Langara Foundation helps students stay in school

Bursaries have become crucial for students facing high costs of living and tuition

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By Juan Ramírez

As the cost of living increases and financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic persist, financial assistance from the Langara College Foundation has become a necessity for many students.

The pandemic caused a loss of jobs which were crucial to financing their education, but the foundation helped collect $1,162,609 for the 2020 yearly bursary funding.

For the 2021 yearly bursary funding, the foundation raised the $1.65 million, according to Heidy Rahnumah, the development officer, donor relations and annual giving from the Langara College Foundation.

Prices in Vancouver continue to skyrocket

The cost of food, rent, gasoline and phone plans have all increased over the past couple of years, affecting students’ wallets.

According to the 2021 annual review from Statistics Canada, Canadians paid 2.2 per cent more for groceries in 2021, following a 2.4 per cent gain in 2020. Items such as meat rose by 4.3 per cent and dairy products by 2.8 per cent.

According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, in October 2018, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Vancouver was $1,652. By 2021, it has risen to $1,830.

Most recently, gas prices have also been affected by the war in Ukraine. Last years’ average gas price in Vancouver was $1.52 per litre. Today, the average price has risen to $2.00 per litre.

Prices for phones and phone plans were 3.4 per cent higher month over month in January—the highest monthly increase since September 2020 according to Statistics Canada.

In January 2022, Canadian inflation surpassed five per cent for the first time since September 1991.

Financial help lets students not just survive, but thrive

Harshbir Singh, a business administration post degree diploma student said funds given by the foundation help students to not only remain in their programs, but also thrive.

“Those funds ultimately turn into scholarships and bursaries for the students,” Singh said. “So of course, that is a very motivating factor for students if they do something well in academics.”

Jennifer Cheddie, a Langara staff member, said the support from the foundation helps not only students but often their families as well.

“Definitely, when it comes to special times in the year, they help students out in terms of doing hampers to further not only help the student, but the families as well,” said Cheddie, who works as a student conduct officer.

Taylor Lundie, a first-year general science student, said the foundation’s assistance can also help with tuition.

“If they want to take a class and they’re worried about maybe having to afford the materials or affording the class, they can actually take it,” Lundie said.

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