Mount Saint Vincent University is the first University in Atlantic Canada to launch a tuition waiver program specifically for former youth in care.
The MSVU Post-Care Tuition Waiver Program will cover 100% of participating students’ tuition and compulsory fees. A pilot phase of the program will start in January 2021, with a full program launch planned for September 2021.
An MSVU navigator will be available to participating students to help them navigate their MSVU experience – from completing the tuition waiver program application to completing their degree. The navigator will ensure students are supported and connected with the resources they need.
“We could not be more thrilled to be launching this program at Mount Saint Vincent University. At MSVU, we embrace the diversity of our community and are committed to efforts that advance equity, inclusion and accessibility across all facets of our university and beyond,” said MSVU President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Mary Bluechardt. “MSVU was founded more than a century ago based on a commitment to removing barriers to education and this commitment still runs deep. We are home to a higher percentage of non-traditional students and we pride ourselves on providing the personalized, supportive environment they need to thrive.”
“Education holds the power to transform lives. Through this program, we will provide a tuition-free opportunity for immeasurable personal, scholarly, and professional growth for eligible students. Whether they are coming to us from high school or have been out of school for many years, we look forward to welcoming these new students to the MSVU community and supporting them on their educational journey,” said Dr. Julie McMullin, Vice-President Academic and Provost at MSVU.
“As a former youth-in-care, I am grateful to MSVU for making post-secondary more accessible for people like me. Their leadership in helping to bring these opportunities coast-to-coast is an inspiration,” said Jane Kovarikova, founder of the Child Welfare Political Action Committee, and current doctoral candidate at Western University. “One day it won’t matter where in Canada you are born or where you wish to study, thanks to institutions like MSVU who care about your future.”
To be eligible, a student must have been in the foster care system for at least one year as a child/youth and meet the admission criteria for their chosen program. Students straight from high school and mature students are eligible, appreciating that not everyone’s journey to university is a linear one. Additionally, students must be in or entering their first degree and not currently part of the NS Department of Community Services’ Educational Bursary Program for Children in Care.
“We are grateful to MSVU Child & Youth Study department’s Drs. Fernando Nunes and Shane Theunissen for introducing us to the Child Welfare Political Action Committee and for their leadership in this area,” said Dr. McMullin.
For more information about the MSVU Post-Care Tuition Waiver Program, please contact Gloria Johnston at MSVU at 902-457-6674 or PCTWP@msvu.ca.
MSVU will fund the program, though it will also benefit from the generous support of donors to the University. Those interested in supporting former youth-in-care on their MSVU journey can make a contribution here.