Still cash left for financial aid
By Becky Somerville
There is still some money left in Western's piggy bank for those students who can demonstrate they are in desperate financial need.
Western's registrar Roma Harris outlined the student aid expenditures at a Board of Governors meeting yesterday and painted a picture which some penniless students may see as good news.
Harris updated the Board on the allocation and status of financial aid to students in the 1998/99 year. Bursary applications are now being adjudicated and at this point all but 21 per cent of funds have been allocated to bursaries and work/study programs, she said.
"I'd like to assure you that we have been able to spend most of the money already," Harris said. She added applications for work/study are accepted throughout the year and students may contact financial aid services for help at any time.
"We do normally like to have funds on reserve to help students who run out at the end of the year," Harris said. So far over $5 million has been allocated to students and over $1 million has been set aside for the rest of the year, she added.
Financial aid services has been working well on an individual level with students who recognize an increase in the service they are getting, Harris said. "I think our relationships with the [student] community are generally improving."
Western's University Students' Council President Ian Armour commended financial aid services for setting aside the 21 per cent.
There has been a considerable amount of pressure put on financial aid this year, Armour said. However, there have been serious concerns expressed about the level of service being given by the aid office, he added.
"There have been some growing pains, but I think they're on the right track," he said.
Armour, as well as Western President Paul Davenport, agreed the government needs to strengthen its commitment to financial aid. "These are difficult times and we could always use more funds," Davenport said.