Nicola Valley Institute of Technology offering to cover first-year tuition for Grade 12 graduates from School District 58.
President Ken Tourand says the bursary available to graduates of Merritt Secondary School the next three-years is designed to increase immediate transition rates in the Nicola-Similkameen region, where the percentage of students immediately entering post secondary right after high school is the lowest in the province at 36%.
"Further evidence suggests that those who attend a postsecondary institute or college within their local school district region have 17% higher retention rates than those that relocate to start their post-secondary journey. NVIT saw an opportunity to reduce the barriers to access post-secondary, possibly increase the grade 12 graduate transition rates in our local district - and ideally, over time, these post-secondary graduates will return to the Nicola-Similkameen and positively impact the quality of life for this Region."
NVIT generally sees between 12 and 15 students directly from MSS each fall, and while they are prepared to offer the bursary to all 107 graduates this year, Tourand says doubling those numbers would be a great start.
"We know that there are a number of students going to TRU, and other institutions across the country. With this bursary we're really hoping to attract students who either were going to take a year off, or even those students that didn't think post secondary studies were an option, for what ever reason. This at least gets rid of the financial barrier."
The Immediate Entry Secondary School Transition Bursary announced at Friday night's MSS graduation is valued at $2,525 and is believed to be the first ever offered by a Canadian post secondary institution.
Students applying this year must do so before July 31st.
For information on the eligibility requirements, CLICK HERE.