McMaster, Students Union team up to increase needs-based financial aid



The University and the McMaster Students Union are partnering to increase the amount of needs-based financial aid available to incoming undergraduates.

Funds for needs-based bursaries will be increased, helping to fulfill a priority of the current MSU board of directors. Beginning in the 2016/17 winter term, $250,000 will be redirected from merit-based scholarships to the undergraduate general bursary fund.

“Nearly a year ago we were elected on a mandate to improve accessibility and affordability,” says Spencer Nestico-Semianiw, the MSU’s Vice-president (Education). “Working with the University, this new investment in bursaries is a step towards reducing financial barriers for undergraduates.”

“The MSU made clear its desire for the University to increase the amounts available for needs-based bursaries,” says Sean Van Koughnett, Dean of Students. “We were able to work together to increase bursaries for those in financial aid which will improve student retention and long-term success.”

Under the plan, funds will be transferred from some merit-based scholarships to the general bursary fund. To accomplish this, the eligibility for the Senate and Hooker scholarships will be set back one year, so that students are eligible to apply for them after completing their second year, as opposed to their first. This frees funds to transfer to the bursary pool.

Merit-based scholarships are widely available and students are encouraged to apply for them.

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