Millennium bursaries lighten financial burden, but N. B. students still grapple with high debt



    FREDERICTON, June 11 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canada Millennium Scholarship
Foundation's bursaries have reduced student debt in New Brunswick during a
period of rising educational costs, according to an independent evaluation
made public here today.
    The study, The Millennium Bursary in New Brunswick: Impact on Debt and
Persistence, is the third in a series of impact evaluations on the results of
the Foundation's program conducted by Dr. Lori McElroy. Dr. McElroy measured
the impact on student debt of the Millennium program's $6.8 million annual
investment in the province by analyzing data from the New Brunswick Student
Financial Services' database.
    The study finds that millennium bursary recipients pursuing a college
diploma had their debt reduced by $2,493 and those pursuing a Bachelor's
degree had their debt reduced by $4,410. The research also found that students
studying after the bursary's introduction had higher costs than those studying
prior to its inception. The millennium bursary offset some of these costs. The
result is that the persistence of students in the millennium period was
similar to that of students studying prior to its inception, when costs were
lower.
    Despite the existence of the millennium bursary, New Brunswick students
have debt levels that are among the highest in Canada.
    "The millennium bursary has benefited students in the province of New
Brunswick, but ideally there should be more non-repayable assistance to ensure
that students don't have to drop out because of high debt," says Norman
Riddell, Executive Director and CEO of the Foundation.
    At the time of its introduction, the millennium bursary was accompanied
by an investment by the province in a separate bursary program that provides
additional funds to students with levels of financial need that exceed student
loan limits. The report shows that this provincial bursary also benefited
students by reducing the gap between their financial need and the amount of
assistance provided.

    The full report is available at
(http://www.millenniumscholarships.ca/en/index.asp).

    The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation is a private, independent
organization created by an act of Parliament in 1998, with a mandate to
deliver bursaries and scholarships to Canadian post-secondary students until
the end of 2009. The Foundation provides students with opportunities to pursue
the post-secondary education they need to prepare themselves for the future.
To date, it has awarded more than 900,000 bursaries and scholarships, worth
some $2.6 billion, to Canadian post-secondary students. For more information,
visit www.millenniumscholarships.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Peter Cowan, Communications Advisor (Research),
Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, (514) 284-7240, pcowan@bm-ms.org

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CANADA MILLENNIUM SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION

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