Post-secondary institutions in Manitoba exceeded the province’s $20-million fundraising goal for the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative (MSBI) in the 2017-18 school year, Education and Training Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.
“Last year, we announced formula changes to the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative that puts money directly into students’ pockets to help them successfully complete their studies,” said Goertzen. “The generosity of private donors and fundraising efforts of universities and colleges has exceeded our goal and allowed us to help more students with scholarships and bursaries in the province.”
Participating post-secondary institutions raised more than $16.7 million, which leveraged $23 million in scholarships and bursaries that go directly to approximately 13,000 students.
In March 2017, the government changed the formula to match $1 of public money for every $2 in private funds raised by institutions and declared all funds must be provided directly to students, rather than invested in endowments. The province increased its MSBI funding to a total of $6.75 million and expanded to an additional five institutions for a total of 12.
“The Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative supports students pursuing their dreams through post-secondary education,” said Dr. David Barnard, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manitoba, which raised more than $8.7 million and received nearly $3 million from government to help 5,103 students. “We commend any effort to continue to position Manitoba’s students for success.”
“Brandon University is pleased to continue to participate in the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative as re-envisioned by the current government,” said Scott Lamont, vice-president of administration and finance at Brandon University, which supported 381 students by raising $665,800, combined with $349,800 from the province. “Not only is it putting more dollars in the hands of students, it is particularly directed to students with financial need in the form of bursaries. Through this program, BU has been able to respond to many more students who have applied for financial assistance.”
The minister said the province anticipates similar results for the 2018-19 school year.
He also noted the province increased funding to the MSBI by $2.7 million in 2018-19 and expanded the program to include students at private religions institutions and Canadian institutions outside Manitoba. The program provides non-repayable upfront grants of up to $2,000 to eligible low-income students and up to $3,500 to eligible Indigenous students.
“While Manitoba continues to offer the third-lowest university tuition and second-lowest college tuition in Canada, we know it can be a challenge for students to balance their studies and finances in their busy lives,” said Goertzen. “These investments continue to make Manitoba an attractive place to study.”
Goertzen encouraged post-secondary students to visit their institutions’ financial aid office to find out more about scholarships and bursaries available for 2018-19.