McGill, News, The Tribune Explains

Tribune Explains: Financial Aid at McGill

There are various avenues available to undergraduate McGill students in need of financial aid, from merit-based entrance scholarships to government aid or bursaries. The McGill Tribune looked into the resources available on and off campus, and how to access them.  

What financial aid is available to incoming undergraduate students?

McGill has an Entrance Bursary Program for entering undergraduate, medicine, or law students who demonstrate financial need. The value of an entrance bursary varies depending on an applicant’s extent of need and tuition fee rate as determined by their program and living situation. In order to qualify, students must complete their Financial Profile on Minerva, which requires information about their salaries, cost of living, and their and their families’ tax information. Canadian and American students must also fill out a CSS profile

Students registered with McGill’s Student Accessibility & Achievement may be eligible for the Entrance Bursary even if they are pursuing part-time studies. Additionally, any student receiving aid through the Entrance Bursary is automatically enrolled in McGill’s Work Study program, which offers a host of on-campus jobs and incentivizes campus employers to prioritize Work Study students when hiring.  

What financial aid is available to current undergraduate students?

McGill’s in-course financial aid is also need-based and can be offered to students at any point during their studies, provided they are taking a full course load. Aid is granted in the form of a bursary or a loan. To apply, students must complete their Financial Aid profile on Minerva, detailing their tax information, income, and cost of living. Once their profile is completed, a student can contact a financial aid counsellor at McGill who will determine the amount of aid for which they are eligible. This decision is based on the level of funding available each year, the number of applicants, and the relative need of other candidates. 

How do tuition fee deferrals work? 

Tuition fee deferrals are in place to give students an extended deadline to pay tuition without any late charges or registration holds. Deferrals are granted if students can prove that they are waiting on funds such as bursaries, government loans, or delayed international transfers. The Scholarships and Student Aid Office examines a student’s situation and approves the submissions made through Minerva. 

How do emergency loans work?

The university has emergency loans available to students experiencing sudden, extreme financial hardship, such as homelessness or severe food insecurity. Students must complete an In-Course Financial Aid application and update their Financial Aid profile on Minerva in order to make this request. 

What kind of government financial aid is available for Quebec residents?

The Quebec Government offers loans and bursaries to eligible Quebec residents pursuing post-secondary education. Eligibility is based on marital status, type and length of education, cost of tuition, and income. Applications must be submitted through a Student Financial Aid File. Students must apply a minimum of six to eight weeks before the beginning of the semester in order to receive their funding in time for the start of term. Importantly, the loan must be repaid after students graduate. When the time to repay student debt approaches, students must contact their financial institution’s student loan centre to negotiate their repayment schedules and interest rates. 

What kind of government financial aid is offered for out-of-province students?

There are both federal and provincial government aid programs available for out-of-province students. The Canada Student Financial Assistance Program offers grants and loans to eligible students to pay for their education, textbooks, and living expenses. Students are deemed eligible based on their tax information, income, number of dependents, and disability if any. Just like Quebec, each province has its own financial aid program. Federal and provincial financial aid can be combined. 

What kind of financial aid is offered for international students?

While international students must demonstrate financial security and the ability to fund their education and living costs to be eligible for a Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec, they may still be eligible and considered for the Entrance Bursary, scholarships, in-course financial aid, tuition fee deferrals, Work Study, and emergency loans. 

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