Queen’s announces new strategies for prioritizing equity & diversity in undergraduate admissions

University focusing on demographic data, financial need, and applicant support

The new strategies will take effect during the current admissions cycle. 
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The University announced changes to its recruitment process on Wednesday to prioritize equity and diversity in undergraduate admissions.

The strategies aim to increase access to the University for BIPOC and other underserved and underrepresented student populations. They were developed by a group of staff, faculty, and students approved by the Strategic Management Group and endorsed by the senior leadership team.

The strategies will take effect during the current admission cycle, including new applicant information options, merit and need-based financial awards and aid, and an Equity Ambassador Program for applicant support.

Applicants will now have the option to complete an Equity Admission Self-Identification form designed to provide the University with data about diversity on campus. Developed in consultation with Queen’s Human Rights and Equity Office, the form allows prospective students to submit self-identifying information for use by admissions staff as additional consideration when assessing applications. 

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The data will also be used to inform other outreach and recruitment initiatives.

Commerce, Health Sciences, and Nursing will also include revised supplementary essay questions about life experiences.

The University is developing merit and need-based awards, which will provide financial aid to applicants who identify as underrepresented, including a new multi-year scholarship and bursary program.

The Commitment Scholars Award will be granted based on financial need and demonstrated leadership, and commitment to racial, social justice, or diversity initiatives in high school or the local community. It will also include financial, academic, and career supports.

This award was designed to build on the Promise Scholars program.

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The Equity Ambassador Program will offer peer support to prospective students by allowing applicants to connect with current students in paid positions who can share insights about the admissions and financial aid processes and studies at Queen’s.

These strategies follow the University’s formal commitment in August to address systemic racism at the institution in the Declaration of Commitment to Address Systemic Racism. Members of Queen’s senior administration and deans across the University signed the letter, including Principal Patrick Deane and Provost and Vice Principal (Academic) Mark Green. 

The administration pledged to undertake 11 immediate action items designed to support students, staff, faculty, and alumni advancing anti-racism and anti-oppression work on campus, as well as to identify and address institutional barriers and gaps relating to equity, diversity, inclusion, and Indigeneity (EDII). 

The University said the strategies will be followed by other changes over the coming months.

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