Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Increasing access for under-represented populations

New admission policy and financial award aim to encourage students, who would be the first in their families to attend university, to come to Queen’s.

Queen's University Senate has approved a new first-generation student admission policy that aims to encourage students who would be the first in their families to attend university to come to Queen’s.

New admission policy and financial award aim to increase access to Queen’s University.
The First-Generation Student Admission Policy aims to increase access to Queen’s University for students who would be the first in their family to attend a post-secondary institution. (University Communications) 

These students may face socio-economic barriers to furthering their education, and may not be aware of all of the post-secondary options available to them. The policy builds on longstanding outreach, recruitment, and support initiatives in Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment and the Student Experience Office. It provides an additional and alternative pathway to Queen’s for first-generation applicants who are participating in identified community-based programs that help youth in low-income communities complete secondary school, and prepare for a successful transition to post-secondary study.

“Queen’s is working to encourage more applicants from a broad range of under-represented populations, including first-generation students, and those facing educational or socio-economic disadvantage,” says Stuart Pinchin, Executive Director, Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment. “This pathway specifically supports first-generation applicants from Pathways to Education, and the Boys and Girls Club’s Raising the Grade programs, as well as youth who are Crown wards, as a start. We aim to expand eligibility as we form more partnerships with additional organizations.”

In 2017-18, 4.2 per cent of the incoming first-year undergraduate class self-identified as first generation on their application. The First-Generation Student Admission Policy is modelled on the university’s Aboriginal Admission Policy, which has resulted in a 156 per cent increase in acceptances among self-identified Indigenous students, since 2011.

Consistent with the Aboriginal Admission Policy, a First Generation admission award has been established that is available to students who are granted admission through this new policy. This new award builds on the financial aid currently available to all first-generation students at Queen’s, which includes need-based admission bursaries. Queen’s also offers a specific bursary for Pathways to Education students.

“Pathways to Education Kingston is very excited about the First-Generation Student Admission Policy, as it sends the message that ‘first gen’ students belong at Queen’s,” says Holly Platz, Program Facilitator, Career Mentoring, Pathways to Education. “It’s fantastic that increased supports and services will be available to help Pathways to Education students make the transition to post-secondary studies, and we anticipate that many students will benefit from this policy. There is a growing relationship between Pathways to Education and Queen’s University that is having a wonderful impact on Kingston youth.”

Learn more about applying under the policy.