Queen’s has provided more than $2.7 million in emergency funding to students during COVID-19 crisis

More than 4,000 domestic and international students have received grant

More than 90 per cent of students who applied for the bursary have been eligible for funding.
More than 90 per cent of students who applied for the bursary have been eligible for funding.
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Queen’s has provided more than $2.7 million in emergency bursary funding for students who have experienced unexpected financial struggles due to COVID-19. 

The University is offering this supplemental bursary to help students handle immediate and short-term, extenuating, and unplanned financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

“The funding has given support to more than four thousand domestic and international, undergraduate and graduate students,” Teresa Alm, associate university registrar of Student Awards and Student Affairs, wrote in a statement to The Journal.

According to Alm, applications are still open to students who were registered in the Winter 2020 term and haven't already received a bursary. 

She explained that to qualify students need to have encountered financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“The goal is to offer some relief to students who have encountered extenuating and unplanned financial burdens because of the outbreak,” Alm wrote. “[T]his includes the loss of employment income or unexpected medical expenses not covered by students’ health plans.” 

Over 90 per cent of students who have applied for emergency bursary funding have received the financial aid they requested, according to Alm.

Applications are assessed based on information provided about the student’s specific financial situation including unplanned expenses, extenuating circumstances, and the loss of income. 

“The average award is approximately $800 [per student], with higher amounts provided to international graduate students,” Alm wrote. “International graduate students have each received $1,500 in emergency bursary funding.”

According to Alm, the University provided this aid in recognition that many students have been and continue to face financial challenges due to the pandemic.  

“We hope to ease some of these pressures and provide bridging funds in this time of uncertainty,” she explained. 

She said funding for the bursaries had largely been redirected from existing financial aid resources at the University, but added that Queen’s has also received help with funding through donations. 

“Alumni, friends of Queen’s, faculty, staff and students have been demonstrating their generosity and making contributions towards the COVID-19 Emergency Student Fund," Alm wrote. 

While the bursary funding may not be sufficient to meet all of the students’ financial needs, the University has also been directing individuals toward other options for financial aid. 

Students are eligible for government programs such as the Canada Emergency Student Benefit and the Canada Student Service Grant for assistance during the summer period. 

Alm wrote that international students, many of whom are still in Kingston because of pandemic-related travel restrictions, are being encouraged to explore programs that may be available in their home country. 

“[They are] encouraged to contact their embassies, as their home countries may have established assistance programs as well,” Alm wrote. “Together, we hope these initiatives will help support our students in the weeks and months to come.” 

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