April 13, 2017
PROVINCE ANNOUNCES NEW GRANT FOR LOWER-INCOME STUDENTS– – –
Increasing Access and Reducing Barriers to Post-Secondary Education: Wishart
The Manitoba government is introducing a new grant for lower-income post-secondary students that will ensure they receive the up-front support they need, in order to further their education in the province, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced today at Red River College.
“This new grant will provide advance, non-repayable financial assistance directly to students who need it most during the course of their studies,” said Wishart. “We are ensuring that post-secondary education in Manitoba is made more accessible through enhanced support for lower-income students, while they are in school.”
Wishart confirmed $10.5 million will be invested in the new Manitoba Bursary in 2017-18, which will benefit approximately 5,800 students. This financial assistance will be provided earlier, during the school year, than under the former system whereby a loan reduction award was not applied to a student’s debt until the following school year.
“Supporting student success and advancing Indigenous achievement are key strategic priorities for Red River College and we welcome this new bursary program to help ease those financial burdens and remove barriers that our students may face,” said Paul Vogt, president, Red River College. “We have a significant population of Indigenous students at RRC, and offering additional supports to promote greater access to post-secondary education for those students will be transformational and will support the growing need for skilled workers here in Manitoba.”
The minister noted the non-repayable grants will allow for up to $2,000 per eligible student. In addition to the Manitoba Bursary, low- and moderate-income students are also able to access other provincial financial supports including ACCESS bursaries, university/college institutional bursaries and the Manitoba Student Loan. Federally, the Canada Student Grant will provide up to $3,000 to eligible, low-income students, for total support of $5,000 per year for eligible students beginning in 2017-18.
“What I hear from students all the time is that even if they get tuition fee rebates down the road, the need to pay costs up front still presents a barrier for many students,” said Dr. Steven R. Robinson, vice-president (academic and provost), Brandon University. “This new bursary program will help to remove that barrier and get more students into post-secondary education in Manitoba.”
The Manitoba government previously announced an increase in provincial funding available directly to Manitoba post-secondary students through the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative (MSBI). Provincial investments now totalling $6.75 million in 2017-18 will result in up to $20 million in scholarships and bursaries going directly to students each year. Beginning this year, all MSBI funds must be provided directly to students, rather than invested in endowments, the minister said.
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