For students on a study term this winter, regardless of their immigration status, UW has introduced financial aid to facilitate studying remotely. Known officially as the ‘Academic Readiness Bursary’ or ARB, provides students with the option to purchase anything to help study from home. UW will reimburse up to $500 of that amount. These purchases could include anything from desks and monitors to iPads or academic books. Students are required to fill out a bursary form which can be found under the ‘Financial Aid’ section of Quest, within the ‘Bursaries’ tab. The form requires some general financial information along with the receipt of the item(s) one has purchased, followed by an explanation of why it is required by the student. More information can be found on UW’s website.
I personally claimed the ARB to buy an iPad for myself, and have had a much easier time with consolidation of notes and completion of typed assignments that are significantly harder to complete on PCs. Of course, an iPad comes with many other applications and resources at my disposal to facilitate other tasks as well. I think that the ARB is an excellent way for UW to show support for their students. Financially aiding students with purchasing tools for online classes is a strong motivator for students to get organized and consequently do better during their academic term. I think that a change in one’s work environment in some way, be it at a different location (which is not quite feasible given the status quo), or with the addition of new equipment, will help keep one’s mind more aware and active in constructive ways. For myself, having a new iPad will encourage me to use it for advancing my study habits and possibly developing new ones.
Furthermore, any financial aid in these difficult times, where many families and students’ employment statuses could be affected, thereby impeding income, is a huge support and one that is recognized by UW. The fact that they offer this generous support to students is a huge reassurance and encourages me to look on the bright side of things, despite any difficulties that the status quo might present.