County doubles size of grants, bursaries for local students

GUELPH – The County of Wellington is doubling the size of the grants and bursaries it awards, in recognition of the rising costs faced by students.

At its Feb. 28 meeting, county council approved a recommendation from the administration, finance and human resources committee to increase the amount awarded through scholarship/bursary program from $500 to $1,000 for each of the 10 students selected.

Students to receive the funds are selected through an application process based on academic and financial needs.

“The purpose of the program is to provide financial assistance for students within our community who are entering first year of an accredited college or university,” states a staff report from deputy clerk Nicole Cardow.

“With the cost of tuition, and student housing at an all-time high, we recognize that these funds are no longer going as far as they once did.”

Councillor Chris White, also the committee chair, said, “With inflation and rising tuition and all the other costs that students have $500 is a nice thing, but a thousand is a little bit better to try to help our students.”

The county is also increasing the amount of the Grant McLellan Memorial Award from $500 to $1,000. 

The annual award goes to a deserving student from Wellington Heights Secondary School.

Community grants

Also at the Feb. 28 meeting, county council approved distribution of nearly $88,000 to local organizations through its community grant program.

A staff report notes the county typically provides community organizations grants of up to $2,000 through an application-based program.

All eight agricultural societies within Wellington County are exempt from the formal grant application process and receive $1,000 from the county, provided they send correspondence indicating a need for the grant in a given year.

Also exempt from the process and eligible for the $1,000 grants are:

  • the Wellington County Farm and Home Safety Association;
  • Wellington County Cattlemen’s Association;
  • Wellington County 4-H Association;
  • Wellington County Historical Society;
  • Wellington County Plowmen’s Association; and
  • Wellington County Soil and Crop Improvement Association.