Opinions

Forty-thousand dollar baby

First baby born on the centennial gets a substantial scholarship

baby-grad-online-colourIt should come as no surprise that many students struggle with post-secondary’s crippling debt caused by tuition and an obscured work schedule.

Because of this, those who can seek out bursaries, awards and scholarships to help pay for their development. While it isn’t an overtly difficult process, it is arduous, and there’s no guarantee of a pay off.

However, one lucky baby, the first born in Calgary on Oct. 16, 2016 to be exact, will be receiving a $40,000 scholarship to cover their SAIT tuition.

“While the premise itself is good, the idea revolves around certain factors that are completely viable to change,” said Abigal Watt, a mechanical engineering student at SAIT.

She’s right. While $40,000 may sound like a lot of money today, it’s impossible to tell its worth 20 years from now.

“Also, there is the possibility that the child will be unable, or not want to attend SAIT.”

And that’s a valid concern. What will happen to the money should the child not  attend SAIT?

According to Chris Gerritsen, SAIT’s spokesperson, if the money is unused, or a portion remains unused, that amount will go directly into student awards, in turn freeing up more money for future students.

Watt’s remarks bring up a sentiment felt by many students at SAIT.

It’s difficult for current students to feel pride over this move when they themselves are struggling to cover the cost of their own schooling.

“I think that the money could easily go to a student in a less futuristic position — a student who will be enrolled at SAIT for its first year in the new centennial,” said Watt.

Watt isn’t wrong. It would be nice if there were the potential for money for this and next year’s students.

“One of these students would be 100 per cent guaranteed to utilize the money for SAIT education.”

Perhaps, unknowingly, Watt is on to something already in the works.

According to Gerritsen, $100,000 of awards will be added to the current pool of roughly $5.6 million in annual scholarship funds.

So, if you were worried the SAIT baby will be taking away potential grant money from you, there’s no cause to worry.

Gerritsen said the lucky baby’s scholarship is “sponsored heavily” by Mawer Investment Management.

“We haven’t tapped into current funds,” said Gerritsen.

Rest assured the money for this lucky baby is not coming from current students’ tuition, as some may have thought, nor does it have any major impact on SAIT’s current population.

“The premise behind the idea is good.  SAIT is celebrating its 100th birthday by giving back into the community, which is respectable,” said Watt.

“[Having] their own centennial baby, I suppose, could be considered a unique and special thing.”

Gerritsen agrees, and sees the SAIT baby scholarship as another way to celebrate SAIT’s 100th birthday.

“It’s a once in a century opportunity.”

There must have been one lucky, happy family knowing that their newborn will not have to deal with post-secondary’s paralyzing price tag.

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