Bursary helps first generation students

Between one-quarter and onethird of Fanshawe's student population is made up of first generation students — people whose parents did not attend post-secondary school. These students may be facing some extra challenges that go along with being a college student; they may have to deal with negativity from their families or have difficulty balancing school with work and family life.

Deborah Bomans, the Student Success Advisor who works with first-generation students from all academic schools at Fanshawe, acknowledged the extra stress some first-generation students may have. "Oftentimes the student has home commitments, such as working or caring for siblings. (Once the student begins school,) the dance has changed and parents may not understand the commitment the student has to make. It may have additional stress on the entire family."

Fanshawe offers plenty of resources to help students of all kinds, from Counseling and Accessibility Services to Career Services to Financial Aid. According to Bomans, first generation students receive "enhanced" versions of the supports all Fanshawe students receive.

One support these students may be interested in is the First Generation Post Secondary Bursary worth up to $1,000, based on financial need. It is available in September and January, and students may apply to it once per academic year. Students apply by writing a 250-word essay about their experience being a first generation student. Applicants must be enrolled in a full-time program and must meet Canadian Citizenship criteria. This semester, applications are open from September 26 to October 14.

Another bursary of note is the Ontario First Generation Student Bursary for apprentices. Applications are open from September 16 to December 16. It is open to first generation students registered in a full-time apprenticeship program (pre-apprentice and part-time apprentice programs are not eligible). Again, applicants must be enrolled in a full-time program and must meet Canadian Citizenship criteria, and a 250- word essay is also required for this bursary.

For more information about either bursary, visit fanshawemoney.ca.

Students who have questions or concerns about being a first generation student can contact Bomans by email at dbomans@fanshawec.ca, by phone at 519-452-4430 ext. 3953 or drop by her office in G3001. Students can also check out the Fanshawe 1st Generation Facebook page at tinyurl.com/fanshawe1stgenfb. For more information about the supports available to first generation students, visit www.fanshawec.ca/1stgen.