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Tuition Assistance & Bursary Benefit

As a community McMaster is dedicated to the pursuit of lifelong learning. The Tuition Assistance and Bursary Benefits are an expression of that dedication and emphasize the University’s commitment to the well-being of its employees, retirees, and their families.

For any inquiries, please contact hr.mcmaster@mcmaster.ca

education puzzle pieces

Overview

The following Tuition Assistance and Bursary benefits are intended to help employees, retirees, and their dependents achieve their professional potential through academic credit education. These benefits are not intended for personal interest training.

There are other benefits available to employees who wish to pursue other training and development opportunities associated with their career. Review one of the following policies for more information or review our learning and development webpage for more options.

Related Policies:

Tuition Assistance for Active Employees

Eligibility (refer to the Tuition Assistance Policy for Employees for more information)

Employees are eligible for Tuition Assistance provided they are employed:

  1. On a continuing or contractually limited appointment of at least one year; OR,
  2. Under the terms of a Collective Agreement, written contract or employment contract which specifically extends the Tuition Assistance benefit to employees.

For the 2022/2023 academic year, the Tuition Assistance benefit maximum is $3,573.18. (This amount remains unchanged from 2021/2022.)

Click on the program type below to learn how to apply:

Instructions for McMaster University undergraduate and graduate degree credit courses

Submit your application online through Mosaic using the AwardSpring tile or login to https://mcmaster.awardspring.ca using your MacID and password. To be able to login, you must be a student in a financial aid eligible program and term active (i.e. eligible to enroll) in either the current fall, winter, or spring/summer term.

TIMELINES: Benefit applications for Fall 2022/Winter 2023 and Spring/Summer 2023 will open on AUGUST 10, 2022 and will close on July 22, 2023. Applications for previous years are now closed.


AwardSpring Instructions

Once you are in AwardSpring, the employee/student needs to complete the common application. The answers from the common application are used to qualify students to specific opportunities in AwardSpring. If the student has not completed the common application, a progress bar will show on their dashboard with a direct link to the application. The student can re-visit the common application to change their answers any time, provided there are still scholarships open in the system. The common application has 6 sections for the student to complete/review and for the purposes of the Tuition Assistance benefit opportunities, the related question from the ‘Application Tips & Personal Information’ section are the most relevant; if all answers are ‘No’, the student will see no Tuition Assistance opportunities.

Once the student completes the common application, they are eligible to apply for scholarships. They can see the scholarships that they are eligible for on their dashboard. Only scholarships that are currently open (as per the application period start date in the configuration) will display to a student on their dashboard. Click on the ‘Complete Follow-Up’ button on the associated opportunity in their dashboard.

NOTE: There are two opportunities available for the Tuition Assistance Employee benefit and they are open from August 10 of the academic year to July 22 of the following year. All applications for the appropriate semester must be made by these deadline dates using the appropriate opportunity:

    • Fall/Winter Employee Tuition Assistance
    • Spring/Summer Employee Tuition Assistance 

Once the student completes the additional requirements, they are able to submit the application. On the left-hand menu, students can click the ‘Scholarships’ box to view the status of their applications; for example, filtering on ‘Applied’ will show them a list of all applications they have successfully submitted. Students may also filter on ‘Awarded’ to see if any of their tuition benefit applications have been processed and will receive an email confirmation.

Need more help with navigating AwardSpring? Read more about “How to Apply” and/or submit an AwardSpring inquiry.

Instructions for McMaster University and McMaster Continuing Education academic certificate or diploma courses

Eligible academic certificates/diplomas (as defined by the university’s Certificates & Diplomas Policy):

To apply for the Tuition Assistance benefit for any of the above programs, complete and submit this employee tuition assistance application within the academic year of the course taken and send it to hr.mcmaster@mcmaster.ca. (Note that this form does not enroll you into the course and employees are strongly encouraged to verify if their course will be funded before applying/registering for the course).

 

Instructions for McMaster Continuing Education Professional Development Essentials courses and Leadership Development Programs

To apply for McMaster Continuing Education Professional Development Essentials courses, submit an employee tuition assistance application to confirm your eligibility. If fees are not adjusted or you have any questions about eligibility, please email HR at hr.mcmaster@mcmaster.ca.

For McMaster Continuing Education Leadership Development Programs. complete and submit your application as per the instructions provided on the applicable program webpage.

Instructions for non-McMaster University undergraduate and graduate degree credit courses, and diploma and certificate courses

Eligibility may include:

  • non-McMaster University undergraduate and graduate degree credit courses
  • academic diploma or certificate courses from accredited educational institutions (listing of approved member colleges and institutes)
  • courses taken towards professional certifications/designations by professional bodies (e.g., C.I.M., C.Mgr., CPA) (as approved by Human Resources)

For external courses, the tuition fee will be reimbursed after proof of enrolment and fee payment is submitted to Human Resources on a course by course basis. External courses must be job related and at a minimum of 18 hours of classroom study to qualify (in addition to policy requirements).

How to Apply – complete and submit this employee tuition assistance application within the academic year of the course taken and send it to hr.mcmaster@mcmaster.ca. The following are required to complete the application:

  • Proof of Cost such as an invoice with a breakdown of the tuition costs vs. administrative fees or a receipt clearly outlining all total costs
  • Proof of Payment such as a receipt showing that the tuition fees have been paid (if in foreign currency, please provide proof in Canadian dollars)
  • Proof of Enrollment such as a letter from your registrar’s office or confirmation of enrollment email

Note that this application form does not enroll you into the course and employees are strongly encouraged to verify if their course will be funded before applying/registering for the course.

TIMELINES: Applications must be submitted during the academic year the course is taken. For purposes of benefit calculations, the academic year starts on September 1st and ends August 31st of the following year.

Tuition Bursary for Dependents & Spouses

Employee Eligibility (please refer to Dependent Bursary Policy for more information and for details about Dependent Eligibility)

  1. Employees on a full-time continuing basis or on a contractually limited basis and who work at least
    one-half the normal full-time hours AND who have completed at least 3 years of continuous service with the University by the first day of the
    Academic Session for which the bursary is being applied; OR,
  2. FHS Clinical Part Time/Adjunct Faculty who have held an appointment for at least 3 consecutive years and who have provided a minimum of 270 hours of educational contributions each year are eligible to apply for the dependent bursary. Faculty members need to confirm eligibility before applying via AwardSpring. Please review the Health Science Faculty Relations webpage for more information.

In addition, the External Bursary Eligible Employee Group is:

  • McMaster University Faculty Association (MUFA), provided the Employee is eligible to participate in the Career Progress / Merit program;
  • Senior Administrative Leaders (SAL); or
  • The Management Group (TMG)

Click on the program type below to learn about eligible amounts and how to apply:

For McMaster University Undergraduate or Graduate Degree Courses in 2022/2023, the Tuition Bursary benefit maximum per academic term is $2,325.00 (per unit equivalent is $155.00 on a maximum of 15 units). (This amount remains unchanged from 2021/2022.)

NOTE: The McMaster/Mohawk and McMaster/Conestoga Nursing degrees are managed using the non-McMaster process described in the tab below.


How to Apply

The student (not employee) submits their application online through Mosaic using the AwardSpring tile or login to https://mcmaster.awardspring.ca using their MacID and password. To be able to login, the applicant must be a student in a financial aid eligible program and term active (i.e. eligible to enroll) in either the current fall, winter, or spring/summer term. NOTE: for students of FHS Clinical Part Time/Adjunct Faculty, follow the submission process outlined on the Health Science Faculty Relations webpage before applying via AwardSpring.

TIMELINES: Benefit applications for Fall 2022/Winter 2023 and Spring/Summer 2023 will open on AUGUST 10, 2022 and will close on July 22, 2023. Applications for previous years are now closed.


AwardSpring Instructions

Once you are in AwardSpring, the student needs to complete the common application. The answers from the common application are used to qualify students to specific opportunities in AwardSpring. If the student has not completed the common application, a progress bar will show on their dashboard with a direct link to the application. The student can re-visit the common application to change their answers any time, provided there are still scholarships open in the system. The common application has 6 sections for the student to complete/review and for the purposes of the Tuition Assistance benefit opportunities, the related question from the ‘Application Tips & Personal Information’ section are the most relevant; if all answers are ‘No’, the student will see no Tuition Assistance opportunities.

Once the student completes the common application, they are eligible to apply for scholarships. They can see the scholarships that they are eligible for on their dashboard. Only scholarships that are currently open (as per the application period start date in the configuration) will display to a student on their dashboard. Click on the ‘Complete Follow-Up’ button on the associated opportunity in their dashboard.

NOTE: There are two opportunities available for the Tuition Assistance Employee benefit and they are open from August 10 of the academic year to July 22 of the following year. All applications for the appropriate semester must be made by these deadline dates using the appropriate opportunity:

    • Fall/Winter Dependent/Spouse Tuition Bursary
    • Spring/Summer Dependent/Spouse Tuition Bursary

Once the student completes the additional requirements, they are able to submit the application. On the left-hand menu, students can click the ‘Scholarships’ box to view the status of their applications; for example, filtering on ‘Applied’ will show them a list of all applications they have successfully submitted. Students may also filter on ‘Awarded’ to see if any of their tuition benefit applications have been processed and will receive an email confirmation.

Need more help with navigating AwardSpring? Read more about “How to Apply” and/or submit an AwardSpring inquiry.

 

Dependents and spouses of the External Bursary Eligible Employee Group (as defined above) can also apply for a bursary benefit for the following non-McMaster programs. This bursary benefit is calculated and paid out annually based on a fixed pool among students of eligible MUFA, TMG & SAL employees.

Eligible institutions have been updated for the 2022/2023 academic year and will now include undergraduate and graduate degree programs and college diploma programs from both accredited Canadian universities and colleges and international institutions that are evaluated by Human Resources Services and the Office of the Registrar for equivalency to McMaster University (i.e., eligible to obtain federal tuition tax credit). NOTE: The McMaster/Mohawk and McMaster/Conestoga Nursing degrees are included in this process.

Review this updated FAQ document for additional information. (Updated as of October 26, 2022).


How to Apply

The employee submits the application using the “External Tuition Bursary” tile in Mosaic. Further details on how to apply can be found in this user guide. There are two parts to the application. Part 1 is an application form which can be submitted multiple times for the academic term as needed. Part 2 is the payment application form which is only submitted once per academic year.

TIMELINES:

  • Applications for the 2022/2023 academic year will open on November 1, 2022 (i.e., courses completed between September 2022 and August 2023) for payout Fall 2023:
    • Part 1 – application form – opens November 1, 2022 and due by July 31, 2023
    • Part 2 – payment application form – opens November 1, 2022 and due by September 30, 2023

Quick link for the Tuition Bursary Program for Dependants & Spouses Declaration of Consent Form

 

Tuition Assistance for Retirees

Retirees of the University are eligible for tuition assistance for eligible courses offered through McMaster University only. Refer to the Tuition Assistance Policy for Retirees for more information. Retirees wanting to register in Graduate or Undergraduate certificate or diploma courses should seek advice from their academic advisor or the program administrator.

For the 2022/2023 academic year, the Tuition Assistance benefit maximum is $3,573.18. (This amount remains unchanged from 2021/2022.)

NOTE: If you are 65 years of age or over, subject to meeting admissions and prerequisite requirements, you may enroll in undergraduate courses for credit without payment of tuition and supplementary fees. The required full-time application fee must be paid and must accompany the appropriate application to the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre.

There are also several other learning opportunities available to older adults at McMaster.​ Read more here.

Click on the program type below to learn how to apply:

Submit your application online through Mosaic using the AwardSpring tile or login to https://mcmaster.awardspring.ca using your MacID and password. To be able to login, you must be a student in a financial aid eligible program and term active (i.e. eligible to enroll) in either the current fall, winter, or spring/summer term.

TIMELINES: Benefit applications for Fall 2022/Winter 2023 and Spring/Summer 2023 will open on AUGUST 10, 2022 and will close on July 22, 2023. Applications for previous years are now closed.


AwardSpring Instructions

Once you are in AwardSpring, the retiree/student needs to complete the common application. The answers from the common application are used to qualify students to specific opportunities in AwardSpring. If the student has not completed the common application, a progress bar will show on their dashboard with a direct link to the application. The student can re-visit the common application to change their answers any time, provided there are still scholarships open in the system. The common application has 6 sections for the student to complete/review and for the purposes of the Tuition Assistance benefit opportunities, the related question from the ‘Application Tips & Personal Information’ section are the most relevant; if all answers are ‘No’, the student will see no Tuition Assistance opportunities.

Once the student completes the common application, they are eligible to apply for scholarships. They can see the scholarships that they are eligible for on their dashboard. Only scholarships that are currently open (as per the application period start date in the configuration) will display to a student on their dashboard. Click on the ‘Complete Follow-Up’ button on the associated opportunity in their dashboard.

NOTE: There are two opportunities available for the Tuition Assistance Employee benefit and they are open from August 10 of the academic year to July 22 of the following year. All applications for the appropriate semester must be made by these deadline dates using the appropriate opportunity:

    • Fall/Winter Retiree Tuition Assistance
    • Spring/Summer Retiree Tuition Assistance

Once the student completes the additional requirements, they are able to submit the application. On the left-hand menu, students can click the ‘Scholarships’ box to view the status of their applications; for example, filtering on ‘Applied’ will show them a list of all applications they have successfully submitted. Students may also filter on ‘Awarded’ to see if any of their tuition benefit applications have been processed and will receive an email confirmation.

Need more help with navigating AwardSpring? Read more about “How to Apply” and/or submit an AwardSpring inquiry.

To apply for other McMaster University and/or McMaster Continuing Education academic certificate or diploma courses, complete and submit this employee and retiree tuition assistance application within the academic year of the course taken and send it to hr.mcmaster@mcmaster.ca. (Note that this form does not enroll you into the course and retirees are strongly encouraged to verify if their course will be funded before applying/registering for the course).

Note: not all courses offered through Continuing Education are eligible for tuition assistance. If you’re unsure about the program you’re interested in, please check the current list of eligible programs to confirm inclusion in the program before submitting your application.