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Central Okanagan Bursary And Scholarship Society
A Gift that Lives and Grows
Frequently Asked Questions

 β€‹β€‹How do I qualify for COBSS awards?

To qualify for COBSS awards, a student must be:

  • Must be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident, living as a resident within the boundaries of Central Okanagan Public Schools and attending a member school of COBSS (see Eligible Schools menu on website) by January 15th of the graduating year.
  • Online school applicants must submit verification of residence in boundary of Central Okanagan Public Schools. (proof of residency).
  • Must have applied and plan to attend full-time at an accredited post-secondary institution in September of the year of application. Confirmation of application may be required.
  • Must have an average of 60% in all Grades 11 and 12 completed courses and interim marks at the time of application.
  • Must have the potential to graduate from Grade 12 for the first time in June of the year of application.
  • Must be 18 years of age or under as of the 15th of January in their graduating year. Exemptions may be granted to students who are 19 or 20; these students must write a letter explaining their special situation. This letter must be accompanied by a letter of support from the school's COBSS' designate.  Students 19 and older are eligible for School Specific Awards.
  • Must be registered in a minimum of six (6) courses during Grade 12 year, of which three (3) have been / will be completed by January 31 of graduating year.
​​How do I access the COBSS online application system?
  • The COBSS online student application system opens early December and closes mid-January every year.
  • The application system can be accessed from the Home page or the Students page on this website.

How do I complete the best application possible, and increase my chances of winning an award?

  • Students are encouraged to attend the COBSS Application Information Session hosted by their school counsellor, where you will receive this year's access code. At this session, you will learn how to navigate through the COBSS application system and how to complete your application properly.
  • To find the date and time for your school's information session, check the Information Sessions menu, under the Students menu, on this webiste.
  • The information presented at these sessions is also located here for your reference: 2018-2019 Presentation - COBSS Application Information Session
What is considered to be full time attendance at a post-secondary institution?
  • ​​​​​To find out how many courses are required for full-time enrolment at a specific post-secondary institution, check with the institution's website, Registrar Office or Student Aid Office.
  • Student Aid BC defines full time attendance as at least 60% of a full course load for at least 12 consecutive weeks at a designated post-secondary institution.

What post-secondary institutions qualify?

  • You must attend an accredited/designated post-secondary institution.  
  • Check the Accredited/Designated Post-Secondary menu for links to websites providing lists of accredited/designated institutions.
  • Please note that Canada Revenue Agency lists accredited/designated post-secondary insitutions as charities.
Does every student applicant receive an award?​​
  • ​​​No, there are not enough awards for each and every student applicant to receive one. Each year, there are over 600 student applicants and just over 500 available awards.
  • For more information about how students are selected for awards, please click on Rationale for Award Selections.     
Where can I download the Statement of Reference Form?

Is the monetary value of each award listed in the student application?​​​

  • ​​The award dollar value is NOT listed on the student application. COBSS wants students to apply for awards based on their eligibility, not on the basis of the monetary value of the award.  Depending on the monetary value students might feel it is not worth their time to apply for awards of a lesser value.  COBSS does not want to judge or devalue any award relative to another.   By publishing the dollar amount of each award it may diminish the perceived worth of the award.  Awards are a representation of contributions from donors who are wanting to make a difference for students pursuing a post-secondary education.

Can my parent complete the online application on my behalf? 

  • Students must complete their own online application form.  Similar to a school  assignment, the COBSS student application should be compiled by the student in their own words.  A student's own words provide a much better picture of the student for the donor.

Can my parent contact COBSS to discuss my application or award? 

  • Students should contact COBSS directly with any questions specific to their application or award. If a parent contacts COBSS, we can only answer general questions. Answers to most general questions can be found on this website. 

Can my COBSS application be handed in after the deadline?

  • No, incomplete or late applications will not be accepted/considered. 

Once I have received an award, what do I do with the Certificate of Award?

  • ​​The Certificate of Award is issued to you when you receive the award at your school's graduation/recognition ceremony. At the same time, you will receive a letter outlining how to claim your award.​ Please read these documents carefully.
  • This document also states  How to Claim Your Award

Does my award need to be claimed by a certain date?

  • ​​Yes, COBSS awards need to be claimed before the expiry date listed on the Certificate of Award. β€‹

If I do not enroll full-time at a post-secondary institution in September, what should I do with my award?

  • If your plans change and you do not enroll full-time in September, please email COBSS as soon as possible to let us know.
  • If there are no exceptional circumstances that warrant a deferral/extension (see below), the award will be reallocated to another student applicant.

What do I do if I have lost my Certificate of Award?

  • Before the award expiry deadline, please email COBSS to let us know that you have misplaced your award.  If we receive this information before the award has expired, we can provide a duplicate copy of your Certificate of Award.

What do I do if I have lost the letter that came with my Certificate of Award?

  • This letter contains the donor's contact information for sending a thank you card. 
  • Please email COBSS as soon as possible so that we can provide you with the donor's contact information.
  • Review this document for further instructions on How to Claim Your Award

Do I need to complete the last section of the Certificate of Award?

  • The bottom section of the award (Signature, BN/Registration Number)  is completed by the Registrar or Student Aid office at the institution.
  • If you are unable to print a Verification of Enrolment from your student account or if you are required to take the Certificate of Award to the institution for processing, this area will be completed by the institution. Otherwise, it can be left blank.  
  • Review this document for further instructions on How to Claim Your Award

How do I claim my award if I am attending a trades or dual-credit program?

  • Before the award expiry deadline, please email COBSS to let us know the program that you are attending.
  •  To process the award, COBSS will need both your SIN and ITA number.

How do I claim the award if I am attending a post- secondary institution outside of Canada?

  • Verify that the school you are attending is an accredited/designated institution by checking the links on this website.
  •  If the school is not listed as an approved institution, please email COBSS as soon as possible.
  •  If the school is an approved institution, review this document for instructions on  How to Claim Your Award.

Can my award be deferred/extended past the expiry date?

  • If exceptional circumstances prevented you from enrolling full-time in September of your graduating year, COBSS may be able to extend the award.
  • Deferrals because of work or travel will not be accepted.   
  • Students should email COBSS as soon as possible, and before the award expires, to provide details about any exceptional circumstances.
  • Students may also be required to provide further documentation.

I have a question that is not listed in the FAQ. How do I find the answer?

  • Please contact COBSS directly and we will be happy to answer your question.

How do I contact COBSS?

  • The best way to communicate with COBSS is by email cobss@shaw.ca. If you would like someone to call you after receiving your email, please include your phone number in the email. 
  • COBSS office hours vary week to week, especially during the summer months. If you prefer to phone rather than email, please leave a message and we will return your phone call as soon as possible.