New financial aid programs to boost access to a Queen’s education

New financial aid programs to boost access to a Queen’s education

Major Access Bursaries among increased funding for admitted applicants with highest financial need.

By Dave Rideout

September 1, 2022


Pole banner and Grant Hall

Queen’s is expanding its admission bursary programs to enable more students with the highest financial need to join the campus community and fully experience all that the university has to offer.

Beginning in Fall 2023, up to 100 new and renewable Major Access Bursaries will provide recipients with four years of funding — totalling $40,000 to $72,000 — depending on the program of study.

“Our belief is that an offer of admission to Queen’s recognizes academic achievement; the goal of our financial aid programs is to make it possible for more admitted students to attend,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. “Our hope is this initiative will empower those who may not have otherwise considered Queen’s, due to personal, geographic, or socio-economic circumstances, to become part of our university community.”

There will also be increased bursary funding for upper-year, second entry, and graduate students, as well as expanded on-campus job opportunities for students with demonstrated financial need. Additional agreements to expand need-based financial aid for international students — including refugee students — through national and global partnership programs are being pursued as well.

“This expansion of our financial aid programs reflects our university’s deeply held values of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and our efforts to fully realize them,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane. “It also aligns with United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of ending poverty, ensuring inclusive education, reducing inequality, growing gender equity, and advancing health and wellbeing—which ensures we are part of a global pursuit of a better world for everyone.”

The move to boost need-based assistance comes out of Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment’s campus-wide Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigenization (EDII) Task Force and a subsequent review of financial aid programs that included representatives from each faculty and school.

The changes advance Queen’s longstanding commitment to support students with the most financial need and build on recent initiatives designed for students from under-represented and equity-deserving communities, including the Promise Scholars, Commitment Scholars, and Commitment Bursary.

 “I grew up questioning whether I would ever be able to attend university and do well, because I assumed I would have to work full time and also be a student,” says Madison Hartwick, Promise Scholar, BSc’24 (Biology). “The significant financial aid I am receiving from Queen’s has allowed me to focus on school and my grades. It has been such a relief, and it is moving me closer to my goal of being a veterinarian.”

The impact of the new bursaries will be monitored and inform the development of further expanded programming in the future.

“Through significant funding to expand our bursary programs, we are increasing our support for students throughout their entire degree programs,” says Vice-Provost and Dean Tierney. “We know that we need to prioritize higher-value and predictable financial aid to the highest-need students throughout their studies to increase access to Queen’s. With our long and strong history of donor support for student financial aid, we look forward to continued expansion of these efforts.”

Learn more about Queen's financial aid initiatives.