General Bursary

It is the priority of Queen's University to help students who have the greatest financial difficulty and the fewest options to secure funding on their own. 

  • The Queen's General Bursary (QGB) (summer and fall/winter) is a non-repayable grant available to students in all years of study who have a demonstrated financial need
  • The QGB is meant to supplement, not replace student and family resources. Students are expected to explore all sources of available funding

Consecutive Education students – find your specific General Bursary information on the Specific Student Group page.

Queen's Formal Exchange or studying at the BISC – visit Exchange and Bader International Study Centre (BISC) for information on funding options for the spring/summer session.

Named Bursaries

If a student is selected to receive a General Bursary the name of their bursary may be amended to a Named General Bursary. Only the name of their award will change; the value of their General Bursary assistance will not change depending on the name of the award.

 

Eligibility

Students who submit a General Bursary application after the end of their study period will not be considered.

If you are unsure about your eligibility, please contact the Student Awards Office at bursary@queensu.ca.

  • You must be currently enrolled in full-time studies in a Queen's degree program (part-time students are eligible to apply and will be assessed on an individual basis)
  • You must apply and be assessed for government student aid (applies to Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents of Canada, and U.S Residents) and qualify for a minimum amount of funding ($5,000 for 2 terms of study/$7,000 for 3 terms of study)*
  • Programs offered by Queen's University that are not approved for OSAP (full-time or part-time) are not eligible for bursary assistance
  • You must be demonstrating financial need as assessed by the Student Awards Office
  • Government student loan debt from prior years of study will also be considered when evaluating eligibility for bursary assistance for domestic graduate students and students in professional programs (e.g. JD, Medicine, Smith Professional programs). Domestic and U.S. students that do not have prior repayable government debt will not be considered for Queen's General Bursary assistance
  • If you are a student in a professional program (Medicine and Law) or a graduate program in the Smith School of Business, then you will be expected to access both government student aid and a line of credit to be considered for the General Bursary 

International and U.S. Students

  • Pursue student loan options through your home country first by contacting the appropriate student loan processing agency in your country
  • You are expected to demonstrate sufficient resources to pay for tuition fees and standard living expenses for yourself and any family members who come to Canada as set out by the Government of Canada Immigration and Citizenship requirements to obtain a Study Permit
    • General Bursary assistance will be only considered if there are extenuating circumstances that have resulted in a change to your financial resources. Extenuating circumstances must be documented on your application with supporting documentation
  • U.S. students are required to apply, qualify, and negotiate (process) government student aid to be considered for Queen's General Bursary
  • All costs and resources on the General Bursary application must be reported in Canadian dollars

*Only in rare circumstances of a student being denied government student aid as a result of loan default, bankruptcy, or overpayment and after every reasonable effort has been made by the student to remedy the situation, will a student be considered for General Bursary without loan funding. It is the student's responsibility to provide proof that they have taken all necessary steps to obtain clearance and have nonetheless been unsuccessful.

  • You must be currently enrolled in studies in a Queen's degree program
  • You must apply and be assessed for government student aid (applies to Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents of Canada, and U.S Residents) and qualify for funding
  • Programs offered by Queen's University that are not approved for OSAP (full-time or part-time) are not eligible for bursary assistance
  • You must be demonstrating financial need as assessed by the Student Awards Office

If you are in a study period greater than 34 weeks (i.e. Graduate students, third-year Medical students, and Advanced Standing Nursing students), you have already been assessed for General Bursary assistance during the summer period on the Queen's General Bursary application. These students should not submit a summer General Bursary application.


International and U.S. Students

  • Pursue student loan options through your home country first by contacting the appropriate student loan processing agency in your country
  • You are expected to demonstrate sufficient resources to pay for tuition fees and standard living expenses for yourself and any family members who come to Canada as set out by the Government of Canada Immigration and Citizenship requirements to obtain a Study Permit
    • General Bursary assistance will be only considered if there are extenuating circumstances that have resulted in a change to your financial resources. Extenuating circumstances must be documented on your application with supporting documentation
  • U.S. students are required to apply, qualify, and negotiate (process) government student aid to be considered for Queen's General Bursary
  • All costs and resources on the General Bursary application must be reported in Canadian dollars

*Only in rare circumstances of a student being denied government student aid as a result of loan default, bankruptcy, or overpayment and after every reasonable effort has been made by the student to remedy the situation, will a student be considered for General Bursary without loan funding. It is the student's responsibility to provide proof that they have taken all necessary steps to obtain clearance and have nonetheless been unsuccessful.

Application and Instructions for Fall, Winter, and Summer

The 2021-22 General Bursary application is now available. The deadline to apply is October 31. While the deadline has passed, the Student Awards office will continue to accept applications.

The summer General Bursary application is available beginning in early spring and must be submitted to the Student Awards Office by May 31.

The application can be accessed through the SOLUS Student Centre, located under the Finances tab on the left-hand side. Click on the "Queens General Bursary Application" link or the “Queen's Summer General Bursary Application” link to begin your application process.

*Before accessing the General Bursary application please read all the instructions and information provided. Failure to do so may lead to delays in assessing your General Bursary application due to incomplete or inaccurate information or impact the amount of bursary assistance you receive.

general bursary application link on SOLUS

Students who wish to be considered for the Queen's General Bursary must submit an application each year they are registered in studies at Queen's. The Queen's General Bursary will not be automatically renewed. If you have received the Queen's General Bursary in the past, your previous assessment has no bearing on the assessment for funding for the current academic year.

Many bursaries have been established thanks to the generous contributions of donors and benefactors. By submitting a General Bursary application, you will automatically be considered for named general bursaries.

As part of the General Bursary application, you will be asked to complete a budget outlining your costs and resources for your study period. Expenses occurring outside of a student's study period will not be considered in the General Bursary assessment.

Please ensure that you complete the expense portion of the budget based on the number of months in your study period.

Undergraduate Students

  • For the fall/winter General Bursary, report your resources/expenses for 8 months (September-April)
  • For the summer General Bursary, only report your costs and resources for the period of time that you will be registered during the summer session

Graduate, Third-Year Medical, Advanced Standing Nursing, And Final-Year Education Students

  • Report your resources/expenses for 12 months (September-August)
  • The General Bursary automatically assesses you for the entire length of your study period – you should not submit a summer General Bursary application
  • Graduate Students: your funding package will be validated with the School of Graduate Studies or with your department.

To complete the budget portion of the General Bursary application, you will be required to report the following information. We recommend that you compile this information before beginning the application:

Government Student Assistance

  • Total current year funding including all loans and grants
  • If you are receiving government student aid from provinces/territories outside of Ontario, you must submit either a Notice of Assessment or Confirmation of Funding to the Student Awards Office
  • Student loans from your home country (if applicable) if you are an international student (loans must be in student's name)

Note: If a student does not process and finalize their government student aid, their General Bursary application may be placed on hold or reassessed.


Student Line of Credit

  • Indicate your credit limit, balance owing, and available credit (as stated in August and September statements)

Note: We do not require a copy of the line of credit statement unless your application is being audited (refer to Changes and Audits section).

Accessing a Student Line of Credit alone is not enough to qualify for a General Bursary. To qualify for a bursary, domestic students (Canadian citizens and permanent residents) must have qualified for government student aid.

If you are a student in a professional program (Medicine and Law) or a graduate program in the Smith School of Business, then you will be expected to access both government student aid and a line of credit to be considered for the General Bursary.  Please note that graduate students and students in a professional program who are accessing government loans and a line of credit for the first time may not be considered.

For more information about Student Lines of Credit, and specifically regarding the RBC/Queen's Student Line of Credit, please visit the Student Lines of Credit section of the website.


Savings Prior to the Start of this Study Period

  • Total amount of money you have left after paying any summer expenses. Do not indicate your summer earnings – only the savings prior to the start of the academic session

Financial Contributions from Parents, Spouse, Relatives, and/or Friends

  • Total amount of financial support provided throughout the study period

Assets (Trust Fund, Investments, RRSPs, etc.)

  • Current value of all assets in student's name

RESPs

  • Funds cashed in for use during this academic year

Government Income (e.g. CSST, Orphan's Benefit, Social Assistance, etc.)

  • Total funding to be received during this academic year

Income from Part-Time Job During Study Period

  • Estimated amount of income you expect to earn during this academic year

Note: If you are receiving work from Work Study be sure to enter this in the "Work Study Entitlement" section, not this section of the application.


Work Study Entitlement

  • Estimated Work Study income you expect to earn during this academic year

Note: If you have been granted an entitlement but do not participate in the Work Study program or will not earn the full entitlement please notify the Student Awards Office in writing.


Scholarships/Awards/Bursaries

  • All scholarships, awards, and bursaries you received from all sources (Queen's or external) during this academic year

Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant

  • Total funding to be received through positions during this academic year
  • Funding package will be validated with School of Graduate Studies or with your department

Parent(s)' Income

Must be reported for students who have been out of high school for less than 4 years.

  • Canadian students can obtain the required information from their parent(s) Income Tax Return/Notice of Assessment
  • International students are required to report the total gross amount of earnings received by their parents converted to Canadian Dollars

Students are considered to be dependent on their parents for four years after graduating from high school. You and your family have the primary responsibility for paying for your education. Decisions regarding eligibility for Queen's General Bursary assistance is based on the parent's ability and not willingness to pay.


Spouse/Partner's Income (if applicable)

Must be reported for partners of married and common law students

  • Canadian students can obtain the required information from their partner's Income Tax Return/Notice of Assessment
  • International students are required to report the total gross amount of earnings received by their partner converted to Canadian Dollars

Non-Education Related Loans (e.g. mortgage, car loan, etc.)

  • Current debt load from all loans, other than those through government student aid or Student Line of Credit

Note: A loan has to be verifiable through an impartial institution (e.g. bank, government). Personal loans are not verifiable and will not be taken into consideration for eligibility or debt load.


Loans from Previous Year(s)

  • Total amount of government loans in previous years (OSAP recipients may validate the amount of their previous loans online by logging into their OSAP account)
  • Total amount accessed through Student Line of Credit in previous years
  • Total outstanding credit card balance(s)

Living Expenses (e.g. rent, utilities, food, etc.)

Include all living expenses incurred for the entire academic year:

  • Undergraduate students – 8 months (September–April)
  • Graduate/3rd-year Medical, Advanced Standing Nursing, and final-year Education students – 12 months (September–August)

Note: Expenses occurring outside of a student's study period will not be considered in the General Bursary assessment. For example, rent paid over the summer period – while not registered at Queen's – will not be considered.


Unexpected Expenses

  • Costs unrelated to your educational needs will not be considered in the Queen's General Bursary assessment. These include, but are not limited to: extraneous travel home, flights and/or lodging for family, personal loans to family/friends
  • Cost of leasing a computer for the student's full academic year is included in the books and supplies guidelines used to assess applications
  • Consideration is given to reasonable travel costs and is included in the living expenses guidelines used to assess applications
  • If you have included any unexpected expenses (e.g. medical, dental, prescriptions, fire, break-ins, etc.) supporting documentation including receipts, insurance information, etc. must be submitted to the Student Awards Office. These costs will not be considered without proper documentation

For Queen's General Bursary purposes, you are living in a common-law relationship if:

  1. You and your partner have been living together in a conjugal relationship for not less than 3 years, or
  2. You and your partner are living in a conjugal relationship and raising any children of whom you both are the natural or adoptive parents

If you are married or in a common law relationship and your partner is not a student at Queen's University, please submit one application indicating all expenses and all resources for both partners. If your partner and/or dependent(s) are not living with you in Kingston you will be asked to explain your living arrangements. In the 'Debt Load' section of the application indicate the total debt structure for the family.

If you are married or in a common law relationship and your partner is a student at Queen's University both you and your partner must submit an individual application. When completing the expenses and resources section of each application, each of you will enter only half of your living expenses and all of your individual resources. In the 'Debt Load' section of the application each student must indicate only their own personal debt load.

If you have dependent child(ren) please see the Specific Instructions for Students with Dependent Children section for further information.

For Queen's General Bursary purposes, dependent children are:

  • Children with disabilities
  • Pre-school children and children attending elementary or high school who are under 16 years of age
  • Children 16 years of age or older must be either full-time (taking 60% or more of a full course load) high school or full-time postsecondary students

Children who do not have a disability and who have been out of high school for 4 or more years are not considered dependents.

Please be sure to include all costs related to the support of any dependent(s). Although bursary funds are usually not sufficient to cover the additional costs of a student's dependent(s), the General Bursary Committee needs to know where each student's resources are allocated.

If you are married or in a common law relationship and your partner is a student at Queen's University only one student should claim the expenses for dependent(s) on their application.

If you have claimed child care expenses on your General Bursary application you must complete the Child Care Receipt form. Your General Bursary application will not be processed until the Student Awards Office has received this form.

Child Care Receipt Form

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 Centre until mid-February. For students that submit an application during or after the December Holiday Break, please allow 2-4 weeks for your General Bursary application to be processed.

For application availability after mid-February, please contact the Student Awards Office directly.

Bursary decisions will be posted to your SOLUS Student Centre and you can view them through the "View Financial Aid" link.

Making Changes to Your Application

The deadline to submit changes to the Student Awards Office is October 31.

With the online application form, you can save your progress on the application and log in at a later time to make changes. However, once you have submitted your application you will no longer be able to make changes.

  • It is strongly encouraged that students read the instructions on this site carefully and review their application before submitting it
  • Please clearly outline the changes you would like made to your application. All changes, documentation, and/or correspondence with the Student Awards Office must include your full name and student number
  • If you chose to submit your request via email it must be sent from your Queen's email account to bursary@queensu.ca. Emails from non-Queen's email accounts will be disregarded.

Changes in Your Student Status

If there is a change in your course load or if you are no longer a registered student, your General Bursary will be reassessed and you may be required to repay all, or a portion, of any award you received. If the bursary was paid towards your Queen's tuition and fee account then the amount of the over-award will be retrieved from your student account. If the payment was made via EFT to your personal bank account, then you will be requested to return the over-award to the university. 

Reassessment and Audits

Applications will be audited on a random basis for accuracy and consistency. Information provided on your Queen's General Bursary application may be compared to the information provided on your OSAP application to verify its accuracy.

If your bursary application is audited, you will be expected to provide the appropriate documentation to the Student Awards Office, such as debt load, resources available from various sources, copies of receipts for expenses claimed, etc. If the supporting documentation is not provided the bursary could be reassessed and you may be required to repay all or a portion of the bursary.

Notification

General Bursary decisions will be posted on SOLUS ("View Financial Aid" link in your Student Centre) in late December provided that you have submitted your application by the deadline. Applicants for the Summer General Bursary will be notified of their bursary decision within two weeks of the application deadline.

If additional documentation is required (e.g. government student aid Notice of Assessment for non-Ontario students) you will be contacted by the Student Awards Office via email (to your Queen's email account). All requested documentation must be received by the Student Awards Office within the timeframe outlined in the email.

Disbursal

How Your Bursary is Paid

All bursaries are paid to your student account.

  • If your student account is paid in full, a refund will automatically be issued to you via electronic funds transfer in early February once winter term open enrolment ends, and the Student Awards Office has verified any course load adjustments which might impact the eligibility to receive the bursary refund
  • Please ensure that your banking information is up-to-date on SOLUS
  • Learn more about how Queen's financial aid is paid

Why Your Bursary Amount May Have Changed from Previous Years

Queen's remains committed to offering a variety of student financial aid options, and in particular, remains committed to assisting those students who demonstrate the greatest financial need.

Due to the limited amount of bursary funds available and the increasing demands for need-based assistance, Queen’s may adjust bursary amounts each year to ensure the funding can continue to be distributed to students demonstrating financial need to assist them with a shortfall between their resources and the cost of attendance.


Reasons Your Application May Have Been Denied

If your General Bursary application was denied, you likely did not meet the Eligibility criteria as assessed by the Student Awards office. Some reasons you may not have been assessed as demonstrating financial need may include the following:

You 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.

You Have Received a Loan from Parent(s)/Family Member(s)

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. If families have the ability to provide their children/family members with loans then they are considered to have the resources to help fund the student's education.

Your Estimated Budget Doesn't Match Those Used for the Purposes of Assessment

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. 

You are a Graduate Student or a Student in a Professional Program (i.e. Law, Medicine) Who Is Accessing Government Student Aid and a Student Line of Credit for the First Time

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 aid 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 or in prior years of their current degree are demonstrating a higher level of cumulative financial need.


If you did not qualify for the General Bursary and are not receiving government student aid 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 aid? 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 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.

Appeal Procedures

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

You Omitted Information or Made an Error on Your Application and Didn’t Notify the Student Awards Office

Submit the following to the Student Awards Office:

Your Circumstances Have Changed or You Have Experienced an Unexpected Emergency

Submit the following to the Student Awards Office:

  • Request for General Bursary Appeal Form
  • A letter of appeal explaining your exceptional circumstances and expenses accompanied by supporting documentation (e.g. receipts and insurance coverage) 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.

Student Access Guarantee (SAG)

The Student Access Guarantee is a partnership between Queen’s University and the Government of Ontario to ensure that no qualified Ontario student should be prevented from attending university because of a lack of financial support.

Under the SAG, Queen’s ensures students are able to receive enough aid to cover their educational costs (tuition, compulsory fees, books and supplies) when these are above the usual range of costs covered by OSAP.

Institutions are required to meet the SAG requirements of their students in first-entry programs.

The Student Access Guarantee is a partnership between the university and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. Students must apply for OSAP to officially determine the level of bursary assistance needed to cover the SAG.

All students are required to apply, qualify, and fully access their OSAP entitlement for the academic year to be eligible for a Queen’s General Bursary.

At the time your General Bursary application was assessed, the amount you were granted would have covered your SAG requirement. However, if your SAG requirement was not known at that time or if you reported changes to your income or adjustments to your course load, which would impact your costs for tuition, compulsory fees, books and supplies, your entitlement may have been re-assessed.

At the time your General Bursary application was assessed, the university may not have been aware of your SAG. The Student Access Guarantee is only assessed once the student has received their first instalment of OSAP and the OSAP electronic Confirmation of Enrolment has been completed by the Student Awards Office. Once the SAG requirement has been calculated, your bursary eligibility is reassessed.

If you were denied a General Bursary and have a SAG requirement, then you likely received other funding from Queen’s University. Under the SAG program, all scholarships, awards, bursaries and work-study entitlements administered by the university count toward the SAG requirement. Students who did not qualify for a General Bursary and have a SAG requirement likely received an admission, exchange, or renewable bursary for the year.