VIU Awards Full-tuition Scholarships to Top Scholars at Regional High Schools

VIU President and Vice-Chancellor Ralph Nilson, left, VIU Chancellor Louise Mandell and VIU Foundation Board Chair Grant Starko congratulate Jesse Kennedy-Burgoyne, a President’s Entrance Scholarship winner who is entering the Bachelor of Education program, on his award. Students receiving full-tuition scholarships through the President's Scholarships program were honoured at a special event last week.

October 3, 2016 - 12:30pm

VIU’s President’s Scholarship Program started in 2008 and has been growing steadily ever since

Nearly 40 students will begin or continue their studies at Vancouver Island University (VIU) this fall with fewer financial worries, thanks to the University’s President’s Scholarships programs.

VIU has a number of full-ride scholarship programs available to students: The Chancellor’s Entrance Scholarships for Aboriginal High School Students; The President’s Entrance Scholarships for Vancouver Island High School Students; the President’s Entrance Awards for Scholar Athletes and the President’s Scholarships for Continuing Students. Twenty-one students are taking advantage of the Entrance Scholarships for Vancouver Island High School Students program this year – up from 17 last year and the most students to take advantage of that program since its inception in 2008.

“We are pleased that more of our area’s top students are choosing VIU and choosing to study close to home,” said Dr. Ralph Nilson, VIU President and Vice-Chancellor. “Supporting excellence in education is one of VIU’s core values, as is supporting local Indigenous learners, our award-winning athletics program and our current students who are excelling in their studies. The fact that more of our top local students are choosing VIU than ever before shows that students see the value in the education they receive here.”

Sarah Dawson, a Chancellor’s Entrance Scholarship recipient who is entering VIU’s Criminology Diploma program, says the scholarship has taken a huge load off her shoulders.

“I can focus on my studies without worrying about the financial aspect of being a university student,” says the Alberni Secondary School graduate. “VIU is an amazing school that presents many opportunities for their students. In particular, I heard really good things about the criminology program and I believe that the classes and the overall experience will help me achieve my goal of becoming a member of the RCMP.” 

Matthew Hais, who graduated from Nanaimo Christian School last June, is excited to start the Carpentry Apprenticeship program in October with the help of the Entrance Scholarship for Vancouver Island High School Students.

“This award is going to do quite a bit in allowing me to establish the career base that I am hoping to do with my carpentry ticket,” he says. “By allowing me to pursue post-secondary education without the financial burden, it allows me to focus on other financial areas, such as buying tools to actually do the work, or even attend business courses in the future.”

Charmaine Lightfoot, a Continuing Student Scholarship recipient who is going into her third year of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at VIU, is appreciative of the quality of education she’s received so far. The highlight of her time here has been the personalized feedback she receives from professors.

“When I share my learning experiences with them, I continuously receive incredible insights and encouragement,” she says. “To me, this is richer than receiving a test score. This award means that I have a community who believes in me and trusts that I will go on to do positive things. This award is a lifelong gift that will enable me to improve myself so that I become a more engaged and aware member of society.”

The President’s Scholarships program began in 2008 when VIU received its full university status. The scholarships are intended to encourage and support top scholars to complete their undergraduate degrees at VIU.

The Chancellor’s Entrance Scholarships for Aboriginal High School Students are available to top academic Grade 12 students from First Nations communities, Friendship Centres or Metis organizations on Vancouver Island, Powell River and Bella Bella. The President’s Entrance Scholarships for Vancouver Island High School Students are available to one top academic Grade 12 student from each Vancouver Island public and private high school, including Powell River and Bella Bella. The President’s Entrance Awards for Scholar Athletes are available to top academic student athletes upon entrance to first-year studies at VIU. All entrance scholarships are renewable for five years, provided the students maintains a certain GPA and courseload. The President’s Scholarships for Continuing Students are awarded to top VIU second-year students who are continuing their studies at VIU.

For more information on the scholarships, awards and bursaries available at VIU, please visit the Financial Aid homepage.



Jenn McGarrigle, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

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Tags: Student Success