Undergraduate Awards Overview

The University of Northern British Columbia is committed to encouraging students from diverse backgrounds and experience to further their academic education through the establishment of scholarships, which promote academic excellence, and bursaries, which assist students in overcoming financial barriers to post-secondary education. All awards established at the University of Northern British Columbia are subject to acceptance by the University Senate.  The on-line Scholarship, Bursary and Award Guide is a comprehensive listing of awards available to UNBC students.

2019-2020 UNBC Award Competition - Now Closed

For expected award offer timelines please click on the "Awards & Financial Aid Home" button for more information. 

For those incoming and current students who did not apply for the 2019-2020 UNBC Award Competition by the March 1, 2019 deadline, there will be a small Fall 2019 UNBC Awards Competition that you will be eligible to apply for in Mid-September 2019 (the UNBC online awards application will be open September 15th to October 14th, 2019).  To view the different awards that UNBC offers click on the green Scholarship, Bursary & Award Guide button.

Link to UNBC Undergraduate Admission is:  www.unbc.ca/apply

For information on Graduate Awards, please refer to the Graduate Awards Overview.

Award Competitions

The deadline for Early Entrance Awards is December 15th. Unless otherwise stated, the deadline for applying for all other awards is March 1st.

Application forms are not carried over from one award period to the next. Applicants are required to complete a new application form, along with any supporting documentation required, for each award period.

NOTE: Undergraduate admission must be completed prior to applying for awards.


Unless otherwise stated these definitions apply to the Criteria listed in the on-line Awards Guide.

Academic Excellence

Normally a minimum A- average, equivalent to or greater than a 3.67 GPA.

Academic Proficiency

Normally a minimum B- average, equivalent or greater than a 2.67 GPA.

Satisfactory Academic Standing

Normally a minimum C average, equivalent or greater than a 2.00 GPA.

Minimum Standing

For the purpose of awards eligibility, minimum standing ("passing grades") shall be considered equivalent to satisfactory academic standing.

Annual GPA

Calculated on the basis of grade point averages for credit hours completed during the awards year, May 1 - April 31.

Award Units

Calculated by multiplying the credit hours completed during the specified term by the grade points received for those hours.

Full-time Student

For the purpose of awards eligibility, an undergraduate student who registers in and attempts nine or more credit hours per semester in an undergraduate degree program will be considered a full-time UNBC student.

New Post-secondary Student

A student who has not previously attended a post-secondary institution such as a college or university.

Resident of Northern BC

A person who resides in a northern community located within the regions established under the College and Institute Act for the College of New Caledonia, Northern Lights Collge, and Coast Mountain College.  For UNBC Award purposes the above encompasses north of 100 Mile House up to the Yukon border, east to the Alberta border, west to Haida Gwaii. 

A resident of northern British Columbia is one whose principle residence for twelve consecutive months immediately prior to admission to UNBC is within the defined regions.

Health Sciences

For those awards where "health sciences" is stated in the criteria, students who are considering a career in health sciences related fields are encouraged to state their academic/career goals on the appropriate online awards application.  Examples of eligible programs included but are not limited to:

  • Biology
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Health Sciences
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Social Work

General Award Types


An award may be a fellowship, scholarship, bursary, prize or other monetary or non-monetary recognition assigned to a student.


Usually available only to graduate students, awarded on the basis of high academic achievement (academic excellence or academic proficiency) toward which secondary criteria may be applied.


Awarded on the basis of high academic achievement (academic excellence or academic proficiency) toward which secondary criteria may be applied.


Awarded on the basis of demonstrable financial need, provided the student has met the requirement for satisfactory academic standing, toward which secondary criteria including academic achievement may be applied.


The award's value may be non-monetary, such as a book or other gift-in-kind, or if monetary, its value is normally less than $250.


The award is an academic medal, awarded on the basis of academic achievement, toward which secondary criteria may be applied.

Award Categories

Early Entrance

Available to students entering UNBC directly from high school who have applied for early admission to UNBC.


Available to students commencing an undergraduate course of studies at UNBC for the first time or transfer students with less than 18 transfer credit hours.


Available to undergraduate students who have completed at least 18 credit hours (nine credit hours per semester) at UNBC during the current awards year and are continuing a course of studies at UNBC.


Available to students who are enrolled in a Master's or Doctoral program. A full-time graduate student is one who is enrolled in six credits or more per semester, or is enrolled in a thesis, project or comprehensive examination. Please consult the Graduate Calendar for a list of awards available to graduate students.


Certain awards are available to those students who are entering UNBC after having commenced degree studies at other institutions. In all circumstances a minimum of 18 transfer credit hours is required. Eligibility for awards is based on the Registrar's calculated transferable hours and grade point average.


Available to students who are registered in less than nine credit hours each semester.


These awards are available to all categories of students, including new post-secondary, transfer, in-course and graduate students. Some awards may also be available to Faculty.


An award which was made upon the student's enrolment to UNBC and which has the possibility of being renewed annually subject to the renewal terms and conditions as defined in the award's criteria.


Awards which are administered outside of UNBC but for which UNBC students are eligible. Separate application forms may be required.

Administrative Policies

Unless otherwise stated these policies apply to the criteria listed on subsequent pages.

Entrance Awards

Admission awards are open to students commencing an undergraduate degree program at the University of Northern British Columbia for the first time. To be considered for awards adjudicated on the basis of criteria such as leadership skills and community service, it is recommended that students submit a resume‚ or curriculum vitae  to Awards and Financial Aid (located within the Office of the Registrar) in addition to completing the appropriate  Awards Application form.

New students will be evaluated on their admission average as calculated by the Office of the Registrar. Students who have prior post-secondary experience will be evaluated on the grade point average of their transferable courses as calculated by the Office of the Registrar.

A limited number of entrance awards are based soley on academic standing, and may be provisionally offered to new students at the time of admission to the University, based on self-reported grades and/or transfer GPA.  Students who wish to be considered for these awards are strongly advised to apply for admission to the University as early as possible.

Other entrance awards require application.  To be considered for these awards, students are advised to submit an awards application by the March 1st deadline.

In-course Awards

Students continuing a course of studies at UNBC should apply for UNBC's scholarships and bursaries; to be considered as well for awards adjudicated on the basis of criteria such as leadership skills and community service, it is recommended that students submit a resume‚ or curriculum vitae  to the Awards and Financial Aid Office, in addtion to completing the appropriate Awards Application form. Unless otherwise stated, in-course awards are available to undergraduate students who have completed a minimum of 18 credit hours (nine credit hours per semester) over the awards year (June 1 - May 31). Applicants are evaluated based on their annual GPA, their calculated grade point average for courses taken within the academic year. In case of a tie, preference will be given to students who have successfully completed a greater number of courses over the term under consideration. Credit hours will be multiplied by grade point averages to determine any student's awards units:


Student A
Total credit hrs/3 sem: 27.0
Annual GPA: 4.00
Award units: 108.0

Student B
Total credit hrs/3 sem: 30.0
Annual GPA: 4.00
Award units: 120.0

Student B, with higher award units, will be given preference in award selection. The cumulative GPA shall be used to break ties between identical award units.

Co-op students:  for the purposes of awards eligbility, students enrolled in a co-op term will be considered to have met the minimum full-time credit equivalency for that term.  Co-op applicants will be evaluated based on their cummulative GPA.

Awards Ceiling

The University reserves the right to limit the amount of money awarded to any student and, if necessary, to reassign awards to other students by reversion. The Senate Committee on Scholarships and Bursaries will generally recommend that no individual student receive an award or combination of awards exceeding a determined value.  Currently, the Undergraduate award ceiling is $10,000 per academic year (this does not include external awards).

UNBC Merit Awards and UNBC In-course Scholarships are considered to be stand-alone awards, and will not  normally be awarded to students who are in receipt of other academic awards of equal or greater value.


It is generally understood that students will be enrolling in both the Fall and the Winter Semesters. Funds will be deposited directly into the students' UNBC accounts in two equal disbursements: the first on or about September 10 and the second on or about January 10.

Non-renewable awards  for continuing undergraduate students may be deferred for a period of one semester only. Renewable awards for continuing undergraduate students  may be deferred for up to one academic year at the discretion of the Awards Office. All requests for deferrals must be made in writing to the Awards and Financial Aid Office, and must outline the reasons the deferral is being sought.

New undergraduate students who have been offered an entrance award may request a deferral for one semester only.  Students who choose not to attend UNBC in the year the award is granted must re-apply for entrance awards if they wish to enroll in a future academic year.  All requests for deferrals must be made in writing to the Awards and Financial Aid office.

The University reserves the right to apply awards proceeds against outstanding fees owing to the University. If the amount of the award or awards exceeds the unpaid fees for the semester, the student may apply for a refund of the excess balance once the add/drop deadline is past.


The full amount of scholarships, fellowships, or bursaries that are received by students with respect to your enrolment in a program that entitles you to claim the education amount are not taxable and are no longer reported as income on your tax return.  If you are not eligible for the education amount, report on your tax return only the amount that is more than $500.

Appeal of Eligibility Status for Renewable Awards

Students who hold renewable awards will be notified in writing of their renewal status at the end of the January semester each year, when final grades have been submitted.

Occasionally, circumstances may arise that are beyond a student's control that affect his/her academic work.  Students who believe their renewal status is in jeopardy dues to such circumstances must contact the UNBC Awards and Financial Aid Office before the start of the final examination period for the semester in which the difficulty occurs.

Students may be required to submit the following information in support of their appeal:

  • A letter from the student outlining the extenuating circumstances affecting his/her eligibility; and
  • Supporting documentation from a professional third party (e.g. physician, counsellor, clergyman or instructor) who was aware of the student's situation during the semester.

All requests for a change in scholarship terms and conditions will be forward to the Senate Committee on Scholarships and Bursaries for consideration on a case-by-case basis.  UNBC Awards and Financial Aid will notify the student in writing of the committee's decision.  All decisions made by the committee are final and not subject to further appeal.


Any award may be withheld or cancelled for any of these reasons: lack of suitable candidates; failure to meet the terms and conditions of the award; withdrawal from the University or withdrawal of the award by the donor. Furthermore, the University assumes liability for the payment of scholarships, bursaries, prizes, and other awards only to the extent that expected gifts from donors or returns from particular investments of endowed funds are realized. The University also reserves the right to make whatever changes or corrections that are required, including cancellation of particular awards or changes to criteria or award values.


Unless otherwise stated, all awards are conditional upon confirmation of full-time registration at the University of Northern British Columbia in the September and January Semesters immediately following the granting of the award.