Student Awards

OFFICE OF THE UNIVERSITY REGISTRAR

Student Awards

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Government Student Financial Assistance COVID-19 Updates

(e.g. OSAP,  SABC, ASA, US Loans) 

If you are accessing OSAP, or the equivalent in another Canadian province or territory, or US Student Loans please consider the government regulations before you decide to drop a course/s.   At this point in time there is limited information available regarding if, or what, strategies the respective government student loan/grant programs may implement to mitigate any potential impacts for your student aid related to COVID-19 global crisis.  The current policies are:

OSAP
Canadian Provincial/Territory Government Student Financial Assistance:  (e.g. SABC, ASA MSA, etc)
US Student Loans and Veteran Affairs Benefits

OSAP:

Updated:  May 15, 2020: The Ministry of Colleges and Universities has updated the COVID-19 related reasons regarding eligibility for a Special Exceptional Circumstances Review with respect to their 2019-2020 OSAP to include an additional reason (see below).

Updated:  May 4, 2020:  CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) or CESB (Canada Emergency Student Benefit) income is to be reported on a Full-time OSAP application for the term in which the income is received (i.e., 2020 summer term). 

For the provincial assessment of Full-time OSAP, any CERB or CESB received during the study period (i.e., 2020 summer term) will be treated as “other” student study period income (not “government” income) and will be subject to the $5,600 per term income exemption.

Updated: April 21, 2020:  The Ministry of Colleges and Universities has confirmed students should not be penalized through reassessment or academic penalties for any withdrawals related to COVID-19. 

Students who were required to withdraw from the winter term of studies on or after January 25, 2020 for one of the following COVID-19 related reasons may be eligible for a Special Exceptional Circumstances Review with respect to their 2019-2020 OSAP:

  • The student was ill and unable to participate in full-time studies;
  • The student was self-isolating or under quarantine and unable to participate in full-time studies;
  • The student was caring for an immediate family member and unable to participate in full-time studies (immediate family member can include spouse, parent and/or child).
  • The student withdrew due to mental health issues relating to COVID-19 (New: May 15, 2020)

Required Documentation:

  • An attestation from the student that identifies the COVID-19 measures taken and for whom. The attestation must include the dates the student was impacted resulting in their full or partial withdrawal from studies.

Special Exceptional Circumstances Reviews are submitted to the Student Awards Office (awards@queensu.ca) via a Queen’s student email account with the subject line “OSAP: Special Exceptional Circumstances Review”.

The current OSAP policies are:

  • If you drop a course and remain enrolled as a full-time student in at least 60% of a full course load (minimum 9 credit units in each term of study) there will be no consequence related to OSAP for the September 2019-April 2020 period of study. 
  • If you drop a course/s in the last few weeks of term and are no longer registered in at least 60% of a full course load (minimum 9 credit units in each term of study) your OSAP will be reassessed to reflect the reduced weeks of full-time enrolment.  Depending on your OSAP assessment the potential impact from a financial perspective for 2019-20 could be a readjustment of your living expenses (approx. $400/week for a single student; $680/week for a married/sole support student).   You have already received your OSAP for 2019-20 so this will result in an “OSAP Overaward”. Students are permitted “OSAP Overawards” up to $10,000 before it impacts your eligibility in subsequent years.  Therefore, if you currently have limited or no overawards then an overpayment created by dropping a course/s at this late date will not have an impact on your OSAP eligibility for 2020-21. If you have been overpaid in grant assistance, this could result in a grant to loan conversion.
  • Another important consideration is the OSAP Academic Progress Requirements.
    • OSAP Academic Progress Requirements:
      • Students must complete and achieve a passing grade in at least 60% of a full course load in an OSAP funded term of study (i.e., at Queen’s an undergraduate student must successfully complete a minimum 18 credit units over the fall/winter terms).
        • From an OSAP perspective dropping a course or earning a “F” has the same consequence (a D- or better is considered a pass). 
        • Students who request a letter grade adjusted to a Pass/Fail will meet OSAP’s academic progress requirements if, in total, students pass at least 60% of a full course load (i.e., “pass” 18 credit units over the fall/winter).
      • If a student does not satisfy the above requirement you will not satisfy OSAP’s academic progress requirements which may impact your eligibility for OSAP for next year (September 2020 – April 2021).    https://www.queensu.ca/studentawards/financial-aid/government-student-aid/osap
        • At this point in time Queen’s University does not know if the Ministry will accept appeals as a result of circumstances directly or in-directly related to COVID-19. 
  • Students with a permanent disability on file with OSAP
    • If you drop a course and remain enrolled as a full-time student in at least 40% of a full course load (minimum 6 credit units in each term of study) there will be no consequence related to OSAP for the September 2019-April 2020 period of study. 
    • If you drop a course/s in the last few weeks of term and are no longer registered in at least 40% of a full course load (minimum 6 credit units in each term of study) your OSAP will be reassessed to reflect the reduced weeks of full-time enrolment. Depending on your OSAP assessment the potential impact from a financial perspective for 2019-20 could be a readjustment of your living expenses (approx. $400/week for a single student; $680/week for a married/sole support student).   You have already received your OSAP for 2019-20 so this will result in an “OSAP Overaward”.  Students are permitted “OSAP Overawards” up to $10,000 before it impacts your eligibility in subsequent years.  Therefore, if you currently have limited or no overawards then an overpayment created by dropping a course/s at this late date will not have an impact on your OSAP eligibility for 2020-21. If you have been overpaid in grant assistance, this could result in a grant to loan conversion.
    • Another important consideration is the OSAP Academic Progress Requirements.
      • OSAP Academic Progress Requirements:
        • Students with a permanent disability registered with OSAP must successfully complete/pass at a minimum 40% of a full course load – 12 credit units over the fall/winter terms. 
          • From an OSAP perspective dropping a course or earning a “F” has the same consequence (a D- or better is considered a pass).
          • Students who request a letter grade adjusted to a Pass/Fail will meet OSAP’s academic progress requirements if, in total, students pass at least 40% of a full course load (i.e., “pass” 12 credit units over the fall/winter).
        • If a student does not satisfy the above requirement you will not satisfy OSAP’s academic progress requirements which may impact your eligibility for OSAP for next year (September 2020 – April 2021).    https://www.queensu.ca/studentawards/financial-aid/government-student-aid/osap
          • At this point in time Queen’s University does not know if the Ministry will accept appeals as a result of circumstances directly or in-directly related to COVID-19. 

Canadian Provincial/Territory Government Student Financial Assistance:  (e.g. SABC, ASA MSA, etc)

*Updated April 15, 2020 – Each Province has announced a variety of provisions relating to the COVID 19 situation for students accessing government student assistance during the 2019-2020 academic year and for students who are currently in repayment.  We encourage you to review your home provinces website.

We understand you may have questions and concerns.  Do not hesitate to contact the Student Awards Office by email at awards@queensu.ca

  • If you drop a course and remain enrolled as a full-time student in at least 60% of a full course load (minimum of 9 credit units in each term of study) there will be no consequence related to your government student loan/grant for September 2019-April 2020 period of study. 
  • If you drop a course/s and are no longer enrolled in at least 60% of a full course load (9 credit units in each term of study) your government student loan/grant may be reduced slightly. 
  • Student with a permanent disability on file with your provincial government aid office (e.g. SABC, ASA, MSA etc)
    • If you drop a course and remain enrolled as a full-time student in at least 40% of a full course load (6 credit units in each term of study;) there will be no consequence related to your government student loan/grant for September 2019-April 2020 period of study. 
    • If you drop a course/s and are no longer  enrolled in at least 40% of a full course load (6 credit units in each term of study) your government student loan/grant may be reduced slightly. 

US Student Loans and Veteran Affairs Benefits:

*Updated April 15, 2020 - US Federal Direct Loans - Currently the US law prohibits students attending schools outside of the US from taking any online/distance learning courses.  If the student enrolls in an online/distance study course as part of their program they are no longer eligible for US federal direct loan funding for the remainder of their degree. The CARES Act COVID-19 coronavirus emergency legislation that became law on March 27, included a waiver permitting students at foreign institutions to take classes online. This provision as required by the new law, is retroactive to March 1, 2020 and remain through the end of the COVID 19 emergency (as declared in the United States).

Students may accept a Pass in place of a letter grade and it will not affect their Satisfactory Academic progress.

The CARES Act COVID 19 has made changes to the requirements and flexibilities for students who withdrew or dropped below the half time enrollment requirement due to COVID 19.  The US Department of Education will be providing further guidance to the schools as soon as possible.  If you withdraw or drop below half time please contact the Student Awards Office by email awards@queensu.ca

*Updated April 15, 2020 - Veteran Affairs Benefits - New legislation passed retroactive to 1 March 2020 that will remain in effect through the end of the COVID 19 emergency (as declared by government authorities in the country where the foreign institution is located). Based on the information we know today, the VA processing offices will be making no adjustments to student’s VA funding. If you have questions about a specific circumstance, please the VA Education Call Center at: 1-888-442-4551 between 8 AM and 7 PM Eastern Time, Monday-Friday.

The above is accurate based on the information we are aware of, as of:
Updated: May 15, 2020