Welcoming the first Promise Scholars to Queen’s

The new program is designed to increase access to a Queen’s education.

Among the members of the Class of 2024 are the first-ever Promise Scholars.


Each of the five students attended local schools and will pursue a variety of academic programs at Queen's.

Announced in the fall of 2019, the Promise Scholars program is a comprehensive initiative designed to reduce financial barriers and increase access to Queen’s for local, self-identified first-generation students. The program provides dedicated financial, academic, and career supports to help students throughout their undergraduate degree.

“We are thrilled to welcome the first Promise Scholars to the Queen’s community. We have had great support from our area school boards, and we are confident that, with the supports we have in place, these students will thrive at Queen’s,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs.

The five first-year students attended Kingston secondary schools, including École secondaire publique Mille-Îles, Frontenac Secondary School, Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School, and Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute. One participated in the Pathways to Education Kingston program, which offers support to designated students to help them successfully transition to post-secondary education, training, or employment.

“Promise Scholars is a life-changing initiative. It sees the promise that these incredibly bright, creative, and resilient students hold, and in turn provides the means of cultivating that potential through a world-class education and so much more,” says Holly Platz, Post-Secondary and Career Coach, Pathways to Education. “It has been truly joyful to support a Pathways youth through the application and follow-up process for Promise Scholars this year.”

The students will be pursuing a diverse range of academic programs. Two will concentrate in arts; one will study science; one will study commerce; and one will be studying concurrent education with a science focus. They were selected at random from among the eligible program applicants.

Breaking down barriers to education

The Promise Scholars program is designed to break down financial barriers that students from lower-income backgrounds face in accessing post-secondary education. Promise Scholars will be provided with financial support to graduate from a first-entry degree program with no student loans. Scholars will receive financial support for tuition, fees, books, and supplies, residence in their first year, and a living allowance for their second, third and fourth years of study. This support, in addition to OSAP grants, summer work experiences, and some student contribution, will ensure recipients can benefit from the full Queen’s undergraduate experience.

Throughout their time at Queen’s, the Promise Scholars will be connected to dedicated advisors who will provide one-on-one guidance on academics, financial planning, and career preparation. As they look ahead to their first year of university, the Promise Scholars will meet their advisors to prepare for all facets of life as a Queen’s student.

To learn more about the Promise Scholars program, visit the program’s website.

Queen’s is also currently aiming to raise $30 million for student aid across the university. To learn more and to contribute, see the Promise Campaign website.

Note: This article originally appeared in the Queen's Gazette.