With only two weeks to go before the deadline to apply for a bursary from Interior Savings’ Million Dollar Bursary program, only four applications have been received from students in the Ashcroft-Cache Creek area.
Last year nine bursaries of $1,000 each were awarded to local students, and Corinne Johnson, Interior Savings’ manager, community engagement, wants to make sure qualifying area students do not miss out on this wonderful opportunity.
“As long as the student is an active member of Interior Savings before February 28, 2018, and he or she has not received the bursary before, they will qualify for the bursary,” says Johnson. She adds that if a student becomes a member, staff can help them apply for the bursary, while students who are already members can apply online at www.milliondollarbursary.com.
“It’s really easy to apply online,” says Johnson. “It’s very simple. There’s no essay required. It’s probably the easiest bursary opportunity to apply for. I’ve had parents ask me ‘Is it really this easy?’”
Students who do not have an account can qualify by getting one by February 28, 2018. Johnson says the account is a no-fee one that includes a debit card, and that account holders only have to do two transactions per month in order to meet the eligibility criteria. The “two transaction” requirement is waived for students who have had an ISCU account for three or more years.
Applicants must be between 17 and 24 years of age. A student who has already graduated from high school, is in continuing post-secondary education, and has not been awarded the bursary in the past is still eligible to apply for the bursary this year.
Now in its fifth year, the Million Dollar Bursary fund aims to hand out $1 million in bursaries annually. Johnson says the program started off slowly, with just under $300,000 in bursaries awarded, but that last year close to $900,000 was awarded to students.
More than $500,000 in bursaries are still available this year to help students who are entering or returning to full-time study towards a degree, diploma, or trade certification program at a designated post-secondary institution, with classes starting between September 2018 and August 2019. The list of eligible institutions can be found at StudentAidBC (https://studentaidbc.ca/apply/designated), so applicants can see which ones qualify.
Over the last four years, every student who has applied to the Million Dollar Bursary program and met the eligibility requirements has received a bursary.
“I hope we get more applicants,” says Johnson. “I hate to see money left on the table at the end.”