A Life-Changing Opportunity: Introducing The Promise Campaign
A three-year initiative to dismantle the financial barriers that prevent promising students from attending Queen's.
At the heart of the Promise Campaign is the Queen’s Promise Scholars program, a comprehensive bursary that aims to increase access for first-generation students from low-income families who could not otherwise afford to attend Queen’s. The program provides undergraduate students with dedicated financial, academic, and career support, enabling them to complete an undergraduate degree debt-free.
Right now 36.3% of all Queen’s students receive financial aid, and 22% of all Queen’s students qualified for a needs-based bursary. More often than not, though, this financial aid leaves important expenses uncovered.
A $5,000 grant, scholarship, or bursary, for example, can make a world of difference to a student from a middle-income home, but it is rarely enough to meet the needs of lower-income students. As a result, students from low-income families must either take on jobs or loans to cover the difference or forego a Queen’s education in favour of an option closer to home.
You can create opportunities for these promising students by creating new awards or contributing to existing ones.
Queen’s University is committed to reducing financial barriers and enhancing access to a university education for students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to benefit from a post-secondary education.
Students today believe in a promising future. They see the change that needs to happen and they challenge themselves to be that change. They come to Queen’s to prepare themselves for that challenge but there are real barriers that stand between them and the future they deserve.
Canadian research shows that a student from a family making less than $30,000 a year stands only a one-in-three chance of attending any sort of post-secondary school. And students with no family history of university attendance are 33% less likely to attend post-secondary school than their more affluent counterparts, and those who continue their educations are more likely to attend a two-year community college program so they can keep costs low.
Even among students who do go to Queen’s, many of them graduate with a heavy debt load. According to the Canadian Federation of Students, the average Candian student graduates university with $28,000 of debt.
If George Monro Grant, our legendary seventh principal, were alive today, he would have been an enthusiastic champion of the Promise Campaign. Principal Grant spent his life fighting for diversity, inclusion, and access for all. He opened Queen’s to women in 1879, a year before all other Canadian universities followed suit. His commitment to access was so great that the university grew from 90 students when he arrived to 850 at the time of his death. With the Promise Campaign, we extend Principal Grant’s legacy to a new generation of Queen’s students.
"I don’t come from a lot of money, and I didn’t have any real savings when I was leaving my hockey career. Financial aid let me focus on things that were more important."
"One thing I know from my career is that success is just as much about connections as it is about skills and knowledge."
"My mother and I wanted to do something useful with our money, and creating a bursary for Queen's Engineering students was a logical choice."
"I started off this heartbroken little kid in a rundown house, and 10 years later I'm at Queen's discovering my passion."
"I am the first person in my family to go to a proper university. Queen's has really helped take a lot of the burden off of me financially."