What if there was a new AUSU scholarship?

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    • #193903
      Darcie Lynn Fleming

      Hello fellow candidates, my question concerns scholarships and if AUSU would offer an additional scholarship, what do you think it should be for, the qualifications and for what amount?

    • #193905
      Natasha Donahue

      Hey Darcie! Thanks for this question.

      I believe we could benefit from a bursary for students with disabilities. I think it could cover learning disabilities as well as physical disabilities. To qualify, I think students could identify their disability and how it has impacted their educational journey. Completion of three credits at AU would be sufficient to me, and the amount could be anywhere from $500-$1000. I think this could be a semi-annual award and we could have 4-6 total available.

      I think this award could help encourage students who traditionally experience barriers to accessing post-secondary due to intersections in their lives dealing with disabilities and other identities to continue to pursue post-secondary, and also serve as a way to gain perspective into some of these struggles for those on the awards committee who do not have these experiences.

    • #193906
      Darcie Lynn Fleming

      Thanks, Natasha, I had the same idea as you, but you were quicker at posting!
      Currently, AUSU scholarships include academic achievement, mature, returning and balanced students, volunteerism, #Igo2AU and emergency, computer and travel bursaries. I believe that AUSU should acknowledge the challenges that students with disabilities encounter that can impede their online learning. AUSU should recognize and honour their unique ability and fortitude to prevail over obstacles to achieve a university education.
      The requirements I would recommend is a 150-word essay or short video clip describing their disability and how they are adapting to online learning. The parameters would be students who access ASD services and have at minimum 2.0 GPA over the last six undergraduate credits. There would be four awards per year for the amount of $1000 each, the same amount as awarded in other AUSU scholarships.

    • #193924

      My three ideas for AUSU scholarships would be; learners with special needs, low-income learners, First Nation learners.

      Given the challenges with AU’s system of “tutoring”, a scholarship would give them the opportunity to hire a private tutor to help them understand course materials, to their preferred learning style (visual/auditory/kinesthetic).

      Given the challenges with AU’s 7% tuition increase, learners on a budget are going to have a harder time continuing their studies solely due to financial reasons. I do not like seeing people left behind due to circumstances that are out of their control, so the student population can count on me to champion their best interests.

      First Nation youth have to overcome so many hurdles in life that exponentially decrease their odds of ever making it to post-secondary learning institutions. While tuition might be covered for aspiring learners of First Nation Heritage, doing a little more for those that face financial challenges in varying parts of their lives would go a long way.

    • #193925

      I would love to see a scholarship detailing how online learning and participation in the AU community has offered a second chance to individuals.

      Everyone has a back story and variables that have lead them to choose one path or another and many students at AU have selected the open university concept as a means of accomplishing their education aspirations when they were prevented from traditional routes earlier.

      One of my favourite ways to connect with fellow students is in sharing narratives of what led them to pursue the path they are on now. I find this camaraderie inspirational and I think that it facilitates relationships between students, as well as demonstrates genuine learning, perseverance, and resilience in the face of hardship for all students.

      I think a financial award that granted access to subsequent postsecondary education is a great way to acknowledge student’s resilience in the face of adversity as well as a way to share their narrative and focus on the strengths of each individual in their unique path to education aspirations.

    • #193936

    • #193959

      I believe AUSU should offer a bursary to students accessing ASD services. Oftentimes, student with disabilities have higher costs to obtain their post-secondary education. This can range from various physical supports to learning supports. One lesser-known aspect of being a student with ASD services is that many of these students cannot take on a traditional “full-time” course load that other student can, even if these ASD students have no other family or work responsibilities. This situation, whereby students who are permitted to take a reduced course load but maintain full-time status often results in higher costs for the education in the long-run because of needing extra years to complete the degree. Specifically for student loan funded students, who have the same cap on the amount of funding they can access as any other student, means they will run out of funding before they finish their degree. Therefore, a bursary to help cover some of the additional costs for ASD students would go a long way toward their success. I feel that the amount of $1000 per aware, with 2-4 awards offered 4 times per year would give the 14% of the AU student body who utilize ASD services a fighting chance at actually receiving one of these bursaries. Also, the qualifications would be fairly simple as students with disabilities already have so many barriers in life. Therefore, their status as a student within the ASD services program, and a shown financial need for the bursary would go a long way to helping those who need it most, including new students who often do not qualify for bursaries because of minimum AU credit and GPA requirements.

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