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Queen's University
 

Decision Information and Appeals


Decision Information:

Below are answers to commonly asked questions regarding General Bursary assessment procedures and decisions.

Questions: 

  1. I have received a General Bursary, however my entitlement this year is less than last year's even though my financial situation hasn't changed ...
  2. I was denied a General Bursary because I didn't apply for government student financial assistance. However, I would really prefer to complete my degree without taking on any student debt...
  3. I was denied government student financial assistance, or qualified for only a small amount of assistance, and now I've been denied a General Bursary as well. What should I do?
  4. I am a Graduate student or a student in a professional program (i.e. Law, Medicine) and I was denied a General Bursary even though I have received the maximum amount of government student financial assistance available and have applied for a line of credit...
  5. I was denied a General Bursary and asked to apply for a student line of credit but I don't want to take on additional loans...
  6. I was denied a General Bursary because I have received an Entrance/Renewable/Exchange award...
  7. I was denied a General Bursary on the grounds that I had sufficient funds, yet when I look at the budget that I submitted, my expenses outweigh my resources...
  8. The money given to me by my parent(s)/family member(s) is a loan and I am expected to pay it back. Yet, this amount was counted in my resources when my General Bursary was assessed...
  9. I do not agree with my General Bursary assessment. Can I appeal the decision?
  10.  How is financial need determined?
  11.  I didn't apply for a General Bursary in the Fall and now I find myself short on resources. Is it too late to apply?
  12.  Why is SOLUS repeatedly asking me for my Social Insurance Number?

Explanations:

1. I have received a General Bursary, however my entitlement this year is less than last year's even though my financial situation hasn't changed ...

Queen's remains committed to offering a variety of student financial assistance options, and in particular, remains committed to assisting those students who demonstrate the greatest financial need. Due to the increased level of financial need and increased demand for the limited financial resources available, the University has had to adjust the bursary amounts to ensure Queen's need-based assistance is directed to those students in the greatest financial need.

Additionally, effective August 1, 2009 the Government of Canada introduced Canada Student Grants. Many Queen's students have received additional non-repayable assistance from the government and this has been factored into your assessment for Queen's bursary assistance. 


2. I was denied a General Bursary because I didn't apply for government student financial assistance. However, I would really prefer to complete my degree without taking on any student debt...

The Queen's General Bursary is a need-based program meant to supplement, not replace, government student assistance (loans and grants). Therefore, all domestic students are required to apply for government student assistance before being considered for a General Bursary. Students who do not apply for student loans and grants likely have other options available to them and will not be considered for bursary assistance.

In recent years the federal government, and in some jurisdictions, the provincial governments have increased the grant programs which means a greater portion of the student financial assistance package is non-repayable.

Description Amount

Repayable 

Non-Repayable 

OSAP $12,240

 $7,300

 $4,940*

Canada Student Grant $1,977

 

$1,977

Total After One Year $14,217

 $7,300

$6,917

 51.3%

 48.7%

*The Ontario Student Opportunity Grant (OSOG) is available to reduce a student's annual OSAP debt by limiting the repayable debt to $7,300 for a two-term academic year (or $10,950 for a three-term academic year). 

Please visit the Government Student Assistance section of the website for more information. 


3. I was denied government student financial assistance, or qualified for only a small amount of assistance, and now I've been denied a General Bursary as well. What should I do?

Generally a student will be expected to have qualified for at least $5,000 of government student assistance to be considered for a General Bursary.

If you are not receiving government student assistance or have qualified for a small amount of assistance, there are other options available to you. Have you considered applying for a student line of credit with your financial institution or increasing your existing line of credit? Have you and/or your family encountered exceptional expenses or extenuating circumstances that were not considered when you applied for government student assistance?

If you are an Ontario resident, you may be eligible to file an appeal requesting a reassessment of your OSAP funding. All allowable appeals are outlined in the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities' OSAP Review Manual. Only those appeals outlined in the Review Manual can be considered.  For more information on how to request a reassessment of your OSAP funding please visit the OSAP Appeal Options section of the website.

If you are an out-of-province student and are receiving government student assistance through your home province or territory, please refer to the website for your region regarding possible appeals (links to the website for each province/territory is available from the Government Student Assistance section of the website) . If you are uncertain how to proceed after reviewing the website please contact the Student Awards Office and we will provide you direction as to how to proceed with an appeal from your respective province/territory. 


4. I am a Graduate student or a student in a professional program (i.e. Law, Medicine) and I was denied a General Bursary even though I have received the maximum amount of government student financial assistance available and have applied for a line of credit...

Graduate students and students enrolled in a professional program who are accessing government student assistance and a student line of credit for the first time may not qualify for General Bursary. In assessing General Bursary applications for graduate/professional students, there is an emphasis on assisting students who continue to demonstrate need over and above the maximum funding available through government student assistance and who have prior accumulated government student loan debt. Therefore, it is expected that students who incurred government student loan debt and, at times, student line of credit debt during their first undergraduate degree are demonstrating a higher level of financial need. 


5. I was denied a General Bursary and asked to apply for a student line of credit but I don't want to take on additional loans...

Queen's General Bursary assistance is used to help those in the greatest financial difficulty, who have the fewest options to secure funding on their own. Bursary assistance is intended to help supplement, not replace, funds available through government student assistance and/or a student line of credit available through banking institutions. If you are ineligible for government student assistance for the academic year, or the amount of government student assistance you qualify for is minimal, then another option for you to consider is to apply for a student line of credit. 


6. I was denied a General Bursary because I have received an Entrance/Renewable/Exchange award...

If you have received an Admission/Renewable/Exchange award, you have already been assessed for your total educational costs and living expenses for the current academic year. If your Admission/Renewable/Exchange award/bursary met or exceeded the established guideline, you will not be considered for further bursary assistance.

7. I was denied a General Bursary on the grounds that I had sufficient funds, yet when I look at the budget that I submitted, my expenses outweigh my resources...

In fairness to all students, we cannot assess each General Bursary application on their own budget as students will make various financial decisions which impact their individual circumstances. For instance, one student may choose to live in a one-bedroom apartment and pay $900 rent each month whereas another may have decided to live with several other people in order to reduce rental costs to $350-$400. Each must be assessed along the same guidelines for basic living expenses and books and supplies to ensure fairness. This is often where the confusion lies when students are unclear as to why their individual estimated costs don't match with those used for the purposes of assessment.

In assessing these living expenses, we have taken into consideration the following factors: the length of the period of study (8 months for an undergraduate student; 12 months for a graduate student), whether the student is living on or off campus, the student's marital status and the number of dependents the student has. 


8. The money given to me by my parent(s)/family member(s) is a loan and I am expected to pay it back. Yet, this amount was counted in my resources when my General Bursary was assessed...

The objective of Queen's has been to target our limited need-based resources to those students, who throughout their studies have accessed funding from various sources, including debt, and in particular government student loan debt, and who continue to have the greatest financial difficulty. It is considered if families have the ability to provide their children/family members with loans then they have the resources to help fund the student's education. 


9. I do not agree with my General Bursary assessment. Can I appeal the decision?

Students can request a reassessment of their General Bursary application through an appeal process. Information regarding this process is outlined in the Appeal Procedures section below. 


10. How is financial need determined?

For more information on how financial need is determined please visit the Applying section of the website. 


11. I didn't apply for a General Bursary in the Fall and now I find myself short on resources. Is it too late to apply?

The Student Awards Office will continue to accept General Bursary applications for the current academic year past the October 31 deadline and into the Winter term. The application will remain available through your SOLUS Student Center ("Queen's General Bursary Application") until mid February. For further information on the application process, please visit the Applying section of the website.  If the application is no longer available please contact the Student Awards Office. 


12. Why is SOLUS repeatedly asking me for my Social Insurance Number?

The University is required according to Canada Revenue Agency regulations to issue T4A slips for all scholarships, bursaries and awards disbursed to students in a given calendar year. If you have received a bursary and have not provided the University with your SIN, SOLUS will continue to prompt you for the information.   For more information regarding this please visit the Income Taxes (T4A) section of the website.

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Appeal Procedures:

Once General Bursary decisions have been made, students may request a reassessment of their General Bursary entitlement in the following situations:

SITUATION

INSTRUCTIONS 

The student either omitted information or made an error on their application however did not notify the Student Awards Office

Submit the following to the Student Awards Office:

  • Request for Reassessment/Appeal form
  • A written explanation outlining the error and the correct information that should appear on your application
The student's circumstances have changed or the student has experienced an unexpected emergency

Submit the following to the Student Awards Office:

  • Request for Reassessment/Appeal form
  • A letter of appeal explaining your exceptional circumstances and expenses accompanied by supporting documentation (e.g. receipts) if applicable

Appeals, as identified by the Student Awards Office, will be reviewed by a sub-committee of the Senate Committee on Scholarships and Student Aid.  All decisions of the sub-committee are final.

Appeals must be submitted, in full, to the Student Awards Office by the first Monday in February.

Request for Reassessment/Appeal form


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Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000