$7 million in awards to support Indigenous students’ studies

by Morinville News Staff

Above: Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt shakes hands with Denise Simmons (L) and Paris Hazelwanter (R), who have benefited from Indigenous student supports.

The Government of Alberta says it is helping prepare Indigenous post-secondary students for success with $7 million in scholarships, part of its Future Ready initiative. Alberta First Nations Colleges and publicly funded post-secondary institutions deliver the program.

The cash awards, $4,000 per year for undergraduate, and $15,000 for graduate students, are available to First Nations, Metis and Inuit students in programs that lead to careers in high-demand fields.

The government is anticipating up to 1,500 students will benefit from the awards every year. Approximately 940 students received more than $4.3 million in grants for their post-secondary studies through the Indigenous Awards during the 2015-16 pilot program year.

“Every Albertan should have the same opportunity to pursue higher education, regardless of financial circumstances,” said Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education. “These awards are helping reduce barriers for Indigenous students, creating opportunities to build the skills they need for rewarding, successful careers.”

Bow Valley College student Paris Hazelwanter said the awards provide a direct financial benefit to learners but provide hope, security, and inspiration to learners who need extra support in making their dreams come true.”

Students can contact their Student Awards Office or visit their post-secondary institution’s website for application and deadline information.

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