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Student Awards Policy

Ref. No. Executive sponsor Policy steward Approval authority First approved Last reviewed Effective date Next review
28.01 Vice President, Campus and Communities Director, Student Awards and Experience Executive Council Sept. 1, 2018 Aug. 2019 Aug. 13, 2019 Aug. 2024
  1. Purpose
    1. NSCC’s Student Awards policy reflects and represents the College’s commitment to assisting students in the pursuit of learning by providing financial support to reduce barriers to education. Student awards exist to supplement, not replace, funds available to students through government aid, work, savings, assets, and other funding sources. This policy serves to provide equitable and transparent standards and processes in establishing awards and in
      determining who will receive them.
    2. Stewardship and implementation of the Student Awards Policy is the responsibility of the Director, Student Awards & Experience in partnership with the NSCC Foundation, Campus Management, Student Services, and other senior leadership.
  1. Scope
    1. This policy applies to students of or applicants to the College.
    2. This policy applies to all student awards that are funded by NSCC and through the NSCC Foundation. This policy does not extend to any external awards which may be promoted and administered by the NSCC Student Awards office.
  1. Definitions
Term Definition
Award Refers generically to any type of financial award that is given to students by the College.
Award Posting The publicly shared details of the award by the Student Awards office, either online or in print.
Bursary A student award given based on demonstrated financial need.
Conditional Refers to the state in which all awards are offered. All student awards are issued on a conditional basis until award requirements are fulfilled. These requirements may include transcripts, social insurance number, and donor recognition pieces.
Entrance Award A student award given according to criteria, including merit, demonstrated by the student prior to commencing a program at the College.
Financial Need The difference between the costs to attend College and the income or resources to support the cost.
Gift Agreement An established, signed agreement between award donor(s) and the NSCC Foundation that outlines the intentions of the award including eligibility, assessment, and application criteria.
Good Academic Standing A student status indicating no academic restrictions.
Merit-based Refers to any student award that is given based on academic or other merits which may include but is not limited to leadership, community involvement, and extra-curricular involvement.
Minimum Passing Grade The academic requirement that must be met in each course in order to obtain and/or retain a student award.
Needs-based A student award that prioritizes financial need.
NSCC Foundation A registered charity and the philanthropic arm of Nova Scotia Community College.
Renewable Award A student award that is contingent on maintaining good academic standing, a minimum passing grade, and/or a specified academic average. This award is distributed by term and may be renewable in subsequent year(s) of study.
Scholarship A student award given on the basis of academic merit.
Student Awards Office The NSCC department that administers student awards and financial aid programs on behalf of the College.
  1. Policy
    1. Award Creation
      The College approves student awards that:
      1. Are consistent with Human Rights legislation.
      2. Are consistent with College policies.
      3. Have assessment criteria that can be evaluated through an awards application and/or College records.
      4. Are developed and endorsed by the NSCC Foundation.
      The Student Awards office, on behalf of the College, reserves the right to withhold student awards donated by individuals or organizations where the above criteria are not met.

      New gift agreements that contain assessment criteria that is not consistent with other awards should carry the signature of the Director, Student Awards & Experience on behalf of the College in addition to the other required signatures of the donor and a member of the NSCC Foundation.
    2. Award Application
      1. Demonstrated financial need shall be determined using the NSCC financial needs assessment formula which considers resources and expenses.
      2. The Student Awards office reserves the right to extend awards deadlines in consultation with NSCC Foundation.
      3. Students in receipt of student awards who defer studies to another year shall not be permitted to defer awards. Exceptions may only be made for official medical deferrals. These will be managed on a case-by-case basis and approval must be granted by the respective donor(s). Medical documentation is required.
      4. Students must meet all stated eligibility criteria on the date the awards are selected. For most awards, students must have paid their tuition deposit for their program in order to be eligible. Waitlisted students may apply for awards but will not be considered during the selection process unless their status has changed to confirmed.
      5. Student awards are open to all students including international students and students who are studying online, unless otherwise stated in the award criteria.
      6. The Student Awards office reserves the right to modify award applications to reflect any other funding, as indicated within the student’s financial record, that has not already been disclosed in the financial needs assessment.
      7. No student shall receive student awards in excess of the value of core tuition and mandatory College fees in any given academic year, except for those students who meet requirements for awards with restrictive criteria or those students selected for other forms of financial aid offered at NSCC. The Student Awards office will make every effort, where possible, to avoid such occurrences to ensure that funds are broadly distributed to support the College’s commitment to access.
      8. There is no appeal process for student awards. All decisions made during the selection process, including the choice of award recipient, are final.
      9. References required to support student award applications must be submitted according to the instructions outlined in the award posting. References completed by family, friends, or peers will not be accepted. The Student Awards office reserves the right to contact references for validation and for more information when necessary.
      10. All student award applicants must agree to the terms and conditions of the NSCC awards application in order to be considered for awards. The terms and conditions outline how an applicant’s information will be used, their responsibilities to ensure the application is successfully submitted, and the general award acceptance requirements, should they be selected.
    3. Awards Selection
      If the number of eligible applicants is less than the number of awards available for any given award, the Student Awards office reserves the right to take one or more of the following actions, in communication with the NSCC Foundation:
      1. Extend the deadline in order to increase the applicant pool.
      2. Award to those who are eligible and offer the remaining awards in the following award offering or academic year.
      3. Recommend that the award criteria and/or application requirements be adjusted to widen the prospective applicant pool.
      The selection process for awards varies based on the respective evaluation types:
      1. Academic merit - awards including academic assessment criteria are mathematical in nature and therefore, evaluations are conducted through the review and assessment of transcripts by the Student Awards office.
      2. Qualitative criteria – can include assessment criteria in the areas of leadership, community involvement, career dedication or another combination thereof. Due to the qualitative nature of these criteria, they are evaluated by committee. All evaluation committee members must be current NSCC employees or donor appointed community representatives and must not have any existing relationships with the award applicants they are assigned to review. To avoid conflict of interest, donors are not permitted to participate in the evaluation of recipients for awards.
      3. Financial need – awards including financial need criteria are mathematical in nature and therefore, evaluations are determined through a demonstration of unmet need as determined by the Student Awards office.
      All award recipient selections are reviewed and finalized by the Student Awards office.

      Students selected as recipients for awards will be contacted directly by the Student Awards office with all pertinent information such as award value, disbursement process, award acceptance requirements and other pertinent instructions.
    4. Award Distribution
      1. The conditions and deadline for the fulfillment of award acceptance requirements shall be communicated to the student when the award offer is made. If the conditions are not met by the deadline, the offer shall be revoked.
      2. At any time, awards may be revoked at the discretion of the Student Awards office including, but not limited to, non-compliance with final requirements, changes to program or course load, withdrawal from studies at NSCC, etc.
      3. All student awards shall be applied directly to the award recipient’s student account, and will be applied to tuition, fees and any other costs assessed and/or expenses collected by NSCC.
      4. Recipients who have paid their student accounts in full for the full academic year and who are carrying an overpayment on their student account as a result of receiving an award, may choose one of the following payment options:
      5. Recipients may retain the credit on their student account to be applied towards future studies; or
      6. Recipients may request a refund from the campus Business Office. To qualify, recipients must be in good academic standing and have a minimum passing grade.
      7. Student awards are contingent upon the recipient continuing their studies and are payable only if the recipient is enrolled at NSCC. If a student award recipient withdraws from NSCC, the student award remains with NSCC and is not eligible for refund to the recipient. Recipients may be required to return any/all funding provided through the NSCC Foundation.
      8. Recipients of renewable awards must continue to meet the conditions of the award in each term in order to retain the award. Failure to do so will result in the termination of the award.
      9. Recipients of renewable awards may not transfer awards to another program of study without the express written permission of the Student Awards office.
      10. Student awards can come in the form of a tuition fee waiver. These awards cannot be applied to any other mandatory fees associated with the program and have no cash value. No refunds will be issued for tuition fee waivers.
  1. Policy Supports

28.02 Student Awards Administration Procedures (login required)