Students in or from foster care
As of August 1, 2017, the University is piloting a new Youth in Care Bursary Guarantee to help current and former foster youth pursue a McGill undergraduate degree.
The program is an outcome of Café Collab, a project funded by the Student Services Innovation Fund and involving the Social Equity and Diversity Education (SEDE) Office, Student Services and the Participatory Cultures Laboratory. We also acknowledge SSMU’s report “Fostering Post-Secondary Success: Support Programming for Students from Foster Care”, which studied dedicated financial aid opportunities to improve the retention of current and future students from foster care.
Goals of the program
The program intends to:
- Make McGill a welcoming and accessible place for students from a range of backgrounds
- Assist with education costs for students who are living or have lived as youth in care in Canada
- Increase the number of current or former foster care youth enrolled in and graduating with a McGill degree
- Overcome financial barriers that make it difficult for youth in care to consider and achieve success in higher education
A minimum guarantee per year of $5,000 OR the cost of McGill tuition, whichever is higher, for the length of an undergraduate degree, up to 4 years per recipient. This includes any McGill entrance or in-course bursary already received in a given year.
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Be enrolled full time in an undergraduate degree program at McGill University (note: if registered with McGill’s Office for Students with Disabilities, students may be eligible for financial aid while pursuing a reduced course load)
- Not have previously acquired an undergraduate degree
- Apply for and accept the maximum available government student aid and/or Indigenous Band Support Funding. Note: We strongly encourage students to complete a government aid application by June 30 for the upcoming academic year, as this will allow us to provide McGill’s bursary as early as possible.
- Demonstrate financial need by submitting an In-Course Financial Aid application using the Financial Aid/Awards menu in Minerva
- Provide supporting documentation demonstrating involvement in a child welfare/protection system within Canada. This can be given to the Financial Aid Counsellor during your appointment (see How to Apply below).
- a letter from any Ministry of Children and Family Development equivalent, delegated agency or social worker stating you are a current or former youth in care.
- or a copy of your custody/non-care/extended/after-care agreement.
Renewing the award
Students may continue to receive the award each year for the duration of their degree, to a maximum of four years by:
- maintaining good academic standing
- applying for and accept the maximum available government student aid and/or Indigenous Band Support Funding for which you are eligible (preferably by June 30 for the upcoming academic year)
- submitting an In-Course Financial Aid application in Minerva using the Financial Aid/Awards menu
When to apply
If you are a registered student, the In-Course Financial Aid application is open from August 1 to July 31 for any given academic year. You may apply any time when the need arises.
How to apply
- Log in to Minerva and click on the following:
- Financial Aid/Awards tab
- Financial Aid Menu
- Apply for McGill Financial Aid
- Apply next to In-Course Financial Aid
- Update your Financial Aid Profile and complete the form—please identify your youth in care status in the ‘special circumstances’ section
- Call 514-398-6013 to make an appointment with a Financial Aid Counsellor (Our phone service is currently unavailable until further notice). During this meeting, not only will you have an opportunity to discuss your budget, but you will also have your in-course application reviewed in detail. Find out how you can optimize your financial aid appointment.
- Bring supporting documentation verifying your child welfare/protection status to your appointment
The Scholarships and Student Aid office reserves the right to verify the information provided on the application. Inconsistencies may result in a reassessment or cancellation of your award.
The decision is posted on the Financial Aid/Awards tab on Minerva, usually within one week of your appointment. You are alerted by email once aid is processed.
It is your responsibility to read and act upon this information in a timely fashion. Awardees are encouraged to pay special attention to the email as it contains important information about the award.
Payment methods are determined by the Financial Aid Counsellor and are based on the applicant’s financial situation. Accordingly, award payments may be disbursed:
- to a student’s fee account in one sum or divided up by semester
- to the student by direct deposit* to assist with living expenses
- as a payment towards a McGill student loan
*Students must set up Direct Deposit Banking with a Canadian banking institution via Minerva. Please ensure all banking information is entered correctly. Student Accounts will issue an administrative fine for transactions returned to the University due to faulty banking information.
Other financial aid services
The Scholarships and Student Aid Office also offers these aid-related services:
- Tuition Payment Deferrals: defer your tuition fee payment without interest or penalty—useful for government aid recipients experiencing delays in transferring funds
- Government student aid programs: information and administration
- Work Study Program: on-campus job opportunities for full-time degree students in financial need
- Emergency loans: for unforeseen circumstances
- Frugal Scholar Money Management Program: financial planning and debt management