Brock’s endowment has increased nearly $2.6 million this year to help students with financial needs, thanks to generous donors and an Ontario government program that multiplied donated bursary money raised by the university this year.Between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010, donors gave Brock more than $757,000 for student financial awards, which was enough to qualify for a further $1.8 million match from the Ontario Trust for Student Support (OTSS).“It is truly amazing what we can do when we work together to achieve our goals,” said Doug Earle, executive director of The Campaign for a Bold New Brock. “The energy and determination shown by the Brock community has been an inspiration to behold.”“Talented students who may have not been able to afford a university education will now be eligible for a financial boost,” Earle said. “This nearly $2.6 million addition to our endowment will assist 75 more Ontario students in financial need to attend Brock each and every year.”The province’s OTSS program offers matching funds based on how much universities raise to be used for awards for Ontario students with financial need. Total gifts from Brock’s donors surpassed the Brock target set by the government, which ultimately qualified the university for extra provincial dollars on a $1-for-$2.42 basis.Compared to other Ontario universities, Brock was more than 250 per cent above its historic average — the highest percentage for universities targeted by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for increasing endowments at universities that are per capita below the provincial average. And at 54 per cent above its goal, Brock had the second highest percentage of over-goal results for Ontario universities.In this current economy, many students are earning less and borrowing more. With more than 3,000 Brock students graduating this June, the Canadian University Survey Consortium suggests that more than half of them will graduate with debt, owing an average of $26,680 — an increase of 18 per cent from 2003.