Recruiting a more diverse class

Recruiting a more diverse class

The university is increasing connections with prospective students and families in underserved communities to let them know a Queen’s education could be more within reach than they think.

By Communications Staff

February 13, 2023


Photograph of students at a reception in Mitchell Hall.
Promise Scholars, Commitment Scholars, Karta Scholars, and Principal's Global Scholars, along with deans and staff members, gathered together during a reception in Mitchell Hall in fall 2022.

Queen’s has received more than 53,000 applications to direct-entry undergraduate programs for Fall 2023. As the team in Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment shifts its focus to making offers of admission, staff and student equity ambassadors are encouraging prospective students to apply to Queen’s suite of access and inclusion awards before the Feb. 15 deadline.

“Queen’s is committed to continuing to enhance access to the university among underrepresented and equity-deserving students, including applicants with the highest financial need,” says Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Ann Tierney. “By increasing the amount of financial aid available, and creating new awards that celebrate inclusive leadership, we want to empower more students who may not have otherwise considered Queen’s to choose to become part of our university community.”

The university’s suite of access and inclusion awards include the Promise Scholars program, Commitment Scholars Award, Commitment Bursaries, and the new Major Access Awards.

Announced last fall, the Major Access Awards offer transformational financial aid for the highest need applicants. Up to 100 awards are available for the 2023-24 academic year, with support ranging between $10,000 to $18,000, for each of four years, depending on the student’s academic program.

The Promise Scholars program is a comprehensive initiative designed to reduce financial barriers and increase access to Queen’s for first-generation students from Kingston and the surrounding counties of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, Leeds and Grenville, Hastings, and Prince Edward. Five Promise Scholars awards are available, providing $60,000-$100,000 over four years depending on the program.

The Commitment Scholars Award celebrates and recognizes demonstrated leadership in, and commitment to, racial justice, social justice, or diversity initiatives by equity-deserving students in their high school or in their community. Ten renewable awards are available, providing $12,000 per year.

Commitment Bursary funds up to $5,000 per year are available to students who self-identify as a member of an underserved or underrepresented group and demonstrate financial need.

Admission Bursaries are also available to all first-year students with financial need, with awards of up to $7,500.

Connecting with students from underrepresented communities

 The Access and Inclusion team in Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment has been meeting with students and families in under-served communities, primarily in the Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa region, throughout the admission cycle. They have been connecting in-person and online, supporting prospective students with the application process, and promoting the university’s financial aid programs.

Working with various school boards throughout Ontario and 22 community-based organizations, the team, which includes 19 peer equity ambassadors, will be bringing groups of prospective students to Queen’s in the coming weeks to provide them with a campus experience.

“We see a lot of enthusiasm when we speak with prospective students and families about the Queen’s experience, and the financial, academic, and personal supports available,” says Richard Mitchell, Manager, Access and Inclusion. “We stay in touch with applicants to guide them through the postsecondary application, admission, and award requirements, and are encouraging them to put themselves forward. We’re reinforcing the idea that a Queen’s education might be much more accessible than they think.”

The entire Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment team has launched a series of events  designed to help prospective students get their questions answered and get ready to accept their offers of admission. Last week, more than 250 students and family members attended a gathering at the Ontario Science Centre; this week, more than 900 people have registered for the online version of the event.

As many as 5,000 prospective students, applicants, and family members are expected on campus on March 11 for the annual March Break Open House; outreach and events will continue through to the final June 1 acceptance deadline.

Learn more on the Undergraduate Admission website.