By Bonnie Leung
The millennium won’t mean destruction for everyone. Students could find themselves with an unexpected financial gain, because the new Canada Millennium Scholarship might be their saving grace.
The purpose of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation is to financially aid undergraduate students who have finished their first year. The fund provides bursaries based on financial need.
According to CMSF Director of Communications Jean Lapierre, the scholarship was created by the Canadian federal government to acknowledge the passing of the millennium.
"The Parliament of Canada voted the law June 1998 endowing the foundation with 2.5 billion to run a program that will last for 10 years," he said. "It means exactly that the foundation will help to have a better access to post-secondary education through a reduction of the debt of the students."
CMSF receptionist Maria Modasseri added that each province will be getting a different amount of money.
"The provinces will be provided with a portion of the endowment that corresponds to a share of the total population of Canada," Modasseri said.
Alberta will be receiving 26.6 million dollars a year with a total of
260 million for 10 years. The average scholarship ranges from
"You don’t apply directly tothe Millennium Scholarship Fund," Lapierre said. "Each time a student applies for the Alberta Students Financial Assistance Program, they at the same time apply for the Millennium Scholarship. If they are eligible to receive financial assistance from the province, they will be at the same time eligible for the Millennium Scholarship."
According to SU VP External Nassr Awada, financial need is the most important criteria.
"Ninety-five per cent of scholarships [are] based on need," said Awada. "Five per cent based on merit."
Lapierre also stressed that financial need is important.
"The more need you’re in,the better chance you’ll have to get a scholarship," he said. "If for some reason you don’t need financial assistance from the province, unfortunately, you don’t need the Millennium Scholarship."
There are three main criteria that a student must meet to apply for the scholarships.
"The student must be enrolled in an eligible post-secondary institution," said Modasseri. "[The student] must be a full-time student, and must have completed at least 60 per cent of the first year of full time studies."
The applying student must also be a Canadian citizen or resident.
"Age is of no importance," Lapierre said. "The field is of no importance, though the institution where you are studying and the program you are studying in has to be approved."
Awada believes these scholarships will give students a better grasp on the financial side of their education.
"[These scholarships will] definitely reduce the amount of debt that students incur to access post-secondary education," he said. "[It will] make education more accessible for the next generation."
For more information visit the Canadian Millenium Scholarship Fund website.