Volume 93, Issue x

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


Toronto university TA strike continues

Western receives $10 M gift from city

Holiday crash claims life of student

Millennium scholarships awarded provincewide

Y2K goes off without a hitch

Western researchers prove what Bond knew all along

BAss Ackwards

Millennium scholarships awarded provincewide

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

The Canadian Millennium Scholarship Foundation, which grants $3,000 towards repaying student loans in Ontario, said yesterday that if students have not been notified yet, they better not count on receiving the grant.

Jean Lapierre, director of communications for the CMSF, said Ontario students on the Ontario Students Assistance Program who demonstrate financial need, along with other students accepting aid in other provinces, should have already been notified of their scholarships.

If students have not yet been notified, Lapierre said the chances are unlikely and explained 90 to 95 per cent of those accepted were informed before Christmas.

Recipients of the scholarship, he said, would receive $3,000 towards their Ontario student loans. The money is part of a $2.5 billion initiative by the federal government to help alleviate the burden of student loans upon graduation. The scholarship will be paid to the financial institution from which the student obtained their loan, he said, adding all undergraduate, post-secondary students receiving OSAP were automatically considered.

If students did not receive a millennium scholarship and are wondering why, Lapierre said it is because other students were more financially burdened. "The province will help the neediest," he explained, adding students must also be full-time and in undergraduate studies.

Kerry Delaney, spokesperson for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, explained just over 35,500 students in Ontario will receive the scholarship this year. She added the money will be knocked off their debt load by February or March, as long as they are still enrolled.

Delaney added students with questions or concerns about the scholarship, should go to their financial aid office. Overall, however, the program has received a positive reception, she said.

But Joel Harden, Ontario chair of the Canadian Federation of Students, explained the CFS does not applaud the CMSF because it only responds to 7 per cent of students who are in financial need in the province. "We like to call it a boutique program," he said. "It's more of a program for bankers than for students. It won't make up for tuition increases. We have reason to be concerned. We should be watching very closely."

Harden explained although student loan forgiveness does still exist, students who have received a millennium scholarship may no longer be accepted. "All it does is substitute for the loan forgiveness. It's nothing."

Still, Mark Kissel, VP-education for Western's University Students' Council said he applauded the scholarships.

"It's a great first step. It's a lot of money which students definitely need. But as with any initiative [like] this, the critics are going to say it's not enough."

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