Alberta publicizes new low-income pupil bursary

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In an try to fill rising labour market wants with a crop of recent graduate college students, the province is launching a monetary assist program for low-income college students enrolled in what it has recognized as “high-demand packages.”

At a media availability at Bow Valley School on Wednesday, Superior Schooling Minister Demetrios Nicolaides mentioned the Alberta authorities will make investments $15 million over the following three years in help of the New Beginnings Bursary, a non-repayable, one-time monetary grant. 

“We’re certainly opening new doorways and making a stage enjoying area the place Albertans have equal entry to schooling and alternative,” mentioned Nicolaides.

Chosen packages

Starting with the 2022-23 educational faculty 12 months, 1,000 college students per 12 months will obtain $5,000 in monetary assist over the following three years. 

Recipients will probably be mechanically chosen for the grant by means of the province’s pupil mortgage and pupil assist techniques. 

Eligibility standards will probably be based mostly on a pupil’s household dimension and revenue. For instance, a single individual with no dependents would wish to reveal an revenue of $33,000 yearly or much less to qualify, however a household of 4 would wish to reveal a family revenue of $66,000 or much less with the intention to qualify, mentioned Nicolaides.

The bursary will probably be made obtainable to college students enrolled in packages akin to vitality, know-how, aerospace, aviation and finance — sectors by which there are “robust labour market wants,” Nicolaides mentioned.

“In an effort to decide which packages the bursary is out there in, we now have thought-about labour market information, business want, in province retention charges and pupil demand,” he mentioned. 

Extra challenges for college students

Nicole Schmidt, president of the scholars’ union on the College of Calgary, mentioned that whereas the bursary is a optimistic step ahead, it is not sufficient to offer significant help to the overall pupil inhabitants given rising tuition prices and total latest funding cuts.

“The provincial authorities has lower $600 million from post-secondary schooling over the previous few years, and a $15 million funding, whereas very a lot welcome, is a drop within the bucket,” mentioned Schmidt. 

Schmidt mentioned the college has just lately authorised elevated tuition proposals for engineering and medical college students — further prices have been exacerbated by the province’s lack of a pupil jobs program, which led to 2019. 

Schmidt added she would not suppose the bursary ought to be depending on the kind of diploma a pupil chooses to pursue.

“If a pupil is accepted into any program and demonstrates monetary want, what they select to review shouldn’t be a barrier or shouldn’t be a think about receiving funding,” mentioned Schmidt. 

“It is disappointing to see the federal government decide winners and losers by solely making college students and sure packages eligible for this funding regardless of monetary want.”

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