University is a significant investment for students. Some have no choice but to take on debt, while others must juggle part-time jobs with their studies.
Financial support may be all they need to reach their potential. Your investment ensures the talents of students are not wasted but harnessed for the betterment of our communities and the world.
A Gift that Builds a Dream
Kaylan Burns was 13 years old when her mom gave her the money talk. The teenager had just started babysitting but had dreams of becoming a doctor. Her mom was firm: Burns had to save half her earnings for university.
But babysitting pay only goes so far. And as a single parent, Burns’s mom could offer only limited help. About four years later, Burns tallied up the costs for tuition, fees, books and rent and knew she was in trouble. “It’s an overwhelming amount of money,” she says.
Help came from a man who also had big ambitions for higher education. Like Burns, Neil Siemens, ’66 BSc, dreamed of becoming one of the first people in his extended family to attend post-secondary school.
As a foster child in the 1940s, Siemens did not have parents to help him save or plan for university. He found the drive on his own. “Growing up, I thought I had absolutely zero academic ability. But I found I could do quite well if I applied myself. And that made me realize that I did have some potential.”
After a long and happy career, Siemens created two entrance scholarships to give UAlberta students the funding opportunities he didn’t have. In 2015, Burns was awarded one of them.
“I’m so grateful. I don’t even know how to put that into words. That donation has gone a long way for me,” Burns says.
Siemens finds joy knowing he helps others reach their dreams: “I don’t want them to feel as if they’re accepting charity. I would like them to feel good about the fact that somebody made it a little bit easier for them to attend university.”
The Impact of Your Donation
University is a significant investment. Financial barriers prevent some students from studying at the U of A and force others to discontinue their studies. Just over half of U of A students work part-time — a time commitment that can take them away from their studies and extracurricular opportunities needed for success.
Scholarships and bursaries are crucial to students when they start or continue their education. Financially support students and you help them realize their dreams. The impact of your gift is found on the confident smiles of grads and undergrads as they collect their degrees and diplomas.
How to Help
Financial support of any amount makes a difference. You can give any amount to an existing fund:
- Bursaries help students based on financial need.
- Scholarships recognize superior academic achievement and appear on a student’s transcript.
To create a new award, your minimum commitment is:
- $1,000 per year for five years to create one annually funded scholarship or bursary.
- $50,000 as a one-time gift or pledged over a maximum of five years to create an endowed scholarship or bursary, which lasts forever.