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Queen's University

University Registrar - Student Awards

Glossary of Financial Assistance Terms

Financial Assistance can take on a language of its own. This glossary will help you decipher some of the student financial assistance terminology.


An award is a non-repayable amount of money you receive to assist you in financing your education that you do not have to pay back.
Award is a general term used to describe a scholarship or bursary. In some cases, the term award is used when there is a blend of academic, financial need and/or other criteria associated with the terms of the award.


A bursaries is a non-repayable amount of money you receive to assist you in financing your education that you do not have to pay back.
Based on an assessment of your financial need.

Admission Scholarship:

A scholarships is a non-repayable amount of money you receive to recognize your academic achievement.
Based on academic excellence (your high school grades). Sometimes also referred to as a merit-based award.
In some cases, there may be other criteria such as involvement in school and community.

Renewable Awards:

Renewable scholarships and awards are available to students as they enter the University. These awards are non-repayable and are available to the recipients in future years as long as the renewal criteria are satisfied during each year of study at Queen's.


Governments, companies and organizations offer grants to students who meet certain conditions, such as financial need, academic skill, or special ability.
Grants are a non-repayble amount of money you do not have to pay back.


Money you receive that must be paid back, usually over a period of time.
Loans under government student assistance programs (e.g. OSAP) are interest-free while you are a full-time student and are based on financial need. You will begin to repay loans when you cease to be a full-time student. Some provinces/territories within Canada may have programs which reduce the amount of repayable loans.

Student Line of Credit:

A student line of credit is a loan from a financial institution (ie. commercial bank, credit union). You pay only the interest while you are in school. You begin repayment of the principal after you have graduated.  To qualify, you usually require a co-signer (eg. parent or guardian). You can apply for a student line of credit at most major Canadian Financial Institutions.


A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a special savings plan that many families have used to save for their child's post-secondary education.

Work Study Program:

Provides students with demonstrated financial need, priority for certain part-time jobs on campus and for jobs with not-for-profit organizations.

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