Nassau, The Bahamas – A consolidated grant programme that will fund tuition, compulsory course fees, stipends and accommodation payments for students who must relocate to attend University of The Bahamas (UB) will take effect in Fall 2019, the Minister of Education Hon. Jeffrey L. Lloyd announced during his contribution to the budget debate in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, 12th June.
Following the announcement, UB President Dr. Rodney D. Smith explained that the new Bahamas Government Tertiary Education Grant Programme is a major initiative that will increase access to university education for qualified Bahamian citizens. The government is funding the programme.
“Statistics show that university graduates have a better quality of life, contribute to rippling benefits for their families and communities and help to build and develop the nation in myriad ways. Every day, in all that we do, UB students are being prepared to live better lives in a global society,” noted President Smith. “This national tertiary grant programme will also help to grow this participation rate and produce the human capital necessary to make our nation more resilient, competitive and dynamic.”
The current teacher education and nursing grants, the national bursary and the student-athlete financial assistance will all be consolidated under the new grant initiative. In addition to the tuition, stipends and accommodation payments, the compulsory course fees which will be funded include technology, student activity, library, course lab, and mandatory course external examination fees. The government reserves the right to bond grant recipients in specific disciplines (i.e., teacher education, nurses training).
According to President Smith, UB has been intentional and strategic in its programmes and initiatives to increase the participation rate in higher education in The Bahamas, which is a key marker of a progressive nation.
Students are eligible for the Bahamas Government Tertiary Grant Programme if they are Bahamian citizens; enrolled full-time (i.e. taking a minimum of 12 credits per semester, which includes new and returning students); and maintain minimum satisfactory academic requirements. Grant recipients must also remain in satisfactory disciplinary standing with the university. Grant recipients must also complete all course requirements within five years of the commencement of their studies, unless there are extenuating circumstances and the University grants an extension after verification. Approval from the University is the only way under which grant disbursements will be extended beyond the five-year period.
Accommodation payments of $500 per person will also be given for the duration of the school year (August to April) to each student who meets the criteria. To qualify, students must have moved from another island of The Bahamas to undertake the course of study, or otherwise be (or have been) a ward of the state, in foster care, or in a children’s home; be enrolled full-time; be less than 25 years old at the time of enrolment; and agree to reside in University accommodation for the first full two years of study, provided that sufficient accommodation is available to house them. In these instances, the accommodation grants will be applied directly to their housing fees. However, if following the grace period for academic probation, a student fails to increase their GPA to the minimum 2.0, then the accommodation payments will cease.
All grant recipients, including students who are being notified of acceptance to UB, returning students and students who are currently receiving grant and bursary aid under Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health programmes, must apply and complete a one-time enrolment process. The online application process commences Monday, 1st July 2019.
Applicants must have a UB-issued username and password in order to apply via the Banner Self Service system on the UB website.
UB’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is managing the application process and is collaborating with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health to ensure a seamless transition. The application process is online – as a growing number of our processes are – to make it convenient for applicants who meet the eligibility criteria.
To apply, visit www.ub.edu.bs:
1. Login to “Banner” Self Service with your username and password;
2. Under “Additional Links”, click on “Financial Aid”;
3. Click on “Apply for Student Aid”;
4. Follow the prompts to complete the process.
Persons who require further information can contact UB’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at 302-4370 / 302-4371 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.