Volume 93, Issue 56

Wednesday, December 8, 1999


$10 million bid at final stage

Huron to increase enrollment to combat cohort

Engineering committee extending office hours

USC looking at internet business

Millenium money to be announced

Waiting for the ball to drop

Caught on campus


Millenium money to be announced

By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

The Canadian Millennium Scholarship Foundation is on schedule for its year 2000 launch and an announcement tomorrow will fire it out of the starting blocks.

The CMSF controls a $2.5 billion endowment for students in the post-secondary sector which was announced in the 1998 federal budget. This money will be distributed over 10 years beginning next year, said Jean Lapierre, director of communications for the CMSF. Lapierre added the funding for scholarships will total approximately $300 million in the first year.

Lapierre said the announcement, marking phase one of the funds distribution, will see 75,000 students across Canada notified of their scholarship award, which will amount to approximately $2,000 to $3,000 each.

"It's a big event – not just for us, but for Canadian students who are essentially hearing about the scholarships for the first time in two years," he said. "Making [the scholarship] a reality for students is great news."

Mark Kissel, VP-education for the University Students' Council, said he was pleased the initiative was finally taking flight. "It's a good start," he said. "[Executive Director of the CMSF] Norman Riddell has really taken the ball and run with it on this."

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities also applauded the announcement, said spokesperson Kerry Delaney, who explained the Ministry has submitted close to 35,000 names of Ontario students who were eligible for the funding.

Eligibility for the scholarships is based on financial need and academic merit for full-time post-secondary students already in their first year, she added.

Despite a warm reception to the announcement, Ryan Parks, executive director for the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, explained he was concerned the scholarship money may have some adverse effects.

"I think it's a good first step, but I don't think it's enough. I think one of the key determinants to its affect on the student aid situation in Ontario will be its effect on [Ontario Student Assistance Program] assessment models," he said, explaining individuals who receive the scholarship may receive less on their OSAP entitlements as a result.

Kissel said the province could end up saving close to $80 million in funds which would have otherwise gone towards student aid. He added he was concerned the money would not go back to students.

Delaney said while the figures were still being calculated, the exact amount of potential savings was yet to be determined. She added there has not been a final decision on what to do with any potential savings, as there are outstanding factors which may alter the amount of money rewarded. "The province will have to confirm that each [student] continues in the winter term."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999