Editorial Board 1998-99
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If a student was eligible to receive a bit of extra money to help with tuition costs, wouldn't it be nice to know about it?
Finally, someone has thought to let all prospective students in on the well-kept secret. There is a new web site on the internet which should be of interest to students Canada-wide.
An independent company known as studentawards.com has created a web site which is designed to assist students wanting financial aid by helping them find some of the many bursaries for which they may qualify. This generous and helpful resource is a wonderful idea, which should help students, making this arduous task a little bit easier.
Still, the fact there is a need for such a web site should be a cause for concern. The site currently has over 5,000 students registered to it who are searching for information on which bursaries they qualify for and on how they can go about obtaining them. Isn't this a university's job?
If there are this many students out there who are unaware of how to apply for a bursary, there is clearly a lack of communication going on between financial aid offices and the student body they are supposed to be aiding. While Western has a link to financial information connected to its home page, not every student is even aware Western has a home page.
Western's financial aid office does a good job of dispensing bursaries, but perhaps it is time they improve on dispensing information pertaining to these bursaries. The manager of Western's financial aid services, Christina Lederman, claims "our students are very well aware of their financial opportunities."
Who does she think she's kidding? The way in which Western's current system is set up, the bursaries are more likely to go to the Sherlock Holmes of this campus than the potential Albert Einsteins. The system does not effectively promote bursaries to the average student, making it very difficult for students to be well informed of their options.
As students in post secondary consistently fight an uphill battle against increasing tuition and decreasing financial aid, it only makes sense for any form of relief to be both available and effectively advertised. It should not be hidden, prompting a search for "lost treasure."
While increased access to available bursaries is a positive step, the administration must still realize bursaries are no substitute for reasonable tuition costs. They are an important part of the post secondary education process, but keeping tuition at accessible levels is the only true means through which students can be free from their financial shackles.
Until then, hopefully a few students can surf their way to a financially easier ride through university.