Ralph Nilson

Variety of VIU scholarships offer financial help

NANAIMO – Variety of awards available help learners focus on their studies.

By Jenn McGarrigle

Nearly 40 students will begin or continue their studies at Vancouver Island University this fall with fewer financial worries, thanks to the university’s President’s Scholarships programs.

VIU has a number of full-ride scholarship programs available to students: The Chancellor’s Entrance Scholarships for aboriginal high school students; The President’s Entrance Scholarships for Vancouver Island high school students; the President’s Entrance Awards for scholar athletes and the President’s Scholarships for continuing students.

Twenty-one students are taking advantage of the entrance scholarships for Vancouver Island high school students program this year – up from 17 last year and the most students to take advantage of that program since its inception in 2008.

“We are pleased that more of our area’s top students are choosing VIU and choosing to study close to home,” said Ralph Nilson, VIU president and vice-chancellor. “Supporting excellence in education is one of VIU’s core values, as is supporting local Indigenous learners, our award-winning athletics program and our current students who are excelling in their studies. The fact that more of our top local students are choosing VIU than ever before shows that students see the value in the education they receive here.”

Matthew Hais, who graduated from Nanaimo Christian School last June, is excited to start the carpentry apprenticeship program in October with the help of the entrance scholarship.

“This award is going to do quite a bit in allowing me to establish the career base that I am hoping to do with my carpentry ticket,” he says. “By allowing me to pursue post-secondary education without the financial burden, it allows me to focus on other financial areas, such as buying tools to actually do the work, or even attend business courses in the future.”

Charmaine Lightfoot, a continuing student scholarship recipient who is going into her third year of a bachelor of science in nursing degree at VIU, is appreciative of the quality of education she’s received so far. The highlight of her time here has been the personalized feedback she receives from professors.

“When I share my learning experiences with them, I continuously receive incredible insights and encouragement,” she says. “To me, this is richer than receiving a test score. This award means that I have a community who believes in me and trusts that I will go on to do positive things. This award is a lifelong gift that will enable me to improve myself so that I become a more engaged and aware member of society.”

For more information on the scholarships, awards and bursaries available at VIU, please visit www2.viu.ca/financialaid/about.asp.

Jenn McGarrigle is a writer with VIU’s communications department.

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