Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation

Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation

July 19, 2005 10:00 ET

CMSF: $6 Million for Low-Income Nova Scotia Students

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(CCNMatthews - July 19, 2005) - Beginning this fall, approximately 1,000 first-year Nova Scotia students from low-income families will receive up to $3,500 in Millennium Access Grants, thanks to a four-year joint initiative between the Government of Nova Scotia and the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation.

The grant announced today at Dalhousie University will help students in two ways. It will first provide between $500 and $2,500 to eligible students whose level of financial aid does not meet the costs of going to school. Additionally, all eligible students will receive $1,000 to reduce their outstanding loan debt. First-year dependent students from low-income families will be automatically considered for the grant when they apply for Nova Scotia student assistance.

"We're making it easier for young people from low-income families to take their first step toward a post-secondary education," said Nova Scotia's Education Minister Jamie Muir. "Access to post-secondary education is an important factor in building a better future for the student and for the province."

The $1.5-million-per-year-program will be funded by the Foundation and delivered through the Nova Scotia Student Assistance Office. This new grant comes in addition to the $8.6 million in millennium bursaries the Foundation currently distributes to more than 3,500 Nova Scotia students each year.

The grant represents a shift in the way student financial assistance is delivered in Canada, by providing resources on the basis of a student's level of income, not the cost of his or her program. It is intended to enhance access to post-secondary education for students from low-income families, who are significantly under-represented in higher education. Recipients will be asked to participate in follow-up studies designed to improve policymakers' understanding of the challenges facing low-income students and the effectiveness of different forms of student financial assistance.

"Nova Scotia students from low-income backgrounds face unique barriers to higher education," said the Foundation's Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Norman Riddell. "During the next four years, we will measure the impact that a grant dedicated to them can have on their participation in post-secondary studies."

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 $325 million in the form of bursaries and scholarships each year throughout Canada. Since its inception, it has awarded more than $1.7 billion in the form of more than 550,000 bursaries to Canadian post-secondary students. In Nova Scotia, more than 18,000 bursaries were distributed over the same period of time at a value of more than $50 million.

Contact Information

  • Department of Education
    Kevin H. E. Finch
    Communications Advisor
    (902) 424-3150
    Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation
    Joseph Berger
    Communications Department
    (514) 284-7246