Current students: fall 2021 term information

Learn about instruction modes for 2021-22. This is important information for enrolment.

Ontario continues to welcome international students. 

Academic FAQs for current students

Will I be expected to be on-campus during the fall 2021 term?

We’re focusing our planning on providing safe and meaningful in-person experiences for you this fall. We’re planning for this to include more in-person learning opportunities across all Faculties; on-campus student services; small group study, meeting and club space; access to critical learning supports like the library; and access to amenities like the gym and food services.

Given the ongoing changes to public health measures, we’ll be sharing more decisions throughout the spring and summer as the status of the fall becomes clearer.

More information in the Provost’s letter.

Aid & Awards FAQs for current students

Can I indicate that I am ‘living away from home’ on my OSAP application if I have signed a lease on a residence in Hamilton for fall 2021/winter 2022?

Students should indicate living away from home if they will be moving to Hamilton and/or living outside of the family home.  Where the family home is within 30km, the student is expected to live at home. Where the family home is within 30km the student is expected to live at home, but if not, they’ll need to upload an OSAP Request for Review to Adjust Living Allowance.

Students who have already signed a lease for the fall/winter terms and have financial need should take advantage of all resources available such as the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, OSAP, McMaster General Bursary and other aid and awards.

What would be the implications of not applying for OSAP while studying from home?

Some of the implications may be:

  • You do not demonstrate financial need to be considered for bursaries, work programs, academic grants etc.
  • You would need to complete a Continuation of Interest Free Status application if studying full-time, so that your loans do not accumulate interest or go into repayment.
  • You would miss out on grants available through the federal and provincial government.
  • You accumulate less debt.

How does living at home impact my OSAP entitlement?

Every OSAP assessment includes one of two living allowances.

  1. At home (living with parents)
  2. Away from home (living outside of parental home)

Dependent students with parents who live within 30km of the university are automatically assessed with the ‘at home’ living allowance regardless of what is noted on the OSAP application.

If your parents live within 30km of the university and you are ‘living away from home’, you’ll need to submit an OSAP Request for Review to Adjust Living Allowance along with supporting documentation such as a lease or rental agreement.

Would I be eligible for OSAP as a part-time student?

Students studying at less than a 60% course load or 40% for students with permanent disabilities are encouraged to apply for OSAP for Part-Time Students. The application for 21-22 will be available on the OSAP website soon.

Fees FAQs for current students

Other than my courses what does tuition pay for?

Almost all of the services students normally receive continue to be available. Here are just a few:

  • The library has invested in a new service that makes more than 800,000 books from the collection available online along with ongoing subscriptions to journals and other resources for students
  • For this fall’s entering class the new Archway Program is putting every student into a small group of 30 students along with a staff mentor to help guide them and keep them involved throughout the year
  • A number of Faculties are developing special programs to help students get ready for online learning including the new Ember program in Engineering, the DeGroote StartUp Experience and the Student Transition Education Programming in Social Sciences (STEPSS)
  • Supervision for research projects, upper-year thesis projects and graduate work continue
  • For health professional students, requisite experiences in clinical education, such as simulation, must be arranged and clinical placements must be organized and supervised
  • Health and mental health services continue to be available to all students
  • Career services will continue to run online programming to help students prepare for their careers, as well as co-op and career counsellors within faculties
  • Academic advising offices within Faculties will continue to offer personalized guidance to all students for their academic success
  • The Equity and Accessibility Office is ready to help with online programs and confidential services and support
  • Emergency financial support, along with scholarships and bursaries, are all part of the financial services available to students
  • Free student access to computer programs like Microsoft Office and Teams and access to professional research related software

What about supplementary fees?

While most university-delivered services are continuing to provide services online (for example, the Student Wellness Centre), supplementary fees will be adjusted appropriately for any service where access has been reduced due to the Covid-19 situation.

Fee amounts charged by student union/associations are the responsibility of those organizations and are not controlled by the university.

What if I don’t think I will be able to afford the 2021-2022 academic year at McMaster?

We have created a payment plan to help stagger the financial commitment of tuition and fees throughout the academic year. Learn about other financial support.


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