$5 million given to needy students

The university distributed $5 million in need-based financial assistance to 2,822 students as bursaries and low-interest loans during the fiscal year ending March 31, 1998.

Dan Worsley, assistant director in Awards and Financial Aid, says roughly $4.6 million in bursaries, which do not require repayment, was distributed to graduate and undergraduate students during the past year. A further $400,000 went out in the form of low-interest loans which must be repaid after a set period.

"The university is doing a wonderful job of providing financial support to students who need it," Worsley said. "Of course, with 32,000 students, we could always do with more funds to support students in need. There are students who may not yet be aware of our services or whose needs exceed the maximum available through our programs."

Three million dollars in bursaries is provided from the Student Aid Fund Bursaries, the UBC Bursaries, the World University Services of Canada Bursaries and Summer Bursaries, all of which receive funding from the university's General Purpose Operating Fund. An additional $1.39 million is distributed from revenue generated by endowed bursaries.

Clark Warren, UBC's associate director of Development, says a one-time gift to the university of about $40,000 can be used to create an annual student bursary that will cover a student's tuition costs -- roughly $2,500. The minimum amount required to create an endowment is $5,000, which will generate a bursary of about $300 annually, Warren says.

An additional $231,000 was distributed in non-endowed bursaries funded by annual gifts from donors.

Loans provided by the university are funded mainly by two private donations to the university. The Jane and Charles Banks Loan Fund supports the majority of university loans to graduate and undergraduate students, while the Dr. A.E.H. Bennett Medical Loan Fund provides loans to medical students.

Although $400,000 was distributed in student loans this year, Worsley said as much as $1.3 million is available to lend.