All Posts Tagged With: "Scholarships"
Big money up for grabs this winter
Scholarship funds are often set up by businesses and non-profits to encourage change, whether it’s more women in engineering, more Canadians in business abroad or more inclusion for disabled people in the workplace. Here are five such awards that undergraduates can apply for now.
Women in Defence and Security gives away thousands each year to female students interested in national defence and security. Awards are based on academics, participation in certain activities, and more. Applicants must have passed year three. The deadline is Nov. 30.
The Canadian Youth Environmental Leadership Scholarship will be given to two students in their second or third years of university who best combine academic achievement and public environmental service. The prizes are $5,000 and summer employment at Cenovus Energy, The Delphi Group, ARC Resources or a similar organization. The deadline to apply is Nov. 30.
Four awards you should apply for now
There’s big money out there for graduating high school students who bother to apply. Some scholarships require long resumes, others simply ask for an essay. Here are four to consider.
Mackenzie Investments will award Canada’s Top Teen Philanthropist $2,500 cash plus $5,000 for the charity of his or her choice. Five other entrants will receive $1,000 each to split with their favourite charities. The deadline is Nov. 26th.
S-Trip, a company that specializes in student travel, is giving away $2,500 to a U.S. or Canadian student with the best essay of 250 words or less on this question: How does travel impact your learning and personal growth? Entrants don’t need to have travelled. The deadline is Dec. 7th.
What Scott Dobson-Mitchell would tell his Freshman Self
Assuming I couldn’t accidentally cause some sort of butterfly effect that would prevent me being born, I wish I could travel back in time and tell my Freshman Self a few things about university. Considering I’ve already forgotten the answers to every exam, this is what I’d tell the younger me.
1) Plan ahead. WAY ahead.
It happens to every semester. Searching through the course calendar, I find the perfect class. It sounds interesting, it fits perfectly into my schedule and it fulfills my upper-year science requirement. The prof has checks out on RateMyProfessors and the course has a high score on Bird Courses. But I don’t have one of the prerequisites! If I’d been smart enough to plan, I would have that first year zoology credit that’s mandatory for nearly everything. Instead, I’m stuck with Phytochemical Biosystems.
2) You’re richer than you think.
Or at least, you’re less broke than you think. There are plenty of ways to get money beyond student loans—scholarships, bursaries, and work study programs that not only get you some cash, but also valuable work experience. The Ontario Work Study Program is one example. If you’re receiving student loans, then you’re probably eligible. Also be sure to check out the Maclean’s Scholarship finder.
But how long can it last?
Norway is one of the last remaining countries where foreign students can attend university without paying a cent of tuition money. But with free school increasingly rare, how long can it last?
Shocking as it may seem to many Canadians, Norweigians don’t charge any tuition to anyone—which was, until recently, normal in Scandinavia. Now, Denmark, Finland and Sweden all charge tuition fees, leaving Norway the only free option.
It should be unsurprising then to learn that foreigners are choosing Norway more often than ever. When non-European Union students were charged tuition fees for the first time this year in Sweden (up to $21,000 each), applications dropped 85 per cent. Meanwhile, Noway’s University of Oslo experienced a 60 per cent rise in popularity. Since 2008, the number of foreign students in Norway is up 27 per cent overall.
Prof. Pettigrew explains the basics of grad school
Even if you’ve just started university, you may already be wondering what graduate school is all about. By “graduate school” I don’t mean professional programs like law or medicine or education; I’m talking about continuing your studies in the same academic discipline you’re majoring in now, like Anthropology or Physics at the master’s level. Obviously, every school and program will have unique features, and you should do your own research to decide where to go and what to take. But here are a few thoughts to help you decide whether a graduate degree may be right for you in the first place.
1. Is it hard to get into a graduate program?
Yes. Graduate programs will often give a minimum requirement for admission (say a B or a B-) but in reality, the standards are usually much higher. You will generally need at least an A- average.
Which schools got the most $150,000 research awards?
Stephen Harper presented 167 Vanier Graduate Scholarships last week at McMaster University. At $150,000 apiece, they’re the most highly sought after prizes for doctoral students studying in Canada.
Schools may only nominate a set number of students based how much money they have received in the past, which gives established PhD programs a clear advantage.
That said, the distribution of the awards tells us something about where the country’s most highly sought after researchers have chosen to study. Here’s the school-by-school breakdown.
Toronto — 28
British Columbia — 25
McGill — 25
Montréal — 12
Alberta — 11
Ottawa — 9
Calgary — 8
McMaster — 6
Western Ontario — 6
Waterloo — 5
Simon Fraser — 4
Laval — 4
Polytechnique Montréal — 3
Queen’s — 3
Dalhousie — 2
UQAM — 2
York — 2
Guelph — 2
Manitoba — 2
Victoria — 1
Concordia — 1
Sherbrooke — 1
Trent — 1
Regina — 1
Saskatchewan — 1
Saint Mary’s — 1
Preference to those studying Monarchy or Aboriginals
Governor General David Johnston and his wife Sharon have created a one-time $5,000 scholarship at the University of Waterloo to honour the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate.
The recipient will be chosen by officials at the University of Waterloo, but preference will be given to a student who is pursuing studies related to the British Monarchy or Canada’s Aboriginal peoples. They will also need to have volunteered and shown leadership to be considered.
David Johnston was president of the University of Waterloo from 1999 until 2010. The Johnstons attended William and Kate’s wedding on April 29.
More information about Their Royal Hignesses Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Award can be found here.
The promise of free tuition has an increasing number of Canadian students heading to Germany
Five people were arrested in Quebec in early April for protesting a $325 increase to annual tuition fees. By 2016, tuition in the province will hit $3,800 a year. But that’s still a bargain compared to Ontario, where the average bill tops $6,500. So it’s no wonder an increasing number of Canadian students are studying in Germany, where tuition is free for citizens and foreigners alike. There are currently 534 Canadians enrolled at German universities—up 52 per cent since 2002.
Peter Gilfoy, a 23-year-old from Halifax, couldn’t believe his luck when he stumbled upon free tuition during his year-long exchange at the University of Frankfurt. He had already paid his fees for that semester to Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, where he’s now finishing his commerce degree. But free tuition allowed him to stay an extra year in Frankfurt and take university courses simply to improve his German.
He was even more surprised when students marched in the streets to protest a new fee: $280 to cover their train pass. “I was in awe considering they know full well how much Canadians and Americans pay,” he says. Gilfoy also found bargains on rent, beer—only $1.50 per half-litre—and cafeteria food, which is government-subsidized.
But it’s not only free tuition that is attracting Canadians. Translating the traditional German diplom and magister degrees for Canadian employers has always been difficult, says Jessica Denenberg, an information officer of DAAD Toronto, an organization that encourages academic exchange with Germany. But over the past few years, universities in Germany have been phasing out the old degrees in exchange for North American style bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
The only major difference left is that most German students finish their bachelor degrees in three years instead of four, which is now the norm for Canadians. That’s because they spend six weeks after each four-month semester writing papers and tests. It’s easy considering they don’t need to work for cash in between semesters.
Another obstacle for prospective students that’s been overcome is a lack of German language skills. It’s less of a problem now that the number of bachelor’s programs taught in English has topped 100. And for those who opt for programs in Deutsch, as Gilfoy did, fellow students speak enough English that they can easily converse, he says.
One might also assume a school with free tuition would be filled with slackers dumbing-down seminars, or that the education is of lower quality. But Gilfoy and Denenberg both argue that German facilities are comparable to Canadian schools they’ve attended, and that German students generally take academics more seriously.
But Canadians considering a discount degree in Europe might want to act fast. Sweden and Finland, which used to entice international students with free tuition, are now going to start charging foreigners. Master’s degrees that were once free to Canadians at Lund University in Sweden, for instance, will cost $17,000 per year, starting this fall. Germany, along with Norway, are among a dwindling group of tuition-free holdouts.
It will be difficult for Gilfoy to pass up more free education. He plans to apply to master’s programs in both Canada and Germany next year. Queen’s or Dalhousie would require that he take out a line of credit at the bank. A master’s at Frankfurt, meanwhile, would cost only the $280 per semester train fee. So if he gets into a German school, he could graduate debt free—even when you factor in those $1.50 beers.
Students received scholarships after parents made donations to Christian schools
The Federal Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling by the Tax Court, putting a stop to the practice of parents making donations to Trinity Western University, and other Christian schools, apparently in exchange for scholarships.
According to the National Post, a donation would be made to the universities through the National Foundation for Christian Leadership (NFCL). Donors would then receive, in some cases, an equal amount in scholarship money for a family member. A charitable donations receipt would also be issued that would see as much as 45 per cent returned in the form of tax credits. “What is disturbing is that the objective evidence points so very clearly to an understanding, indeed a knowledge, at the time of donation, that 80% to 100% of monies they donated would go to cover the education cost of those students who solicited the funds — primarily their offspring,” a Tax Court judge wrote in the original ruling.
In its own ruling earlier this month, the appeals court upheld those conclusions, effectively reversing tax credits claimed by six families who had received funding for family members to attend Trinity Western in 2002 and 2003.
Jonathan S. Raymond, president of Trinity Western, told the Post that he was unaware of many of the details of the case. “This whole matter pre-dates my time here at TWU and I don’t fully understand the issue, so I am not inclined to speak on the matter about which I know so little,” he said.
‘If everyone else can find scholarships, why are we left out?’
A Texas State University student has launched a scholarship program catering exclusive to white males. Iraq War veteran, and mass communication major, Colby Bohannan formed the Former Majority Association for Equality (FMAE) because, he says, white males should be able to access scholarships the same way women and minorities do. “If everyone else can find scholarships, why are we left out?” he told the American Statesman last week. FMAE hopes to offer five scholarships of $500 each to male students who are at least a quarter white, and who hold a minimum 3.0 GPA. According to the group’s mission statement, “In a country that proclaims equality for all, we provide monetary aid to those that have found the scholarship application process difficult because they do not fit into certain categories or any ethnic group.” Bohannan says the group is not intended as a statement against affirmative action. “It’s time to give everyone an equal shot,” he said.
Joining American league would bring higher quality sports, permit full-ride scholarships.
At many institutions the decision on whether their sports teams would join the NCAA would set the campus buzzing.
At UBC? Students care about as much as they do about the football team—which is to say, there’s athletes who care, friends of athletes, about a hundred sport nuts . . . and that’s about it.
Despite this, the university is beginning what it promises is the final round of consultations to decide whether to join NCAA Division II, or stay in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), of which it is a founding member.
UBC had held prior consultations about joining NCAA in 2008 and 2009, but they were inconclusive. The administration then spent the next year attempting to work with the CIS to change rules around scholarships (UBC would like to offer full-ride ones) and conference tiering (UBC plays too many games against small schools they blow out), to no avail.
Of course, for most schools, the NCAA isn’t appealing. According to UBC officials, only Alberta, McGill and Ryerson have expressed interest—though none of those schools have said so publicly. Simon Fraser joined last year, but they were founded with the intent of competing against American schools, and only joined the CIS in 2000 after too many of their US rivals joined the NCAA, which banned international schools until 2008.
Even if you’re philosophically fine with full-time scholarships for athletes (as a growing number of schools, frustrated with the athletic brain drain, are), the travel costs combined with the scholarships make joining the NCAA prohibitively expensive for universities. But UBC’s athletic department, which has wanted to move to the NCAA for many years, is close enough to the border and has teams in sports that the CIS doesn’t even offer, including baseball and golf. In others like field hockey and swimming, there’s simply not enough competition within Canada. When it comes to the CIS, UBC is a big fish in a comparatively small pond.
That’s not to say it’s a slam dunk for UBC to join. Far from it. In the 2008/09 consultations, 52 per cent of respondents polled in a survey were against moving to the NCAA, despite a concerted attempt by the athletic department to get as many of their athletes as possible to fill out the survey. Though there are no plans for any clear “vote” this time around, UBC will end this final consultation making a decision one way or another—the deadline for application to Division II is June 1st.
Losing a job isn’t one of them
A recent study by researchers from Michigan State University found that college students who are considering dropping out are especially sensitive to “critical events” such as depression or a loss of financial aid.
That’s not too surprising, considering the fact that twenty-five per cent of students who visit university health clinics may be suffering from depression.
The surprising part of the study? Major events such as a death in the family, a significant injury, inability to enter their intended major, substance addiction, becoming engaged or married, or losing a job needed to pay tuition all had much less of an influence on the decision to drop out.
The supposedly small influence of losing a job surprises me because paying for books and tuition comes right down to the last dollar for many of us, even with part time jobs, student loans and scholarships. I know it would be tough for me to pay thousands of dollars in tuition and books each semester (even if you buy them second hand through friends or websites like AbeBooks, it can still add up) after suddenly losing a job or other source of money.
The study developed a mathematical model to describe the reasons behind students deciding to quit, analyzing surveys from 1,158 freshmen at 10 U.S. colleges and universities. The survey included a list of 21 “critical events” (such as the previously mentioned loss of financial aid or death in the family) and students were asked if they had experienced any of them during the previous semester. The students were later asked if they planned to withdraw.
Other events that influenced students included an unexpected bad grade, roommate conflicts, and being recruited by an employer or another institution.
KFC giving $20k to high school student with the best tweet
Kentucky Fried Chicken is holding a $20,000 Twitter contest. The high school student who writes the best Tweet, by Nov 26, will receive a maximum of $5,000 a year for four years of university at a American public institution. Applicants must explain why they deserve the scholarship and include the moniker “KFCscholar” in their message. So far entries in the contest, that started this week, range from the serious to the silly. One student wrote of their desire to “making a positive change to our society and the way we think through science,” while another wrote, “Holy Heck, I love that chicken, Remember that when your pickin’, The guy to give that 20k, That guy is here, right this way.” Unfortunately, only American citizens are eligible for the contest.
In the face of constantly losing athletes to American schools, CIS continues to spin its wheels on scholarship reform
The other day, I looked at how Canadian universities are just starting to come to grips that some of their student-athletes just may be taking performance-enhancing drugs. Today, I’ll look at another issue which Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) has been unable to come to a consensus on: Athletic scholarships.
Should Canadian universities be able to give full ride scholarships to student-athletes? It’s a lightning rod question—at least by the standards of post-secondary education—because currently, athletic scholarships can only cover tuition and associated fees. Not room, not board, nothing else. You also have to keep up a 65% average (70% if you’re in Ontario).
Needless to say, the incentive for top athletes to stay in Canada aren’t exactly stunning. To take but one example: There are 99 players on the men’s and women’s national soccer teams. Fourteen went to university in Canada.
Last summer, Simon Fraser University decided to join the NCAA last summer, allowing the school to offer full-ride scholarships (though due to their limited athletic budget, the number they will give out is expected to be quite small. The University of British Columbia is still considering moving to the NCAA in order to attract the best athletes possible.
Given all of that, the CIS last year announced a task force to look at enhancing athletic scholarships. The model that was decided after internal consultations was a “salary cap” system, in which a total financial cap would remain in place at universities, but the individual limit would be waived. In theory, this would allow schools to spend more money on one or two local high-school athletes to keep them from bolting to an American college. CIS President Clint Hamilton has championed the proposal throughout the year.
And, after a year of debate and deliberation of the model, the CIS has decided…nothing.
The organization’s AGM is next week, and while the issue of scholarships will be debated, there’s no motion on the table to change the status quo. According to the report prepared for delegates:
Although the Flexible Model that was proposed…received some support …it did not garner significant support in its current format: (too conservative, too progressive, too complicated, more research is needed, more progress on compliance is required, tip of the iceberg and before long the cap will be raised, some ADs stated that the decision for policy reform must be made at the Presidential level etc.)
Well then. That’s certainly a lot of miscellaneous reasons. On the other hand, Hamilton said in his report that “the reality is that people do know we fall short of the NCAA Division 1 standard of athletic scholarship,” and “current policy continues to divide and polarize our organization.” So what’s going on here?
The reality is that while a few larger schools (notably many in Western Canada) would like to increase scholarships, other schools are either firmly for the status quo—smaller schools, who don’t have the financial resources. Then there are other universities that are unsure what is the best method of giving greater opportunities for student-athletes without diverting money from slightly more important matters than who can put a ball in a net best.
Regardless of where you stand, this is another case of the CIS spinning its wheels on an issue, unable to decisively move one way or the other. We don’t need (and can’t afford) a NCAA-style league, but it’s not unrealistic to hope that a stadium with a couple thousand students cheering on their school can be the rule, not the exception in this country.
That requires national leadership though. And when you look at how the CIS is unable to move in any real direction on drugs and scholarships, it doesn’t inspire much confidence.
My fellow blogger Todd Pettigrew, as well as several professors at the University of Regina say no.
“Project Hero,” the program implemented several weeks ago at U of R, provides free tuition for four years (as well as $1,000 for books) to the children of military personnel who have died in active duty.
But to Prof Pettigrew and the 16 professors who are protesting the scholarship program, Project Hero does more than just provide tuition—it glorifies war.
“It implies that military officers have a special status simply by virtue of being in the military,” writes Pettigrew. “It suggests that the whole class of people is to venerated, and that military service is a special calling to which only a select group of heroes can aspire.”
I’ll admit, the name “Project Hero” leaves little to the imagination. So how about we call it the “Military Dependent Scholarship?” Or the “Children of Deceased Veterans Bursary?” Problem solved, right?
With the word “hero” gone, you’d have to do a hell of a lot of extrapolation to get back to the glorification of soldiers, no? (I can already feel the vibration of goaded fingers.) How would the renamed scholarship glorify war any more than, say, wearing a poppy on Veterans Day?
One could argue I’m missing the “meta,” but I see the the scholarship simply as a way to provide tuition to children who have lost a parent, and by extension, a financial resource. Yes the families of fallen military personnel are compensated, but this program provides a fiscal opportunity specific to the pursuit of higher education. I’m sure the U of R professors would agree with me when I say that it’s a pursuit worth of encouraging.
I think it’s also worth noting that this scholarship isn’t for “Children of Military in Afghanistan.” Canadian troops just happen to be there at the moment. Military lives are lost in combat and in training, during battles of which Canadian citizens approve and many of which they do not. Funny–in World War II, when professors and academics were one of the first to be persecuted in Nazi-occupied Germany, Canadian soldiers fought against constricting pressures, allowing for academic freedom and freedom of speech, which, ironically, grants our professors the opportunity to object to Project Hero today. What would attitudes towards the program have been back in 1940? Should we only compensate the children of war casualties who fought for causes with which we agree?
Another overlooked point in this whole debate is that the children of many professors at Canadian universities pay reduced or no tuition if they enroll at an institution where a parent works. As long as we’re extrapolating, what message does that send? Let’s say a professor is a racist bigot who spews ignorant propaganda in lecture all day–do we deny his/her child the financial break because of what could be inferred from the subsidy?
Professor Pettigrew makes the very good point that it’s not just military personnel who risk their lives for others; police officers, firefighters and others put put themselves in danger each day for the public. And I completely agree. To go further, I think universities should provide scholarships for the children of those who have lost their lives in the line of public duty.
But, in the meantime, I think we should let these veterans’ kids have their break. Just as “glorifying war” churns the stomachs of these professors, politicizing the tragedies of Canadian military families leaves a bad feeling in mine.
Faculty members at the University of Regina have come out against the University’s adoption of “Project Hero,” a program by which scholarships are provided to children of those who have died while serving in the Canadian military.
One can almost hear the outrage before it is even spoken: Canadian soliders are heroes, people will say. They put their lives at risk for us everyday, and we must do everything we can to support our brave men and women in uniform.
This kind of thinking is so widespread, I’m sure many people accept it as an unquestionable article of faith. To them, the U of R faculty must seem perverse, if not diabolical, in their thinking. But I’m with the profs on this one.
To be sure, military life, especially life in a combat zone, cannot be easy. One does not have to be a soldier to know that it’s hard, dirty, dangerous work, often done a world away from home, and often done in the defense of our highest principles. For the record, I don’t oppose Canada’s operations in Afghanistan, and I’m proud of my fellow Canadians who are trying to bring hope to a region where hope is in short supply.
But let’s not let all that blind us to the reality of military conflict. Our soldiers are not just there putting their lives on the line. They are there killing people. That’s why they have guns. That’s what armies do. That’s why they call it war. Don’t get me wrong: it may be necessary, but if it is, it is a necessary evil.
And that’s why I can’t support things like Project Hero. It implies that military officers have a special status simply by virtue of being in the military. It suggests that the whole class of people is to be venerated, and that military service is a special calling to which only a select group of heroes can aspire. And if the military is always to be honoured, then the things that they are called upon to do are inherently honorable, and that, in the end, is to glorify war and its attendant violence. The fact that Project Hero provides funds for the children of dead soldiers has to imply what Wilfred Owen famously termed the old lie: that it is sweet and noble to die for one’s country.
Yes, members of the military do hard jobs that are dangerous and important. But so do police, and firefighters, and lots of other people. Even professors have died in the line of duty. Let’s be grateful to those who serve in uniform, but let’s do them the honour of treating them honestly in the process.
UBC students knew of Olympics displacement when they signed their contracts
A story by the National Post on UBC fraternities renting out their buildings for the Olympics has raised eyebrows:
More than 200 students at the University of British Columbia are being forced out of their rooms by their own fraternities — which have decided to cash in by renting out to 2010 Games visitors.
The story insinuates that fraternity members are being unfairly kicked out of their places for a whole month with little compensation. One problem with the story: While it seems that one fraternity (Psi Upsilon) didn’t fully consult with its members before hand, most fraternity members were consulted every step of the way.
Adam Mattinson, house manager of Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE), said that discussions on renting out their fraternity for the Games had begun in early 2009 with the DKE council, and that all members who chose to live in the house for the 2009–2010 school year knew when signing their contract that they would be forced to find temporary accommodation in February.
“We knew well in advance that this was going to happen, so we’ve been doing everything we can to make sure there are no issues,” he said. While DKE has not yet fully decided where the additional funds will be going, all residents will see their rent lowered for January, March and April, in addition to not paying for February.
Another fraternity, Alpha Delta Phi (ADP), will be giving each of their displaced residents an additional $500 in exchange for leaving for the month of February. They also started consulting with their members as far back as early 2009, and also had a clause in their residence contracts explaining the situation.
“Ultimately, renting out our fraternity house during the games will benefit members,” said Campbell Bryson, ADP philanthropy chair. He mentioned, as the Post story did, that the point of renting out the fraternities—which are located across the street from UBC’s Thunderbird Arena, host hockey and sledge-hockey during the Olympics—is to increase funds for various initiatives: some are putting the money to scholarships, while others are using it for building maintenance.
So, put this one fairly low on the “Olympic Scandal” meter—it seems that the inconvenience of members leaving for a month is offset by the long term goal of helping a (fraternity) brother out.
At Dal, number of students applying for need-based awards increased by 62 per cent
With summer jobs in short supply, many university and college students now face the prospect of trying to get through the school year on less money or looking for other sources of cash.
So it may not be surprising that along with the spike in the jobless rate, there’s been a corresponding rise in traffic to websites offering information on scholarships and bursaries.
At Studentawards.com, a free scholarship search service, the cumulative increase in registration was 15 per cent in July compared to last year, said Suzanne Tyson, president of Studentawards Inc., the company behind the website.
Parents’ RRSPs and the education savings plans they set up for their children have probably taken a hit amid the economic turmoil of the last year, she noted.
“(Parents) may be losing their jobs and their children aren’t finding jobs, it is leading us to believe that this fall will be difficult financially for a number of students,” she said.
The student unemployment rate was 20.9 per cent in July, according to Statistics Canada.
Matt Scriven is one of the lucky ones.
The 19-year-old was able to find work this summer, but says one of his friends in Vancouver handed out between 30 and 40 resumes and received one or two calls – and didn’t get a job. Another friend in Ottawa handed out 20 or 30 resumes, and got a job that gave him five to 10 hours a week – not really enough to help with his expenses in the coming school year, he said.
Scriven found his own eventual job as web designer for the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association through a listing at Studentopolis.ca – the student jobs website he founded.
The Carleton University student started developing his website after speaking with a friend who said he wasn’t able to find an easy source to access student job listings online.
“A lot of adult workers were laid off their other jobs and now people will do pretty much any job to try and supplement their income because they’ve got families and such, so a lot of students are displaced from positions that they would otherwise have,” Scriven said from Ottawa.
Last-minute cuts incense hundreds of students
It’s understandable that in tough economic times, governments will make funding cuts. The BC government’s latest $16m cut to education funding, however, is completely inexcusable.
Not only is it in clear violation of the BC Liberals’ May election platform promise (p. 26) to “maintain this year’s funding levels for student aid,” but according to BC MLA Gary Coons, “the Campbell government delayed telling students the programs had been cancelled… in order to hide the cuts until after the election.”
Indeed, several students who applied for the March deadlined Premier’s Excellence Award – a $15,000 scholarship awarded to the top high school students in the province – recently telephoned the Ministry of Advanced Education requesting the results of their applications. They were told that the judging process was complete and that the winners would be notified shortly.
When the news came that the scholarship was eliminated, most students, including myself, reasonably assumed that this year’s winners would still receive their awards and that the program would cease to exist next year. Alas, this was not the case.
After several phone calls to various government representatives, it has been confirmed that the program will be eliminated immediately, meaning even those students who applied and were apparently selected as recipients this year are out of luck.
This failure to notify students before they spent hours applying for the scholarship – or at least before they spent months anxiously awaiting the results – has been met with understandable outrage.
Other cuts include eliminating the Nurses Education Bursary at a time when the province is in dire need of more nurses, as well as the:
Permanent Disability Benefits
Debt Reduction in Repayment
BC Loan Reduction for Residential Care Aid and Home Support Worker
Health Care Bursary
Early Childhood Educator Loan Assistance
Says request for scholarship for “non-aboriginals” violates university policy
The University of Saskatchewan turned down a donation of $500,000 because the donor wanted the funds used to support scholarships for “non-aboriginal” students, reports the National Post.
The university states a race-based scholarship would violate both university policies and human rights legislation.
I’ve always been bothered by race-based scholarships because they do not directly target the factors that disadvantage students.
Yes, students of aboriginal backgrounds are more likely to be social-economically disadvantaged. Yes, the history of how we treated (and continue to treat in some cases) aboriginals has resulted in a lot of the disadvantages that aboriginal students face.
That said, the problem is not their race and I’ve always seen scholarships that use race as a determining factor leaving the impression that race may be the problem.
Bursaries should be targeted to the actual disadvantages they are supposed to address. I find it perfectly acceptable to have bursaries designed to assist students moving from a rural reserve into a university town. There are plenty of bursaries that have geographic restrictions. Having funds with the criteria of being a descendant of someone who was put in residential schools is acceptable. The trauma of those schools continues to be passed down generation by generation. It is actually targeting a real problem. A scholarship based purely on need would be even better.
Unless race is the problem then why do we use it as a criteria to find a solution? Simple: because it makes things easy. Why go further than the skin layer of the problem?
(Hattip: Dale Kirby)