OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR, STUDENT FINANCIAL AID & SCHOLARSHIPS
Gilmour Hall, Room 120
Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4L8
Telephone: (905) 525-9140, ext. 24319
SENIOR ASSOCIATE REGISTRAR
The Office of the Registrar, Student Financial Aid & Scholarships (SFAS) is committed to professional student service. We deliver government and University aid and award programs that support financial wellness and excellence at the post-secondary level. Government student aid such as the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is administered on behalf of the Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Development. McMaster aid and awards programs include academic grants, awards, bursaries and work programs. For more information about our programs and services, visit the SFAS website at http://sfas.mcmaster.ca.
Regulations for Aid and Awards
The University promotes access to available Aid and Awards and seeks to maximize opportunities for students while ensuring equity and consistency in administration. In doing so, the University operates within the Senate approved University Aid and Awards Policy to ensure its responsibilities to students and donors are met. While all regulations for Aid and Awards are established within this approved policy, the University may choose to offer additional Aid and Award programs, establish regulations through which to administer these programs, and/or modify existing regulations with Senate approval after the Undergraduate Calendar has been published.
It is important to note that Financial Awards are not covered by the University Aid and Awards Policy and are not administered through the Aid and Award regulations that follow. Financial Awards support students in a manner consistent with the goals of the University, but do not necessarily meet all of the policy regulations of established Aid and Award programs. Financial Awards may be administered centrally through the Office of the Registrar, Student Financial Aid & Scholarships (SFAS), through the School of Graduate Studies (SGS), or through designated representatives in University faculties and departments that have established processes to administer their own funds (e.g. Athletics and Recreation). Financial Awards are not Senate-approved awards and thus, are not recognized at convocation or included on University transcripts. Information about Financial Awards is made available through department websites.
The following regulations apply to all Undergraduate Aid and Award Programs (and excludes Financial Awards, as detailed above):
Some Aid and Awards require students to submit an application:
- Application records for Aid and Awards, supporting documentation (e.g. transcripts, letters of reference, income tax notices of assessment, student loan entitlements, etc.) and responses to applications shall be handled by the administering office in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).
- Where advertised Aid and Award application deadlines fall on a non-business day (i.e. Saturday, Sunday or University-recognized holiday), the deadline is 8:30 am the next business day.
- Supporting documentation requirements for Aid and Awards by application typically include -
- A complete signed application or application cover page (for online Aid applications)
- A statement of eligibility
- A curriculum vitae/academic resume
- A transcript (McMaster University transcripts may be unofficial)
- In addition, for the types of awards noted below, at least one academic or personal (non-family member) letter of reference may be required -
i. University-wide Aid and Awards
ii. Aid and Awards with a value exceeding $2000
iii. Renewable Aid and Awards
iv. Aid and Awards at the discretion of the Office of the Registrar, Student Financial Aid & Scholarships
- The University may choose to audit and verify any or all information provided to complete an Aid or Award Application.
- Application records and supporting documentation is used by the Office of the Registrar, Student Financial Aid & Scholarships, Award Chairs and Selection Committees for the sole purpose of administering Aid and Award programs, including, but not limited to, determining student eligibility.
- All application records and supporting documentation submitted by unsuccessful applicants will be retained for a minimum period of twelve months after last use. All application records and supporting documentation submitted by successful applicants will be retained for a minimum period of seven years after last use.
- All application records and supporting documentation remain the property of McMaster University.
For the purpose of Aid and Award criteria and eligibility, references to “Woman” or “Female” include all students who identify as Woman/Female and references to “Man” or “Male” include all students who identify as a Man or Male.
To ensure a fair and wide allocation of Undergraduate Aid and Awards, the University restricts the number and value of aid and awards which students may receive for an academic year.
An eligible entering student may receive:
- One Entrance Award granted solely on the basis of academic merit (e.g. a McMaster Honour Award); and
- One Indigenous Student Entrance Award or one Entrance Award granted on the basis of earned merit that requires an additional assessment process, including, but not limited to, application, interview and/or audition; and
- One Entrance Academic Grant or Indigenous Student Entrance Academic Grant; and
- One Entrance Bursary granted on the basis of earned merit that requires an additional assessment process, including, but not limited to, application, interview and/or audition, and additional bursary funding up to the amount eligible; and
- Fall/Winter and Summer Work Program funding; and
- Any number of Financial Awards
An eligible in-course or graduating student may receive:
- Awards granted on the basis of academic merit, limited to either one award greater than or equal to $800 (considered a ‘major’ award) and one academic award less than $800 (considered a ‘minor’ award), or two academic awards less than $800; and
- Two awards granted on the basis of earned merit that requires an additional assessment process, including, but not limited to, application, interview and/or audition; and
- Academic Awards continued from a previous year (i.e. any Entrance or In-Course Renewable Award); and
- Any number of prizes, which include non-monetary awards such as books and medals, and awards of nominal monetary value, whether based on academic merit or an additional assessment process; and
- One Travel or Exchange Award; and
- One Academic Grant (including any renewable Entrance, Indigenous Student Entrance, or In-Course Academic Grant continued from a previous year); and
- One Community Contribution Award; and
- One In-Course Bursary granted on the basis of earned merit that requires an additional assessment process, including, but not limited to, application, interview and/or audition, and additional bursary funding (including any renewable Entrance or In-Course Bursary continued from a previous year) up to the amount eligible; and
- Fall/Winter and Summer Work program funding; and
- Any number of Financial Awards
T4A tax slips are issued to students for all Aid and Award amounts received during the tax year.
It is important to note that Aid and Award income may affect federal and/or provincial student aid (e.g. OSAP) entitlements. Students are advised to review the status of their government student aid applications often and refer to the appropriate government website for further information.
Review of Aid and Award Decisions
- Decisions made by Aid and Award selection committees are final. Students may not appeal these decisions.
- Students who believe an error occurred at the University, that may have impacted an Aid and/or Award decision, are asked to write to the Senior Associate Registrar, Student Financial Aid & Scholarships requesting a review of their file.
- Students who have compelling personal circumstances that preclude them from receiving initial payment and/or renewal of Aid and/or Award funding may submit a petition for special consideration to request that an exception to the policy and/or regulations be made. Petitions should be submitted to the Senior Associate Registrar, Student Financial Aid & Scholarships and should include a cover letter explaining the need for special consideration, as well as any relevant documentation. Petitions must be submitted in a prompt and timely manner and will be accepted no later than one year after the decision being petitioned.
- The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and McMaster University’s Notice of Collection statement shall govern the information provided to donors and others concerning award recipients, including publications such as convocation programs and Award booklets. As such, the University is permitted to publish an individual’s name, Faculty, program, plan, level, and Award information. The University may publish the names of recipients of scholarships listed in the Undergraduate Calendar in the University’s convocation program and other Award publications.
- With permission, the University may also release an Aid recipient’s first name, last name, Faculty, program, plan, level, Aid received and amount to the donor(s) of the Aid.
- With permission, the University may also release an academic grant recipient’s first name, last name, email id, faculty, program, plan, level, Academic Grant received and amount to the Faculty for the purpose of Faculty award ceremony invitations and Award booklets.
- From time to time, the Office of the Registrar, Student Financial Aid & Scholarships may reach out to Award recipients with requests for thank you letters, invitations to donor luncheons and events, invitations to discuss summer job opportunities or internships, interviews for McMaster University Advancement or Communications and Public Affairs, etc. Responses to these requests and/or attendance at these functions is entirely voluntary. While a response is appreciated, acceptance or rejection of these offers in no way impacts Aid and Award eligibility.
- Mandatory annual reporting to Undergraduate Council Awards Committee, Undergraduate Council, and Senate include the release of an Award recipient’s first name, last name, Faculty, program, plan, level, Award received and amount, submitted Travel Award reports, Aid and Award summary information and identification of participating University-wide Selection Committee members.
- Students with concerns regarding Aid and Award privacy, are asked to write to the Senior Associate Registrar, Student Financial Aid & Scholarships.