Every year, students entering their first year of post-secondary education get a healthy dose of reality when it comes time to get their finances in order. Tuition, books, rent, food and entertainment are all necessary components to a well-rounded college experience, and there is no reason why all of your financial needs cannot be met through a combination of research and careful planning.
Before you begin your post-secondary career, it’s always a good idea to look at financial resource options such as scholarships and bursaries. The first place you should look is the college that you plan to attend. The majority of Canadian schools provide scholarship and bursary opportunities for students, and you can find information on these from your school’s website. Most financial assistance programs have criteria that students must meet in order to obtain assistance. The requirements for each scholarship program vary, but some of the most common criteria include grades, family income level and possession of Canadian citizenship.
Millennium Scholarship Foundation
The Millennium Scholarship Foundation (MSF) is a privately run organization that was created through an act of Parliament in 1998. Since 1998, the foundation has awarded more than $1.6 billion in scholarships and bursaries to students across Canada. The MSF offers two programs that are available to students attending colleges, universities and CÉGEPs throughout the country.
The first program, the Bursary Program, accounts for 95 per cent of the MSF’s funding allocations. The program awards bursaries of between $1,000 and $4,500 to students who demonstrate financial need and have a proven academic record.
The second program, the Millennium Excellence Award Program, is given annually to more than a thousand students across Canada based on academic standing, innovation, and community leadership and involvement. The award is available to students who are entering their first year of post-secondary education, and also to those who are currently enrolled in an applicable program.