Volume 93, Issue 56

Wednesday, January 26, 2000


Twelve hopefuls run for USC office

CFS urges students to return scholarships

Biz school ranking is top notch

Access 2000 campaign poised to take off

More Toms, Dicks and Harrys needed as nurses

Royal bank CEO hints at change


Bass Ackwards

Caught on Campus

CFS urges students to return scholarships

By John Intini
Gazette Staff

The Canadian Federation of Students is urging Ontario students to return their millennium scholarships to the federal government.

Joel Harden, Ontario chair of CFS, said the problem with the $3,000 scholarships offered by the Canadian Millennium Scholarship Fund, is that in many cases they are simply replacing the funding provided by the Ontario forgiveness program. If a student receives a scholarship, it is automatically sent to the banks carrying the student's loan, Harden said.

Most students who are eligible for the scholarship have a debt of approximately $10,000, which makes them automatically considered for a provincial forgiveness of $3,000 to their Ontario Student Assistance Program loan, he said. Harden added by simply replacing the provincial program with the millennium scholarships, students are left with no real reduction in their debt levels.

"We are urging those who are no further ahead or are going to lose money to return the scholarships," he said, adding students may lose in the long run, since the scholarship money is taxable income.

In response to this claim, Cory Huhn, student community and public relations officer with the Canadian Millennium Scholarship Fund, said it was important for students to remember money from the provincial forgiveness program is also taxable.

Harden said the Ontario government will save $77 million through the use of the scholarships. "They have only made vague commitments on how they are going to invest the money, which is just not enough."

Huhn said the Ontario government has committed to re-invest the savings in post-secondary education, adding students should not reject the scholarship just because it may not appear to provide tangible benefits in the short term.

Kerry Delaney, spokesperson with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, confirmed the province will save money, but said she could not confirm a specific figure. Delaney added the federal funds will go back into post-secondary funding on some level. "The government is considering a number of options," she said.

Western's University Students' Council VP-education, Mark Kissel, said CFS' call to students is something the Ontario Undergraduate Student Association and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, with whom Kissel is the Ontario Chair, have been doing since the summer.

He said efforts are being made to raise the scholarship deductible level from $500 to $5,000 and to lower the forgiveness limit from the current $7,000 to $6,000.

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