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April 5, 2006

New bursaries will improve access to post-secondary
education for Newfoundland students in greatest need

This spring, 800 first-year students from low-income families in Newfoundland and Labrador will receive up to $3,500 each in new Millennium Access Bursaries as a result of a four-year joint initiative between the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation.

"This agreement will provide enhanced financial support for students who may face financial barriers to accessing post-secondary education," said Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Education Joan Burke. "This is the sort of initiative that contributes to government�s overall effort to reduce poverty in Newfoundland and Labrador and ensure that all of our young people have access to post-secondary education. We have one of the most comprehensive student financial support packages and lowest tuition rates in the country, and we will continue to work to reduce the burden of student debt upon graduation."

The bursary announced today will be available to full-time dependent students whose expected parental contribution toward their post-secondary education is less than $30 per week. First-year students will be automatically considered for the bursary when they apply for provincial student assistance.

The $850,000-per-year program will be financed by the foundation and delivered through the Newfoundland and Labrador Student Financial Services Division. The foundation will be conducting follow-up studies designed to improve policy-makers� understanding of the challenges facing low-income students and the effectiveness of different forms of student financial assistance.

"This program will guarantee that low-income students receive their fair share of non-repayable financial assistance," said the foundation�s executive director and chief executive officer Norman Riddell. "Over the duration of the program, the foundation will study how providing cash grants to students on the basis of their family income, rather than primarily on their education-related costs, will affect their capacity to access and complete 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. Since its inception, the foundation has awarded 625,000 bursaries, with a total value of close to $2 billion, to Canadian post-secondary students. In Newfoundland and Labrador, more than 10,000 bursaries were distributed over the same period of time at a value of more than $26 million.

Media contact:
Jacquelyn Howard, Director of Communications, Department of Education, (709) 729-0048,
Jaime Frederick, Communications Advisor, Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, (514) 284-7240,

2006 04 05                                      11:05 a.m.

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