BRANDON – Brandon University (BU) students will benefit from $330,000 in additional support this year through two valuable new bursaries approved on Tuesday by the BU Senate.
The bursaries were created to realize the benefits of changes to the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursaries Initiative (MSBI). Through the MSBI the Government of Manitoba contributes provincial support to supplement donations that fund scholarships and bursaries at post-secondary institutions in the province.
The MSBI Graduate Scholarship-Bursaries, worth up to $10,000 each, will be awarded to outstanding graduate students at BU who have financial need. Up to five students in each of BU’s four faculties and the School of Music will receive support, for a total of up to 25 awards.
The MSBI General Bursaries will be presented, on the basis of financial need, to students in any BU program. The MSBI General Bursaries are worth up to $5,000 each and can be pro-rated for those studying part time.
“Students at Brandon University will benefit from these contributions from donors and the Province of Manitoba immediately and in the years to come,” said Dr. Steve Robinson, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor of BU. “This major increase in government support will be particularly important for students in our rapidly growing graduate programs, many of whom have already made significant investments in their education at the undergraduate level. This will also lower the financial barrier for students at all levels, helping to make a university education more accessible to all. On behalf of Brandon University, I want to thank the Manitoba government for this initiative, which will help many of our students get through to graduation, both now and in the future.”
Because the pool of money has become available later than normal due to the recent changes to the MSBI program, the process for determining the award recipients will be slightly different for the current academic year. The University will invite recommendations from each graduate program for potential recipients, while the General Bursaries will be presented based on applications already received for the 2017–18 year.
“There were many students who had applied for bursary money and who declared financial need, but we were unable to support them all with the money that we had in our regular funds,” said University Registrar Andrea McDaniel.
“This new funding will allow us to revisit those applications and provide needed assistance to many deserving students.”
The bursaries will be part of the normal award cycle for future years, with students receiving their support earlier in the year. The Graduate Scholarship-Bursaries will still be based on recommendations, while students will be considered for the General Bursary as part of their normal application for financial awards at BrandonU.ca/Scholarships/Apply. Applications for the 2018-19 year are already open, with a deadline of June 1, 2018 to apply.
“Allowing students to really focus on our studies and not have to work as hard outside the university to pay for our tuition is always in the best interest for everyone,” said student Emily Simon, who is a member of BU Senate as well as Vice-President Internal for the Brandon University Students’ Union. “Being able to focus on studying will help students reach their full potential, and BU gets more graduating students walking across the stage. It’s win-win. In the years to come I hope there are more opportunities for bursaries to aid students on the way to their degree.”