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Easing of means testing for scholarship seekers

Education 08 Dec, 2021 Follow News

Education Minister Juliana O’ Connor Connolly

By Lindsey Turnbull

 

Although only introduced a few years ago to try and ensure a fairer distribution of scholarship funding, the means testing for parents of Caymanian students seeking scholarships has now been amended, the Education Minister Juliana O’ Connor Connolly advised during her presentation to Parliament on Thursday 2 December. The Minister said the government was increasing the means thresholds for annual income of parents and would be removing the net worth requirement.

“Basically, the government sought fit to remove another hurdle, that is the financial means test which we found was one of the unintended consequences of providing a block for some of our Caymanian students. In fact, they were almost being penalised because their parents had been successful although they performed well in their academic studies, they were not able to access these funds, so we removed those hindrances.”

The Minister also advised government would be removing the requirement for dual entry A-level applications for greater ease of transition for students into the A-level providing schools of Cayman Prep and High School and St Ignatius School.

More funds would be available for students pursuing undergraduate and post graduate students. More money would be made available for scholarships for those pursing undergraduate studies in education-related fields, and government was also establishing the Cayman scholar award to provide funding for the top two students per year - male and female - to allow them to study at an ivy league or gold tier university.

“This increase funding aims to strengthen post-secondary development pathways among our Caymanian students by easing the financial burden of the many local families that are in financial need to pursue tertiary education and as they seek to pursue a better educational future for their offsprings,” she said.

More funds available for those in studies in education-related fields would help to encourage tertiary studies in this sector, crucial to the nation’s development, she said. Such students would receive $30K per annum from 1st September 2022. Post graduate students would also see a rise, receiving a maximum of $35K beginning 1st September 2022 onwards.

The recent widening of post-secondary funding in the first year studying for qualifications, such as the IB, AP Advanced Placement and the Caribbean advanced proficiency examination, would also provide greater assistance for Caymanian students across the system.

Other enhancements included the provision of funding to support the award of a single payment of $1,500 to Caymanian scholarship recipients to go towards the cost of student visas at the embassies of the US and Canada so that the recipients could attend the educational institutions in those countries. They would also implement the temporary waiver of the SAT test requirement for students who have initiated studies in the US this fall and the broadening of the scholarship award to include full tuition funding for all Caymanian pursuing A Levels in St Ignatius and Cayman Prep for both years of study.


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