Student Awards

OFFICE OF THE UNIVERSITY REGISTRAR

Student Awards

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General Bursary

It is the priority of Queen's University to help those students in the greatest financial difficulty who have the fewest options to secure funding on their own. The Queen's General Bursary is a non-repayable grant available to students in all years of study who have a demonstrated financial need. The Queen's General Bursary is meant to supplement, not replace student and family resources. Students are expected to explore all sources of available funding.

The application can be accessed through the SOLUS Student Centre and is available early September for each academic year.

Queen's Theological Hall

Eligibility

  • Students 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)
  • Students must apply and be assessed for government student assistance (generally applies to domestic students or permanent residents of Canada)
  • Students 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).

Application and Instructions

Application

*BEFORE ACCESSING THE GENERAL BURSARY APPLICATION PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS AND INFORMATION BELOW*

Failure to follow the instructions below 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.

Applications will be audited on a random basis for accuracy and consistency.

The application can be accessed through the SOLUS Student Centre.

Instructions for All Students:

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 a student has received Queen's General Bursary in the past, their 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 be automatically considered for these bursaries.

Government Student Assistance Criteria: Queen's students

The Queen's General Bursary is a need-based meant to supplement, not replace, government student assistance, student and family contribution and, at times, a student line of credit. Therefore, it is expected that students access all available sources of funding before applying for General Bursary.

Generally, all domestic students (Canadian citizens and permanent residents) are required to apply and qualify for government student assistance with their respective province in order to be considered for General Bursary assistance.  Domestic students will be expected to have qualified for a minimum amount of government student assistance ($5,000 for 2 terms of study / $7,000 for 3 terms of study) to be considered for a bursary. Please visit the Government Student Assistance section for more information on how to apply for financial assistance.

Only in rare circumstances of a student being denied government student assistance 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.

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

Please note that if a student does not process and finalize their government student assistance, their General Bursary application may be placed on hold or reassessed.

Student Line of Credit Criteria:

Students are expected to access government student assistance first. However, if you are ineligible for government assistance or the amount of government assistance you qualify for is minimal, then you should apply for a student line of credit.

If you currently have a Student Line of Credit and have exhausted all or a majority of the funds please contact your bank or financial institution to apply for an increase.

It is important to remember that accessing a Student Line of Credit alone is not enough to qualify for a General Bursary. In order to qualify for a bursary, domestic students (Canadian citizens and permanent residents) must have qualified for government student assistance.

If you are a student in a professional program (Medicine and Law), then you will be expected to access both government student assistance and a line of credit to be considered for 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 General Bursary.

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

Information Needed to Complete the Application:

As part of the General Bursary application students will be asked to complete a budget outlining their costs and resources for their study period. Please ensure that you complete the expense portion of the budget based on the number of months in your study period. For example, undergraduates should report their resources/expenses for 8 months (September-April), while graduate students and those in 3rd year Medicine or the Advanced Standing Nursing program should report their resources/expenses for 12 months (September-August).

Expenses occurring outside of a student's study period will not be considered in the General Bursary assessment. For example, living expenses (rent, utilities, etc.) incurred during the summer period will only be considered if the student is registered in a 52-week program at Queen's during the Summer term. Therefore if a student is only registered at Queen's in the Fall-Winter, the cost of their rent during the summer will not be considered, even if they are obligated to a 12-month lease.

In order to complete the budget portion of the General Bursary application students will be required to report the following information. It is recommended that students compile this information before beginning the application:

BUDGET ITEM

INFORMATION REQUIRED

Government Student Assistance

  • Total funding including all loans and grants
  • If you are receiving government student assistance 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 you are an international student (loans must be in student's name)

Student Line of Credit

  • Indicate your credit limit, balance owing, and available credit (as stated on 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)

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
  • Entire Work Study entitlement you have been granted for the 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.
TA or RA
  • Total funding to be received trough TA and/or RAship 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.
Spouse/Partner's income (if applicable)

Must be reported for married, common law or 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.
Vehicle
  • Value of any vehicle(s) registered in the student's name.
Non-education related loans (e.g. mortgage, car loan, etc.)
  • Current debt load from all loans, other than those through government student assistance 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 the 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 student was not a registered at Queen's - will not be considered.

Unexpected expenses
  • Cost unrelated to a student's 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 has been built into the books and supplies guidelines used to assess applications.
  • Consideration is given to reasonable travel costs and is built into 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 such as a receipt, insurance information, etc. must be submitted to the Student Awards Office. These costs will not be considered without proper documentation.
Specific Instructions for Graduate, Third Year Medical, Advanced Standing Nursing and Final Year Education Students

Students who have a study period longer than 34 weeks (Graduate students, third year Medical students, Advanced Standing Nursing students) will be automatically assessed for the entire length of their study period when they submit their General Bursary application and should not submit a Summer Term General Bursary application (you will already be assessed for bursary assistance for this period). The budget figures should reflect your costs/resources for the entire length of your study period (i.e. 12 months).

Graduate Students: Please note that your funding package will be validated with the School of Graduate Studies or with your department.

Specific Instructions for Married and Common-Law Students

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 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 Student with Dependent Children section for further information.

Specific Instructions for Students with Dependent Children
Queen's student

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 completed the Child Care Receipt form. Your General Bursary application will not be processed until the Student Awards Office has received this form.

Specific Instructions for International Students:

International students should first pursue student loan options through their home country by contacting the appropriate student loan processing agency in their country. 

U.S. students are required to apply, qualify and negotiate (process) government assistance in order to be considered for Queen's General Bursary.

If your resources are less than $15,000 (CAD) for 8 months, you must submit a letter to the Student Awards Office explaining how your daily living costs and educational expenses are being met.

All costs and resources on the General Bursary application must be reported in Canadian dollars.

Notification and Disbursal

Notification

General Bursary decisions will be posted on SOLUS-View Financial Aid in late December provided that you have submitted your application by the deadline. If additional documentation is required (e.g. government student assistance 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

All bursaries are paid to the students’ accounts. If your student account is paid in full, a refund will automatically be issued to you in early February via electronic funds transfer. Please ensure that your banking information is up-to-date on SOLUS. Students who have a study period longer than 34 weeks (Graduate students, third year Medical students, Advanced Standing Nursing and final year Education students) will be assessed for the entire length of their study period when they submit their General Bursary application and should not submit a Summer Term General Bursary application (you will already be assessed for bursary assistance for this period).

General Bursary Decisions and Appeals

Below are answers to commonly asked questions regarding General Bursary assessment procedures and decisions.

Decision Information:

I have received a General Bursary, however my bursary this year is less than last year's even though my financial situation hasn't changed ...

Queen's remains committed to offering a variety of student financial assistance 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.

I was denied a General Bursary because I didn't apply for government student financial assistance. However, I would really prefer to complete my degree without taking on any student debt...

The Queen's General Bursary is a need-based program meant to supplement, not replace, government student assistance (loans and grants). Therefore, all domestic students are required to apply for government student assistance before being considered for a General Bursary. Students who do not apply for student loans and grants likely have other options available to them and will not be considered for bursary assistance.

I was denied government student financial assistance, or qualified for a very small amount of assistance, and now I've been denied a General Bursary as well. What should I do?

Generally a student will be expected to have qualified for at least $5,000 (2 terms of study) or $7,000 (3 terms of study) of government student assistance to be considered for a General Bursary.

If you are not receiving government student assistance 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 assistance?

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 Training, 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.

If you are an out-of-province student and are receiving government student assistance through your home province or territory, please refer to the website for your region regarding possible appeals (links to the website for each province/territory is available from the Government Financial Aid section of the website) . If you are uncertain how to proceed after reviewing the website please contact the Student Awards Office and we will provide you direction as to how to proceed with an appeal from your respective province/territory. 

I am a Graduate student or a student in a professional program (i.e. Law, Medicine) and I was denied a General Bursary even though I have received the maximum amount of government student financial assistance available and have applied for a line of credit.

Graduate students and students enrolled in a professional program who are accessing government student assistance and a student line of credit for the first time may not qualify for General Bursary. 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 assistance 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. 

I was denied a General Bursary and asked to apply for a student line of credit but I don't want to take on additional loans...

Queen's General Bursary assistance is used to help those in the greatest financial difficulty, who have the fewest options to secure funding on their own. Bursary assistance is intended to help supplement, not replace, funds available through government student assistance and/or a student line of credit available through banking institutions. If you are ineligible for government student assistance for the academic year, or the amount of government student assistance you qualify for is minimal, then another option for you to consider is to apply for a student line of credit. 

I was denied a General Bursary because I 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.

I was denied a General Bursary on the grounds that I had sufficient funds, yet when I look at the budget that I submitted, my expenses outweigh my resources...

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. 

The money given to me by my parent(s)/family member(s) is a loan and I am expected to pay it back. Yet, this amount was counted in my resources when my General Bursary was assessed...

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

I do not agree with my General Bursary assessment. Can I appeal the decision?

Students can request a reassessment of their General Bursary application through an appeal process. Information regarding this process is outlined in the Appeal Procedures section below.

How is financial need determined?

For more information on how financial need is determined please visit the General Bursary section of the website. 

I didn't apply for a General Bursary in the Fall and now I find myself short on resources. Is it too late to apply?

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 Center ("Queen's General Bursary Application") until mid February. For further information on the application process, please visit the General Bursary section of the website.  If the application is no longer available please contact the Student Awards Office. 

Why is SOLUS repeatedly asking me for my Social Insurance Number?

The University is required according to Canada Revenue Agency regulations to issue T4A slips for all scholarships, bursaries and awards disbursed to students in a given calendar year. If you have received a bursary and have not provided the University with your SIN, SOLUS will continue to prompt you for the information.   For more information regarding this please visit the Income Tax (T4A) page.

Appeal Procedures

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

SITUATION INSTRUCTIONS
The student either omitted information or made an error on their application however did not notify the Student Awards Office

Submit the following to the Student Awards Office:

  • Request for Reassessment/Appeal form
  • A written explanation outlining the error and the correct information that should appear on your application
The student's circumstances have changed or the student has experienced an unexpected emergency

Submit the following to the Student Awards Office:

  • Request for Reassessment/Appeal form
  • A letter of appeal explaining your exceptional circumstances and expenses accompanied by supporting documentation (e.g. receipts) 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.

Changes and Audits

Making Changes to Your Application:

You have the ability with the online application form to 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.

If you need to make revisions or changes you must submit a written request (email from your Queen's email account will be accepted) to the Student Awards Office. 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.

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

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 potion, of any award you received. If the bursary was paid towards your Queen's tuition and fee account then the amount of the overaward 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 overaward to the University. 

Reassessment and Audits:

Applications will be audited on a random basis. 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 a student's bursary application is audited, the student 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.

Summer General Bursary

Spring/summer studentsGeneral Bursary assistance is available to students who are attending full-time or part-time studies during the Summer term. 

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. 

Additionally, if you are participating on a Queen's Formal Exchange or studying at the BISC during the Spring/Summer session please visit the Queen's Formal Exchange or Bader International Study Centre (BISC) section of the website for information on funding options. 

Summer students enrolled in the Graduate Diploma in Accounting (GDAP) or the Graduate Diploma in Business (GDAB), and students who are registered in Additional Qualification (AQ or ABQ) courses, are not eligible for government assistance or for Summer General Bursary.

When completing the budget information only report your costs and resources for the period of time that you will be registered during the Summer session. 

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

The Summer General Bursary application is available through SOLUS (Student Center) in the Financial Aid section and must be submitted to the Student Awards Office by May 31.

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)