Entrance Bursary Program
McGill University is committed to supporting the academic pursuits of qualified undergraduate students who require financial assistance. The University’s Entrance Bursary Program offers entrance bursaries to students from low to modest income families who demonstrate financial need. Those eligible to apply include all:
- newly accepted, first-year, first-degree undergraduates, and
- newly accepted, first-year undergraduates entering professional programs in Medicine and Law
The goal of the program is to make the University more accessible to those who face financial challenges by supplementing other funding resources such as government aid, Indigenous Band Support Funding, part-time work, parental support, and other sources of funding.
Entrance bursaries range in value and award amounts are determined by:
- the level of need demonstrated by the student and their family, relative to other applicants
- the tuition fee rate charged based on the program of study and student residency (Quebec, rest of Canada, US, International)
In the last admission cycle, we offered $5 million to 750 newly accepted undergraduate students.
While these awards are not automatically renewed in the second and subsequent years of study, students may continue to receive assistance through our In-Course Financial Aid Program.
We offer a limited number of entrance bursaries which are renewable and tenable until completion of an undergraduate degree (up to a maximum of four years) provided the criteria for renewal are met (financial need and academic standing). Students will automatically be considered for this type of an entrance award when they submit the Entrance Bursary application on Minerva i.e. no separate application is required.
To be considered for the Entrance Bursary Program, applicants must:
- enrol in a full-time degree program at the University
- demonstrate financial need, including the intention to apply for and accept the maximum available government student aid and/or Indigenous Band Support Funding for which they are eligible
Students registered with the Office for Students with Disabilities may be eligible for financial aid while pursuing a reduced course load.
How to apply
Upon notification of acceptance to the University (either by formal letter or via the Admissions Status page on Minerva), the application becomes available on Minerva: select the Financial Aid/Awards tab > Financial Aid Menu > Apply for a McGill Entrance Bursary > Apply to Entrance Bursary Program > Complete then submit your application.
In order to be considered for the Entrance Bursary Program, students must also apply for and accept the maximum amount of government financial aid and/or Indigenous Band Support Funding available to them:
- Canadian students (outside of Quebec) apply for government financial aid through the Minister of Education of their province of residence and/or Indigenous Band Support Funding. Quebec students please refer to our page on Quebec government aid.
- Canadian (citizen or permanent resident) students living outside of Canada or who have at least one parent living outside of Canada, should apply for government financial aid following the instructions for Canadian students (see above). In addition, students must submit a CSS Financial Aid Profile to the Scholarships and Student Aid Office.
- U.S. students should refer to US Student Loans for information on applying for government financial aid. Please note: U.S. students who wish to apply to the Entrance Bursary Program from the University must submit a CSS Profile in addition to the Minerva online application.
- International (non-US) students who apply to the Entrance Bursary Program from the University must submit a CSS Profile in addition to the Minerva online application. Applicants who receive an entrance bursary offer may also be offered the additional support of a repayable McGill loan. McGill loans are an optional aid and are interest-free during full-time studies.
If you are a student with a disability who requires help completing online applications, please do not hesitate to contact us.
When to apply
The application deadline for our Entrance Bursary Program is 30 days from the date of formal acceptance to the University or June 30th (whichever comes first).
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 the applicant's award.
Award decisions begin in February, and continue thereafter on a rolling basis, 2-3 weeks from the date of application submission and/or documentation receipt (where required). Decisions are posted on the Financial Aid/Awards tab on Minerva and are followed by a formal letter. Awardees are encouraged to pay special attention to their letter as it contains important information about the award.
Entrance bursaries are credited to your student fee account in two equal instalments at the start of the fall and winter terms. For loans, the full value will be deposited to your student fee account, if/when accepted.
You should not be concerned if your initial e-bill does not reflect your award. When you receive a notification at your McGill email that your e-bill is ready, you should deduct the appropriate amount (if not already considered) and pay the balance. For information on e-billing, please consult the Student Accounts website.
Students who have requested and been granted an admission deferral and attend in the winter semester of the application year may have one half of their entrance bursary offer deferred for the winter semester.
Students who have requested and been granted an admission deferral and attend the following fall semester (one year later) must re-apply as the amount available for entrance bursaries varies each year.
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 and International students (non-U.S.) 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