A group of Clearwater students is getting a helping hand from Interior Savings with post-secondary expenses this year, as part of the credit union’s Million Dollar Bursary program.
Ten students from Clearwater Secondary School received an email informing them Interior Savings would be handing them each $1,000 in bursaries to help with tuition as a way to share its profits with its younger members.
“We have a lot of young members and we thought, what better way to invest some of our profits?” said Corinne Johnson, community engagement manager with Interior Savings.
“Every year we dedicate up to $1 million from our profit sharing program to give to students in the form of bursaries.”
Interior Savings launched the Million Dollar Bursary program about six years ago, funded from its member awards program.
With last week’s announcement of $767,000 in new bursaries, the program will have given more than $3 million in awards since inception, $30,000 of that money going to students from Clearwater alone.
In 2015 Interior Savings gave away nine bursaries to Clearwater students, three in 2016, four in 2017, and four last year.
“Part of what we’re trying to do is meet our members where they’re at and figure out how to help them move forward; one way is obviously helping them with their education costs, that’s huge at that stage in life, but also it’s an opportunity to connect with students and help build that financial literacy,” said Johnson.
“A lot of them are coming into the branch and we’re working on ways that they can really learn to help manage their money, starting with this bursary.”
To be eligible for the bursary, students must be between 17 to 24 years old, a member of the Interior Savings and have plans to attend full-time studies in a recognized degree, diploma or trade certification program.
For any students who haven’t applied, the application is scheduled to open again in September and those interested can visit milliondollarbursary.com to be notified when the applications reopen.
Any bursary money not claimed is put back in the general profit sharing pool, which is awarded each year to Interior Savings members.