The Opportunity Fund

Awards and Financial Aid

The Opportunity Fund was created in 2007 by The University of Winnipeg to help make it possible for inner-city youth to dream big. Unique among universities in Canada, the goal is to build a $10 million bursary fund that will help ensure access to higher learning, bridge the graduation gap, and transform lives through education. Since 2007, we are proud to report that we have awarded over $3 million in assistance to over 3,000 students!

There are three different Opportunity Fund programs: the Fast-Track Bursary program, the Tuition Credit Program and the Youth-in-Care Tuition Waivers. These programs are outlined below.

Fast-Track Bursary Program

The first element of The Opportunity Fund is a bursary program designed to help youth and adult learners who have financial need and are from under-represented student populations. The bursaries are intended to assist students with their direct education costs (tuition and books), and are based on the individual financial need of the applicant. This program has seen over 250 recipients graduate with their university degrees.

Eligibility: You may be eligible for this bursary program if you meet the following criteria:

  • Have at least a 2.00 (C) grade point average, or a 65% admission average
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Belong to a population currently under-represented at The University of Winnipeg such as recent immigrants or refugees, Aboriginal students or inner-city students.

Deadline: Mid-September each year

How To Apply: Visit our In-Course Awards (current student) webpage for the application form. 

Tuition Credit Program

Tuition Credits allow you to “earn as you learn”. Students as early as Grade 4 can begin to earn their tuition by staying in school, maintaining good grades, graduating and participating in their community. By the time you earn a high school diploma, the support will be there to help cover your tuition costs at The University of Winnipeg.

Value: Tuition credits are deferred awards. Depending on your activities in Grade 4-12, you could potentially earn an award of up to $4,000 towards your post-secondary education. Here is how it works:

Grades 4 through 8:

  • $150 for each school year completed
  • $50 for extra-curricular activities

Grades 9 through 12:

  • $500 for each school year completed
  • $150 if you get a 70% average or better
  • $100 for extra-curricular activities.

Eligibility: To be enrolled in this pilot program, you must be actively involved in one of the following programs/schools:

  • Southeast Collegiate
  • Inner City Junior Wesmen Basketball team
  • Model School at The University of Winnipeg Collegiate

How To Register:

  • Southeast Collegiate - contact the high school administration
  • Inner City Junior Wesmen Basketball team - contact the coach
  • Model School at The University of Winnipeg Collegiate - contact the Model School Coordinator

Youth-in-Care Tuition Waivers

The University of Winnipeg is committed to breaking down the barriers to university education for Youth in Care. The Youth-In-Care Tuition Waiver Program is a part of the Opportunity Fund, and it is intended to cover undergraduate tuition fees. Tuition Waivers are based on the individual financial need of the applicant and will be selected by the Awards and Financial Aid Office in partnership with the Child and Family Service Authorities and the Province of Manitoba. 

Eligibility: You may be eligible for this tuition waiver if you meet the following criteria:

  • Are a current or former youth-in-care
  • Have applied to the University, are in the process of applying to the University, or have been given an offer of admission to the University for the upcoming Fall
  • Over the age of 18 or turning 18 in the upcoming academic year
  • Demonstrated financial need
  • Nominated by a Child and Family Services Authority in Manitoba
  • Enrol in a minimum of 18 credit hours per academic year (over Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer)
  • Completion of an Authorization for the Release of Information form allowing the University and the Authority/Province to share information on your progress
  • Maintain continued contact with the University and Authority/Province officials satisfactory to facilitate monitoring and administration of the Program

How To Apply:  In order to be considered for this program and obtain an application, please contact the Provincial Tuition Waiver Coordinator:

Laura-Lynne Hildebrand
Tuition Waiver Coordinator
Youth Employment Services
614 - 294 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB  R3C 0B9
204.987.8661 ext. 671 

Application Deadline: March 31st, 2019 for the 2019-20 academic year beginning Fall 2019.

Selection Process: Each Authority will nominate candidates in their area (April of every year) and forward them to the University for final selection. Notification if you have been selected for the program will take place after interviews are conducted (May/June) and once final high school grades are received (June/July).

Note: If you are seeking information on the Opportunity Fund Bursary or Tuition Credit programs, please contact the Awards and Financial Aid office.