A little generosity goes a long way
The criteria for U of A scholarships and bursaries vary widely, but the generosity of those who support these funds remains constant.
Thousands of U of A students receive scholarships and bursaries each year, a portion of which would not be possible without the support of the university’s faculty and staff. Andrew Leitch, manager, communications and project planning, Office of Risk Management Services at the U of A, says it is an easy decision to support students. He remembers the financial woes of being a student, and even now he believes he has never been more stressed about money than when he was a university student.
“The U of A is a great community to be a part of,” said Leitch, “and anything I can do to help remove stress from a student seems like the right thing to do.”
Tammy Morris, a second-year medical student, is grateful for Leitch’s and others’ generosity. She relies on student awards to avoid what could be a crippling debt. Last year, Morris was one of 580 students who received an award from the Undergraduate Scholarships and Bursaries Fund, supported in part by many staff and faculty.
“Being in debt is so stressful and always in the back of your mind,” said Morris, adding that, although she does everthing possible to keep her costs down, without student awards she could easily find herself over $100,000 in debt by the time she graduates.
“I didn’t know that scholarships could come from people who give monthly,” said Morris. “If people are giving this way, it’s incredible.”
Shortly after starting at the U of A nearly 10 years ago, Leitch signed up to have a monthly donation to the Undergraduate Scholarships and Bursaries Fund taken directly off his pay cheque. It was quick, simple and easy.
“If we all do a little something for the benefit of others, it makes life better for everyone,” said Leitch.
At first glance, $10 or $20 a month may not seem like much, but it quickly adds up. It also goes a long way in removing barriers for students like Morris who are committed to their academic careers, and will ultimately keep communities thriving and healthy.
“The difference to a student is amazing,” said Morris.
Monthly payroll donations can be made online at www.giving.aulberta.ca or by calling 780-492-4948.