We have put together some information based on our experiences administering the scholarship and bursary program that may help you navigate the application process. Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions are below. We also have some tips for writing a personal statement.
Do I have to claim my scholarship or bursary on my taxes?
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requires the Trust to issue T4As to all scholarship or bursary recipients who receive funding of more than $500 (for more information see the CRA website). The Trust can be fined $100 per recipient if we fail to do this. However, each individual recipient must determine whether they have to claim their scholarship/bursary as income based on their own circumstances. For example, recipients may be eligible to claim a scholarship exemption or education amount. The Trust cannot determine a recipient's eligibility for these exemptions.
Who selects recipients?
Recipients of scholarships and continuing education bursaries are selected by members of the Trust Awards Committee. Research award recipients are selected by the Trust Research Awards Committee. Both of these committees consist of volunteer members of ARNNL. The Undergraduate Studies Committees for each of the three Schools of Nursing select the recipients of the Bachelor of Nursing Years 2, 3 and 4 scholarships as well as the Bachelor of Nursing-Fast Track Year 2 scholarship.
How are scholarship recipients selected?
Committee members review each scholarship application and, using a standardized scale, (where 1 = Below Average and 4 = Exceptional), rate the applications using the review criteria included in the award description (e.g., Academic Ability and Potential Contribution to Nursing). For example, to determine a score for Academic Ability, committee members review the applicant’s academic achievements as demonstrated by their transcripts, the academic awards and distinctions listed on their application form, and the information provided by their reference. The scores for each of the review criterion are then added up to determine the applicant’s total score. Each applicant’s final score is the average of the total scores they received from the committee members. The final scores are used to rank the applicants. If there is only one scholarship available, the applicant with the highest final score is awarded the scholarship. If there are several scholarships available, the applicants are ranked according to their final score and scholarships are awarded until all the available funds are distributed. All applications are blinded (personal information removed) prior to review in an effort to ensure that the process is as unbiased as possible.
Can I apply for more than one scholarship or bursary from the Trust?
Yes. You can apply for all scholarships or bursaries for which you meet the eligibility criteria. However, be advised that in order to maximize the number of people who benefit from Trust funding, the Awards Committee typically only awards one scholarship or bursary per applicant in each funding category.
I want to apply for a continuing education bursary but I have received funding from other sources. Can I still apply to the Trust?
Yes. The Trust will consider your application as long as the other funding does not cover all of the costs for your continuing education activity. Generally speaking, the amount of money you are eligible to receive from the Trust will be reduced if you receive funding from another source. For example, if your continuing education activity costs $500 and you receive $200 from your employer, the maximum amount you can receive from the Trust is $300. Applicants successful in obtaining full funding from other sources will be asked to accept the alternate funding.
How is the amount of each individual award determined if the bursary I’m applying for provides funding up to a certain amount ($500 or $1000)?
There is no set amount for bursaries that are funded up to a certain amount. The Awards Committee operates on the premise that all eligible applicants should receive some funding to assist with their self-paid (out of pocket) continuing education costs. Using the maximum amount required by each applicant as a starting point, the Committee uses a sliding scale to divide the funding among all eligible applicants. For example, applicants requiring $1,000 or more may get $500 whereas those requiring between $500 and $999 may get $250. The number of funding categories and the amount in each category are determined by the number of applicants and the amount of funding available. See the previous question for further information on calculating an applicant's maximum amount of funding.
I was awarded a continuing education bursary and the notification said the amount may be adjusted. Why is that?
Continuing education bursaries are awarded to assist applicants with the self-paid (out of pocket) costs of their continuing education program/event. Any changes to the budget for your program/event (i.e., costs or other financial assistance) that impact your self-paid costs may result in an adjustment to your bursary amount.
The majority of continuing education applicants seeking assistance to attend a program or event (e.g., workshop, conference, etc.) have not attend the event prior to the application deadline. This means that the information in the budget section of their application is based on estimates of their eligible expenses. It may also be the case that not all of the other potential sources of financial assistance have been identified or confirmed. The Awards Committee uses the information in the budget section to determine the award amounts (see the previous question for more details). If the information submitted with the confirmation of expenses form differs from the original budget amounts and the difference moves the applicant into a different funding category, the bursary amount will be adjusted accordingly.
I want to attend a conference but have not received approval from my employer for time off. Can I still apply for funding?
Yes. The Committee will accept your application even if you are not sure you are able to attend the conference. However, late applications WILL NOT be accepted.
I have applied for a continuing education bursary but was unable to attend the event. Can I use the funding for something else?
No. If you apply for continuing education funding but are unable to participate in the specified event, your award is returned to the Trust’s general fund.
How should I choose a person to provide a reference?
The application requirements document, available on the scholarship/bursary description page, identifies who can provide a reference for a particular scholarship or bursary. The reference forms consist of a rating scale and a general statement where your referee can address why you should receive the scholarship/bursary for which you are applying. When selecting a person to provide a reference, we recommend you review the reference requirements document to determine whether the person you are considering is appropriate (e.g., can evaluate you using the rating scale items).
Can I use a manager or colleague as a reference for an academic scholarship?
All academic scholarships (BN, BN Post RN, and Masters/PhD) require a reference from a person who can assess your academic ability. The Committee will not consider a reference from a manager or colleague in place of a reference from a faculty member. They will exclude a non-academic reference from the review (i.e., your reference score will be 0 thereby reducing your total score). They also have the option to exclude your application from the review entirely on the basis that it is incomplete.
I have to submit proof of attendance to receive my continuing education bursary. What can I use as proof?
For conference bursaries, documents accepted as proof of attendance include certificates of attendance from conference organizers/sponsors, or a letter from your manager/supervisor that confirms you attended. For CNA Certification bursaries, copies of documentation from CNA are accepted as proof. If you do not have copies of the required documents, please contact the Trust to discuss alternate forms of proof.
When will I know if my application is successful?
Applicants for the spring competition will be notified whether or not their application is successful by mid-June. Applicants for the fall competition will be notified in late November. Because the BN scholarship applications are sent directly to the Schools of Nursing, it is not possible to notify all applicants. Only successful recipients of BN Scholarships will be notified by the Trust.