Education Minister Diallo Rabain today followed through on a Progressive Labour Party pre-election promise to increase the financial support available to potential students who may wish to attend the Bermuda College this year.
At a news conference this afternoon, the Minister announced that “an additional $300,000 has been provided to the College to increase financial aid for persons who require financial assistance to achieve their educational goals”.
“This increase in additional funding is to encourage persons with limited finances to consider attending the Bermuda College. The intent is to also provide assistance to those students already enrolled in programmes at the College and who are struggling to pay their tuition fees. Therefore, the Government has increased the 2017/18 Bermuda College operating grant of $15.481 million to $15.781 million,” said the Minister.
“This additional $300,000 will be evenly distributed across the following three categories of study to assist students enrolled in:
- Non-programme and programme academic division courses;
- Professional and Career Education (PACE) programmes. This is a new benefit for potential students. Currently, the Bermuda College does not provide funding for students enrolled in the Division of Professional and Career Education (PACE); and,
- Bachelor degree programmes offered through the Bermuda College.
The Minister noted that the financial aid awards will range from 30% to 80% of fees and will be based on the applicant’s financial need. The Bermuda College will also launch a marketing campaign to provide further details and instructions on how to apply, later this week. College course registration and payment deadlines will also be extended.”
“This Government understands how critically important it is for all Bermudians to have access to a respected and accredited institution of higher education, like the Bermuda College,” said Mr Rabain.
“We are taking the initial steps to provide a clear pathway to educational opportunities for all. More specifically ensuring that Bermuda College is accessible to all should they want to improve their job skillset, prepare for transfer to overseas universities, or just pursue life-long learning.
“This Government is committed to make this happen so that students as well as our current workforce are equipped and positioned to meet the rapidly changing local and global demands of Industry,” he added.
In her opening remarks, Bermuda College President Dr Duranda Greene said: “Let me begin by first thanking the Minister of Education,… and the new Government for this additional funding.”
She noted that college tuition “is very inexpensive when compared to the cost at an overseas institution, yet there are many that still cannot afford to attend”. “So this funding will go a long way towards assisting those individuals,” she said.
“This additional $300,000 will allow us to expand our current financial aid programme to include programme and non-programme students taking one or more courses. It will also provide funding for students taking courses through our Professional and Career Education Centre (better known as PACE) which is the workforce development arm of the College.”
The PACE courses and programmes are mostly skilled based and includes programmes for: nail technicians, major appliance repair, bartending, medical administrative assistant, haridressing, certified dining room associate, CISCO IT certification, BOMI Facilities Management certification, and several others.
Most of these programmes are part-time and offered in the evening, and range in length from one semester to three years.
Undergraduate degree students will also be supported by the additional funding, in partnership with Mount St Vincent University or Georgia State University.
“In the past funding has not been available through Bermuda College for these programmes,” said Dr Greene.
“At Bermuda College, we believe every Bermudian student should be afforded the opportunity to further his or her education. By student we are not just referring to the recent high school graduate but also those non-traditional students who are wanting to change careers or those that may be unemployed or underemployed and are seeking to improve their skills, making them more marketable.
“This funding is open to all qualified students whether they are traditional (a recent high school graduate) or non-traditional,” she said.
The funds will be administered through the Financial Aid Office. Students can apply using the forms located on the College website at www.college.bm.
The awards will cover up to 80% of tuition and fees, based on need, and there are two main criteria: the student must be Bermudian and if the individual is a current student at the College he or she must have a GPA of at least 2.0. The deadline for applications is next Thursday, August 24th.
Classes begin on Monday, August 28th, PACE courses start on Tuesday, September 5th.
Note Changes to Fall Session Dates:-
- We’ve extended the registration period through to next Thursday, August 24th. Students will be able to register for classes and make application for financial assistance at the same time.
- All late fees will be waived, and
- Payment for all classes has been extended to September 1st.
For more information check out the College’s Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter social media platforms, or visit their website. There will also be a mobile recruitment station at the Washington Mall on Thursday, August 17th, from 12 noon to 4pm.
You can also call 236-9000 or contact Recruitment Officer Thaao Dill, at firstname.lastname@example.org.