Announcement means increased financial support for York students

York University has welcomed Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s announcement of a new trust fund that will increase financial support for postsecondary students.

The Ontario Trust for Student Support, announced Wednesday by Chris Bentley, minister of training, colleges and universities, will match private and corporate cash donations used by colleges and universities to set up endowment funds. Investment income generated by these endowments will fund bursaries for students who are in financial need.

“I congratulate the McGuinty government for making increased support for students a provincial priority,” said Paul Marcus (right), president and chief executive officer of the York University Foundation. “Through the Ontario Student Opportunity Trust Fund (OSOTF) program, York University witnessed a tremendous response from donors. Now, through the Ontario Trust for Student Support, York’s ability to again raise funds specifically for financial assistance has been enhanced considerably.”

The OSOTF – the previous version of the provincial government’s matching-funds program – also encouraged donors to support the creation and enhancement of student awards by matching donations dollar-for-dollar.

Under the OSOTF program, York raised a total of $6.3 million in a two-year period, exceeding the University’s target of $4.7 million. This resulted in more than $10 million in new endowed student awards. A recent gift from HSBC Bank Canada of $500,000, when combined with matching funds from OSOTF, resulted in $1 million for student scholarships at York.

“With 35 per cent of our students benefiting from some kind of scholarship or bursary, these funds are greatly needed,” said Marcus.