On Campus

Need-based vs merit-based student aid in Canada

In the current edition of University Affairs:

Between 20 and 23 percent of undergraduates enrolled at Canada’s universities receive merit scholarships from their institution, according to a new study on student financial assistance.

The report by the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation found that 31 universities and 11 colleges for which data is available – and whose enrolment accounts for about three-quarters of Canadian undergraduate students – spent $144 million on merit scholarships and $114 million on need-based aid in 2006-07. These amounts exclude aid to graduate students and flow-through from the country’s research granting councils.

For 13 of Canada’s large universities, 19 percent of undergraduates received a need-based bursary averaging about $2,000. The same group of universities provided merit scholarships to 23 percent of undergraduates, averaging $1,750.

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