The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundations (CMSF), an independent, non-governmental organization, was created by an act of Parliament in 1998 to improve access to and reduce debt from post-secondary education over a ten-year mandate. The CMSF started out as a 50/50 merit-based and needs-based fund. Though an incredibly helpful foundation, the needs-based funding was limited and many low-income Canadians remained unable to afford post-secondary.
CASA stepped in that same year, advocating for an increase in needs-based, non-repayable grants. As a result, the CMSF changed its scholarship structure to become 95% needs-based and only 5% merit-based. From 2000 to 2008, the CMSF distributed $320 million in non-repayable grants, $144 million of which would not have existed without CASA’s advocacy efforts in this area.