Program at Western Maritime Institute. The scholarship offer includes tuition for the full Bridge Watch Rating program. Both scholarships will be awarded from all applications received

  • member in good standing of BCFMWU – preference will be given to active members of the Union;
  • grade 12 graduation, with preference given to those with Math 10 and English 12;
  • open to all non-licensed members interested in a career in the Deck Department.

Application closes before December 10, each year

For more information, contact WMI Admission or your BCFMWU Local president.

Vancouver Transportation Foundation/Nautical Institute B.C. Bursaries

The British Columbia branch of the Nautical Institute has an arrangement with the Vancouver Transportation Foundation (VTF) in order to recommend students for VTF scholarships. The VTF is a British Columbia non-profit society with a mandate of providing scholarships and bursaries to students in post-secondary institutions with emphasis on areas of studies relative to transportation.

The VTF/NIBC bursaries provide three $1,000 scholarships and three C$500 bursaries to applicants enrolled in Nautical Science.

Eligible students should be:

  • participating in full-time studies (more than 6 months) at either BCIT, Camosun College or Western Maritime Institute studying for deck watchkeeping certificate at the level of Watchkeeping Mate or higher.
  • registered for courses of one month or more at any of the above named institutions leading to advancing certification for deck watchkeeping roles.

Application to include:

  • a letter describing your marine experience and your career goals,
  • a one-page budget outlining your anticipated income and expenses for the current year,
  • two letters of reference (with one relating to experience at sea),
  • a copy of your most recent transcripts of marks, and
  • a completed application for NI membership, to be submitted and paid for winners by NIBC.

To be announced

Nautical Professional Education Society of B.C. Bursaries

Applications are now invited from qualified students for the 2022 NPESC Busaries.

This year there will be a total of five  C$1,500 bursaries awarded to applicants enrolled in Nautical Science or Marine Engineering courses of a minimum length of 250 hours at a training institution approved by Transport Canada and registered with the British Columbia government.

There will be another competition in the spring of 2023 with more Bursaries being offered. If you are not successful at this fall event, we encourage you to re-apply in the spring.

The Nautical Professional Education Society of Canada

For detailed information & to apply, please visit

The deadline for application is: November 30, 2022

Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) Scholarship

Since 1998, Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) has been offering scholarships to students of family members involved in spill response on the West Coast. Three scholarships worth $1,000 each are offered to students who are enrolled in a post- secondary program. The selection is based on the applicant’s academic performance, education and career goals as well as their community and extra-curricular involvement.

Students must be enrolled in a post-secondary program in the academic year in which they are applying. They must be an employee, family member of one of the following:

  • WCMRC member or subscriber
  • WCMRC response contractor
  • WCMRC employee

Mid to end of August each year

To Apply 
Download the application form here.

International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Scholarships

The ILWU offers 10 scholarships worth $1,300 each to active members or dependents in good standing who are attending post-secondary vocational/career technical schooling in B.C. only. The program must be identified either as a full-time vocational or career technical program which would include programs with work periods e.g. co-op or apprenticeship.

Applicants for scholarship must provide all of the following relevant documentation before acceptance into the ILWU Canada scholarship draw:

  1. high school transcripts, certified unopened originals only,
  2. verification of acceptance into the program and a receipt showing monies paid,
  3. a letter of good standing from the Local, and
  4. a letter of successful completion may be required.

The draw will be open to all applicants in programs from October 1 of the previous year to the draw deadline of September 30 in the current year.

September 30 of the current year.

More information can be found on the ILWU website.

BC Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union (BCFMWU) Education Awards

Every year, the BCFMWU offers awards in amounts of $500 and $1000. Awards are available to students who will be enrolling in university programs, college programs or technical programs. All awards are open to BCFMWU members in good standing who have been active for at least one year, casual employees hired prior to the year of application, or the spouse, son, daughter, or grandchild of a member in good standing. If the member is retired or deceased, they had to have been in good standing at the time.

Deadline: typically June each year

You can get more information from you local president or by contacting the union office.

International Sailors’ Society Canada (ISSC) Bursary

ISSC is now accepting applications for the Maritime Bursary created in honour of long-serving director and corporate secretary, Sue Hanby. Two bursaries of $1000 each are available in 2017. The bursary is open to students who are enrolling in marine related studies with a recognized educational institution, however, please note that preference will be given to students who are preparing for a sea-going career.

To apply for an ISSC Maritime Bursary, complete the Bursary Application Form and return it to our offices by mail or email a PDF to

To qualify for the 2018 Bursary, applications must be received by the ISSC secretariat no later than July 31st each year. 

Government Assistance

BC Employer Training Grant (ETG)

The Province of British Columbia has negotiated a new Workforce Development Agreement (WDA) with the Government of Canada that replaces the Canada-BC Job Fund Agreement (CJF). The new WDA provides B.C. with more funding and flexibility to address provincial labour market needs.

The goal of the ETG is to help unemployed and employed British Columbians access the skills training they need to adapt to the changing requirements of jobs and the labour market while encouraging employer involvement in training of their employees.

For more information and application procedures, click here.

BC Student Loans

This program provides financial assistance in the form of loans and grants to post-secondary students with financial needs. Students must first apply for a provincial or territorial student loan. Once they have done this they are automatically considered for a Canadian student loan. Students must apply every year in order to receive funding. Students pay no interest and no payment while in school.

Student enrolled in the full Bridge Watch Rating program and the Master 150GT, Domestic Certificate of Competency are eligible to apply for student loans.

The student loans application is available online at StudentAid BC.

Canada Student Grants and B.C. Access Grants

Students applying for Canada Student Loans may also be eligible for grants. Grants are funds you don’t have to repay! The grants you are eligible for will depend on which criteria you fit into, including, but not limited to, having dependants, permanent disability status (be sure that your disability does not preclude you from passing a Seafarer’s medical), or low/middle income.

For more information on grants, please visit StudentAid BC.

Other Provincial Student Loans Programs

If you are a resident of a province other than BC, you can find more information about applying for provincial students loans on the Employment and Social Development Canada website.

Employment Program of BC/Employment Insurance

This program provides assistance from the Employment Program of BC for eligible individuals who wish to return to work by first engaging in necessary training. This program may assist with expenses related to training and maintaining basic household expenses during training period. The first step is to contact your local Work BC Employment service center.

Vital information:

  • Must be attached to Employment Insurance to apply.
  • Up to C$7500 can be applied for in tuition plus living supports, books, supplies, transportation, dependent care and disability supports.
  • Training should be the most direct return to work
  • Allow up to eight weeks for the process.
  • These funds are not a loan but are taxable income.
  • All applicants will need to contribute towards the overall cost of training.
  • Private schools in the Province of BC must be registered with the Private Training Institution Branch (PTIB). In order for a training course or program to be eligible for EPBC client participation, private training providers are also required to be accredited, if the training is 12 weeks or longer in duration.

Contact information is available at

For more information:

Amber Education

GT Hiring Solutions

Global Vocational Services

North Island Employment Foundations Society

Pacific Leaders Scholarships for Children of Public Servants.

Every year, children of B.C. public servants who are full-time students and taking a bachelor degree program, trade, technical or vocational training at a designated public or private post-secondary institution in B.C. are offered 60 scholarships of $2,500 each. Students who may apply are those with a parent who has been in the B.C. Public Service for the last three years.


  • You are a student under the age of 25 as of April 30 of the year in which you apply
  • You have not received a scholarship from Pacific Leaders Scholarships for Children of Public Servants previously. You can receive only one scholarship during your lifetime
  • You will be a full-time student and you have at least one parent, as defined by StudentAid BC policy, who is a full- or part-time regular employee of a BC Public Service employer. This includes all ministries and any organization that is enabled under the Public Service Act

Applications are judged based on:

  • Solid academic achievement (B or better)
  • An essay by the student explaining the contribution that public service employees provide to the citizens of British Columbia
  • Communication skills and references

The application deadline for September studies is April 30 of the current year.

More information can be found here or by sending an email to StudentAid BC

Other Financial Aid Options

RRSP Lifelong Learning Plan

The Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) allows you to withdraw up to $10,000 interest-free from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for you or your spouse or common-law partner. The funds withdrawn have to be repaid within 10 years to retain the interest-free status. You cannot participate in the LLP to finance your children’s training or education, or the training or education of your spouse’s or common-law partner’s children.

WMI is an accredited and designated institute, meaning your RRSP funds can be used towards your education at WMI. Contact the Admissions Office at 1-866-632-6888 for more information.

More information can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency website or by contacting your RRSP provider.

Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)

The RESP is a government registered savings plan that helps families save for their children’s education. An RESP is a tax-deferred savings plan that can be set up for any beneficiary including children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or family friends. The Canadian government can also add to this saving plan with education grants that increase the amount available to the student.

WMI is an accredited and designated institute, meaning your RESP funds can be used towards certain programs at WMI. It is important to understand any parameters surrounding programs that are eligible for your specific RESP. Contact the Admissions Office at 1-866-632-6888 for more information.

More information can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency website or by contacting your RESP provider.

Youth Education Assistance Fund (YEAF)

The Youth Education Assistance Fund (YEAF) makes a difference in the lives of young adults who have spent time in the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development or a delegated Aboriginal agency. YEAF provides grants to former youth in care aged 19 to 24 years old attending university, college, a university-college, an institute or designated private school. The program provides grants of up to $5,500 per program year. Students may receive a maximum of four grants.

For more information and to access the application, visit the Student Aid BC website.

Student Line of Credit

Contact your bank or financial institute for information on borrowing money to finance your education. Interest on a student line of credit, must be paid while the student is in school.

For more information about course and program fees, click here.