Money Matters

small pink piggy bank on white background

Living on your own can mean new responsibilities as you move towards financial independence. Keep reading to learn about the many tools and resources available to help you manage your finances at McGill.

Money Matters on McGill 101

Information on Financial Aid can be found on McGill 101, where you'll be able to watch informational videos on creating a personal budget and navigating the Aide financière aux études (AFE) Quebec aid program, if you are eligible.

Scholarships & Student Aid Office (SSAO)

Scholarships and Student Aid Office (SSAO) is McGill's on-campus hub for financial aid.

The SSAO, located in the Brown Student Services Building, is where you can find all the resources and advice you need to help pay for university, including step-by-step guides on how to apply for funding and information on how to budget effectively.

Services Offered by the SSAO

The SSAO offers advice on funding options, budgeting and debt management. They also disburse all provincial federal and U.S. government student aid funding and help with government aid information and documentation.

If you should find yourself in financial difficulty, make sure to take advantage of the opportunity to make an appointment with a Student Aid Counsellor.

Financial Aid & Award Programs Offered by the SSAO

The SSAO offers the following core financial aid programs:

The SSAO website also contains information on funding for specific student populations:

You can also find material on funding directed at a broader audience, including external awards, bank loans and emergency loans.

Government Aid

Federal, provincial and territorial governments offer aid for students with assessed financial need in the form of:

  • Loans (monetary awards that must be repaid)
  • Grants (monetary awards that do not need to be repaid)
  • Bursaries (do not need to be repaid)

How It Works

  • Canadian students, including those from Quebec, apply directly to their province or territory of residence.
  • U.S. students apply for funding offered by their federal government and/or by a number of alternative loan providers.
  • The Scholarships and Student Aid Office does not administer government aid for non-U.S. International students. All inquiries should be made directly with domestic aid agencies.
  • It can take 6–8 weeks for government aid applications to be processed.

It is recommended that those wishing to apply, do so by June 30th (June 1st for U.S. students) to ensure that their aid arrives in time to pay their fees. Students experiencing delays in government aid funding should consider applying for a Tuition payment deferral.

Please note: Quebec, Canada out-of-province and United States government aid recipients should register for their required number of full-time McGill credits before August 14th to avoid late registration fees and government funding delays.

Work Study Program

The Work Study program offers students with financial need access to clerical, research, technical, library or other jobs on campus or in some of the McGill-affiliated hospitals and organizations. The program not only helps students financially but can develop career-related skills and experience!

Who Is Eligible?

Acceptance to the program is based primarily on financial need. In order to be considered for the program, students must have applied for and be receiving the maximum government aid for which they are eligible. Students may then apply for Work Study if they are:

  • Registered full-time in a degree program
  • In satisfactory academic standing
  • Demonstrate financial need

Part-time students are not eligible unless deemed full-time by government aid guidelines (e.g., students with a recognized disability, students who are parents, etc.).

How To Apply

Applications for Work Study are available on Minerva. To apply:

  1. Select the Financial Aid/Awards tab
  2. Click on the Financial Aid Menu
  3. Apply for McGill Financial Aid
  4. Apply to Work Study
  5. Update your financial aid profile
  6. Submit your application

Please note: The Work Study program does not guarantee employment, as hiring decisions are made by participating employers.

How It Works

If you are accepted into the Work Study program, follow these steps (link) in order to successfully find employment:

For more information on eligibility and how the program works, please refer to the Scholarships and Student Aid website.

Applications for the Work Study Program open on July 1st and are available on Minerva under the Financial Aid & Awards Menu.

Scholarship Recipients

Scholarships are credited to your fee account, half for each of the Fall and Winter semesters.

Receiving an e-Bill as a Scholarship Recipient

  • You will receive a notification via your McGill email account that your E-bill is ready on Minerva.
  • Do not be concerned if your initial e-bill does not reflect your scholarship.
  • If half of your award is sufficient to cover the entire E-bill, you may disregard the notification. If half of your award does not cover all of your fees, you should deduct the fees that your Award covers and pay the difference.
  • If the value of your Scholarship is greater than the fees listed on your E-bill on Minerva, you can arrange to receive a refund with the Student Accounts Office.
  • You will receive a refund, either by cheque or by direct deposit, for whatever amount is not required to pay your E-bill.
  • To request a refund on Minerva, follow the procedure outlined on the Requesting a refund page on the Student Accounts website.

For information on e-billing, please consult the Student Accounts website.

Contact the SSAO

You can contact the Scholarships and Student Aid Office by calling 514-398-6013.

During the summer, the SSAO follows these hours:

OPEN: Monday-Friday, 10:00 am - 4:30 pm EST
CLOSED: Friday, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm EST

Depending on the information you are looking for, you can direct your questions to the Scholarships Office team, the Student Aid Office team, the U.S. loan specialist, the Work Study Program Administrator or the Mobility Awards specialist. Each of these specialists has a separate email address that can be found on the SSAO's Contact page.

Financial Aid Counselling

If you would like to book an appointment for financial aid counselling, it is best to do so before September, as this month is a peak period for the office. You can book an appointment with a financial aid counsellor by calling the Student Aid Office team at 514-398-6013.

Please note: appointments for financial aid counselling can only be scheduled by phone or in-person. No bookings will be made via e-mail.

If you will be studying on the Macdonald Campus and would like to set up an appointment with a financial aid counsellor, please call 514-398-7992.

Frugal Scholar Money Management Program

Scholarships and Student Aid Office (SSAO) is McGill's on-campus hub for financial aid.

The SSAO is where you can find all the resources and advice you need to help pay for university, including step-by-step guides on how to apply for funding and information on how to budget effectively.

McGill's Scholarships and Student Aid Office has worked directly with students, for students to create The Frugal Scholar Program: a comprehensive program designed to help you budget effectively and graduate with manageable debt.

Not sure if you have enough money to fund your studies? Please see the Your finances section of the Scholarships and Student Aid website for steps to follow and tools to use in order to estimate your resources, create a budget and manage your debt.

There, you'll also find a downloadable Frugal Scholar Toolkit with a set of budget worksheets designed to help you understand your costs and live for less!

Tips for Healthy Spending Habits

Money management can be stressful and can affect your physical and mental health. When it comes to creating a budget, it is important to prioritize your health. Luckily, the healthy option is often the cheapest option!

Here are some ideas:

  • Cook your own meals and save! Spending money on groceries instead of takeout will also help you maintain a healthy diet.
  • You do not need to buy an expensive gym membership to stay active! Run or walk outside or do stretches and practice yoga with the help of how-to videos on YouTube. You also have access to the McGill Sports Complex as part of the Athletics fee you pay with tuition.
  • Find more affordable ways to have fun. For instance, you can take a long walk with friends or go to a park instead of going to a restaurant together.