Millennium money in

University of Calgary students picked up their first shipment of Millennium Scholarship cheques at the Fees Office this month. This was the first year students received money from the $2.5 billion fund.
Students who receive the scholarship were notified by the foundation by mail in December .

"The disbursement was fairly smooth," said Fees Office Manager Verdelle Oleshko. "We saw most of the recipients during the first week of January."

"The program was put together quickly and we had no input on how the disbursement was completed, but we will be recommending [that] some changes be made for the next year," Oleshko added.

Over 1,200 U of C students received scholarships ranging from $2,000-5,000.

"It is good that the government is addressing the problem of student debt," said Students’ Union Vice-president External Nassr Awada. "But will they address the real problem of the cost of education? Student debt is not the problem; it’s high tuition."

The Millennium Scholarship Foundation, part of the federal government’s 1998 education budget, is a $2.5 billion fund designed for students and is based solely on financial need. Students approved for the scholarship must have full-time status and student loans.

For the disbursement to take effect, each province had to set guidelines about how to disperse the money allocated by the fund to the province.

Full-time students who request over $4,000 in loans for one academic year automatically apply for the scholarship.

The scholarships were awarded across Canada proportionate to the number of post-secondary students. Ontario gets a little over $100 million while the Yukon Territory receives the lowest at $32,000. Alberta students will receive around $26.2 million.

The Fees Office will contact students who have not picked up their cheques after Jan. 14, 2000.

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