Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation

Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation

March 28, 2007 11:50 ET

Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation: Barriers Interact to Prevent Access to and Persistence in Post-Secondary Education

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - March 28, 2007) - Canadian youth face a variety of barriers - including financial difficulties, low grades and lack of interest or motivation - that interact to prevent access to and persistence in post-secondary education, says new research from the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation.

According to the new report, entitled Barriers to Post-Secondary Education, students who face one type of barrier often face others as well.

The report's key findings include:

- 38% of those who did not pursue post-secondary studies after high school cited either lack of interest or lack of career direction as a reason.

- 52% of those who enrolled in post-secondary studies and later dropped out cited lack of interest, lack of program fit or lack of career direction, while 23% cited financial reasons.

- Low-income students, students whose parents did not obtain a post-secondary degree, and Aboriginal students are especially likely to face multiple barriers.

"The findings of this report suggest that policy-makers need to take into account the compound barriers of costs, academics and motivation when implementing programs to encourage participation in post-secondary education," said Norman Riddell, the Foundation's executive director and chief executive officer. "If we are to ensure that higher education becomes a viable option for all Canadians, increased investment in post-secondary education must be targeted at students from groups that are presently under-represented in our colleges and universities, and it must be supported by information and outreach programs that help students overcome these barriers."

The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation is a private, independent organization created by an act of Parliament in 1998. It encourages Canadian students to strive for excellence and pursue their post-secondary studies. The Foundation distributes $350 million in the form of bursaries and scholarships each year throughout Canada. Since its inception, it has awarded approximately 800,000 bursaries and scholarships, worth $2.3 billion, to Canadian post-secondary students.

Barriers to Post-Secondary Education can be found on the Foundation's Web site at

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