Student Financial Assistance
The MSU is committed to supporting students throughout their post-secondary studies, and one aspect of this responsibility includes providing a variety of resources and services concerning student financial assistance. Embarking on the road of further education is an exciting endeavour for many students, yet is often accompanied with high upfront costs, unexpected monthly expenditures, and very high student debt. As a result, the MSU has centralized all of the aid it provides here. Moreover, McMaster University has created an excellent resource on external sources of aid and improved student financial literacy, which you can access here.
1) Tuition Policy Paper
The MSU has an extensive policy bank that outlines our priorities and stances on a variety of student issues. One of these policy papers is titled "Financial Barriers to Universities," and contains the MSU's principles, concerns, and recommendations regarding tuition, student financial assistance, and other financial barriers. This resource can be found here and can help you learn about the MSU's current stance on cost pressures for students.
2) Tuition Task Force
In order to develop and entrench a culture of cost-related advocacy within the MSU, a Tuition Task Force has been set up to allow students to brainstorm and complete advocacy priorities each year for tuition and cost barriers at McMaster. This committee is chaired by the Vice-President (Education), and reports to the Student Representative Assembly. This committee continually works with both McMaster and the province to ensure students can afford to attend and continue their education. For information on the committee, please see this page or email the Vice-President (Education) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3) Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance Advocacy
The MSU is currently a member of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, which is a provincial advocacy organization that represents over 140,000 thousands students in Ontario. OUSA consistently works with the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities and other stakeholders on improving the student experience, and develops policy, research, events, and submissions to advocate on students' behalves. To learn more about OUSA's work, please visit the OUSA website. Their policy on financial matters can be found in their Tuition and Reforming Ontario's Student Financial Assistance System policy papers, located here.
4) 2016 Tuition Campaigns
In order to advocate on behalf of students for more cost-effective tuition rates, the MSU will be running two campaigns in early 2016. The first will be a 'Tuition 101' campaign, designed as an information-based campaign that highlights different challenges to high and increasing tuition. This campaign will allow students to ask questions about their tuition, engage with both the MSU and McMaster University on rising tuition, and receive answers, info graphics, and discussions about this topic. The second campaign will be more goal-oriented, and will focus on the MSU asking the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities for a fully-funded tuition freeze as part of the new tuition framework commencing in 2017. This campaign will aim to involve McMaster students through productive discussion with both McMaster and the provincial government. More information will follow and be available from the Tuition Task Force page.
Services & Resources
1) MSU Bursary
Each year, the MSU allocates 5,000 dollars to provide MSU members with emergency bursaries of up to 500 dollars. If a student is experiencing cost pressures during the year, they simply access the MSU Bursary form, complete it, and email it to the Vice-President (Finance) to be reviewed by the Emergency Bursary Review Committee. All information regarding the bursary can be found at here.
2) Mac Bread Bin
Mac Bread Bin is one of the MSU's many student-oriented services. This service is twofold, and provides food assistance to students while keeping anonymity, and also providing programming dedicated to address hunger issues at a local level. To access this food assistance, you can find the Mac Bread Bin Voucher Form here. Moreover, to involve yourself with the programming Mac Bread Bin provides, please see their MSU webpage.
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