*Please note that Promissory Notes can take up to five business days to be processed. You will be contacted via your UWaterloo email address if we require any additional information.
How do I know if I need to submit the Promissory Note?
- The Promissory Note process allows you to have the registered status Fees Arranged while leaving a balance owing on your account equal to the amount of financial aid you will be receiving during the term.
- You need to pay the rest of the balance owing on your student account before completing the Promissory Note.
- The Promissory Note cannot be used to submit proof of payment in full; you must also have financial aid coming to you during the term.
- The Promissory Note includes a commitment from you that if any of your financial aid is cancelled or reduced, you accept responsibility for paying your fees personally.
- The Promissory Note process on Quest is available from three days after fees are posted for the coming term until three days before bills are posted for the next term. It is then closed until three days after the next term's fees are posted.
- If you try to access the Promissory Note before fees have been posted to your account, you will see an error message. Do not be alarmed--just try again once you see fees have been posted to your student account.
What kinds of funding can I use for the Promissory Note?
Only specific types of funding are accepted on the Promissory Note.
- Some will appear on your student account in Quest as Anticipated Aid, so when you are completing the Promissory Note in Quest, you will not need to provide a proof document.
- Other forms of financial aid will not show as Anticipated Aid on Quest, so you will need to upload a proof document during Step 4 of the Promissory Note process, showing the amount of that approved funding you will be receiving during the term.
You can use the Promissory Note with these types of funding:
1. OSAP or other Canadian or US government student loans and grants
You can complete the Promissory Note to leave a balance on your account that is equal to the Canadian or US government student loan and grant amounts you will receive during the term.
An estimate of government student loan funding is not acceptable. If you do not have an assessment of your student loan funding, you have two options:
- Pay your Term Balance in full by the due date.
- Complete your Promissory Note once proof of the funding is available to you; if this is after the term due date, we will add a fees arranged extension fee to your student account.
Your OSAP assessment for the term will appear as Anticipated Aid on your student account in Quest as soon as it is available. You do not need to upload proof of your OSAP funding in the Promissory Note process if it is already showing as Anticipated Aid.
If your OSAP funding is not showing on Quest as Anticipated Aid but you have a OSAP funding summary, you can take a screenshot of the funding summary and upload proof of the approved OSAP amount in the Promissory Note process.
Student Awards & Financial Aid will send Confirmation of Enrolment to OSAP once you have the registered status "Fees Arranged" and your account information (course load, program) matches your OSAP application information. Any amount of OSAP that is not required to cover the charges on your student account will be sent directly to the bank account you indicated on the Master Student Financial Aid Agreement (MSFAA).
Other Canadian or US government student loans
You can use a scanned copy of your provincial or federal student loan assessment as proof of funding, provided the amount and the term being funded are displayed.
2. Scholarships, bursaries, awards or Graduate Research Studentship (GRS)
From University of Waterloo
Your approved scholarships, bursaries, awards or GRS funding will appear as Anticipated Aid on your student account in Quest. You will be able to complete the Promissory Note without uploading proof of this funding.
If the amount is not showing as Anticipated Aid, you can upload a scanned copy of a letter or e-mail verifying the amount of funding for this term.
Undergraduate students: Scholarship and bursary amounts indicated as Anticipated Aid will be applied to your student account balance during the second month of term, provided your registered status is "Fees Arranged".
Graduate students: Scholarships and awards indicated as Anticipated Aid will be applied to your student account balance during the first week of term, provided your registered status is "Fees Arranged".
From other Canadian or US organizations
Some external scholarships, bursaries and awards will appear as Anticipated Aid on your student account in Quest. If they do, you do not need to upload proof of that funding.
If not, you will need to upload a proof document showing that the funding is:
- for the current term
- payable directly to University of Waterloo, not to you personally
- for you
- from an organization in Canada or the USA
If you have an external scholarship or bursary cheque payable to University of Waterloo, please send it directly to The Centre. Be sure your name and student ID number are on the cheque.
3. Graduate Research Assistant/Teaching Assistant (RA/TA) or sessional appointment pay
You can use compensation for research or teaching assistantships or sessional appointments to pay your student fees via monthly payroll deductions, by completing the Promissory Note.
- All award, scholarship, bursary and GRS funding will be applied to your student fees for the term first. If there is a remaining balance owing on your account, we can set up a monthly payment plan to redirect some or all of your RA, TA or sessional income for the term, to pay your remaining balance owing.
- Approximately 15% of the value of the RA/TA or sessional funding you are expecting will be allocated for mandatory payroll deductions and will not be available to redirect to pay your fees.
- The balance remaining after allowing for any other financial aid will be divided over the four months of the term and deducted in equal parts from each monthly pay during the term.
- If the remaining balance owing on your account is not fully covered by your awards and/or RA/TA or sessional income, you need to pay the remaining balance before completing your Promissory Note.
- You will need a funding letter from your department coordinator, confirming the amount and types of funding you are entitled to during the term. Upload this document in Step 4 of the Promissory Note process. Your Offer of Admission letter is not acceptable proof of funding because the funding information on the offer letter is not specific enough or current enough for the Promissory Note.
- You are responsible to check your student account and payroll remittance advice monthly to ensure the payment plan is working as you expected.
4. Tuition Benefit for UWaterloo employees and their children
The tuition benefit is available to Waterloo employees and retirees receiving a University of Waterloo pension, and their children. Please review the instructions to complete the application form. The benefit will appear as a tuition discount on your student bill. You do NOT need to complete the Promissory Note if you are ONLY getting the tuition benefit.
5. Third-Party Sponsorship
If an approved arms-length third-party organization has agreed to pay your fees based on receipt of an official invoice from uWaterloo, you can let us know by providing a scanned copy of a financial guarantee letter from your sponsor in Step 4 of the Promissory Note process, that states—
- your name
- the start and end dates of your funding
- name, address, e-mail address and phone number of sponsor
- any fees your sponsor will not pay
You also need to upload proof of payment of any fees we cannot bill to your sponsor.
*If your anticipated aid exceeds your term fees, you will not be able to upload your sponsorship letter in step four of the promissory note. Please contact us with a copy of your sponsor’s financial guarantee letter so that we can invoice your sponsor
NOTE: a promise from a family friend, a family member or a family member's employer to send payment during the term is not considered a Third-Party Sponsorship and is not acceptable on a Promissory Note.
6. Seniors Tuition Discount
You are eligible for this discount if you will be age 65 or older on the first day of term (September 1, January 1, May 1). The discount will appear on your student term bill shortly after you enrol in courses or a graduate program. You will need to make a payment for any other incidental fees charged to your student account.
7. Are there still fees for this term which are not covered by your financial aid?
You will need to upload proof of payment of the remaining balance that will not be paid off from your financial aid. Your payment must be showing on your student account by the due date. If it is not on your account until past the term due date, your Promissory Note or payment will be considered late and we will charge a fees arranged extension fee to your student account.
- a scanned copy of a receipt from making a payment at a bank in Canada
- a screen shot of your payment confirmation page from making a payment using online banking from a bank in Canada
- a scanned copy of a receipt for a Western Union GlobalPay for Students transfer
- a scanned copy of a receipt for a CIBC International Student Pay transfer
You cannot use the Promissory Note with these types of funding:
- Estimates of OSAP or other government student loan and grant funding
- A graduate Offer of Admission letter
- statements of RESP funds
- applications for funding (bursary, scholarship, award, etc)
- a bank statement showing your bank balance or a statement of your investments valuation
- Scholarships, bursaries, and loans from outside Canada or the USA
- bank drafts or cashier's checks drawn on a bank that is not a US or Canadian bank
- Proof of payment in full
- Private bank loans or student lines of credit
- Employer reimbursements
- A promise to pay later from personal sources, family members, employment income or a Co-op job
- Tuition Vouchers
- Proof of student loan funding from the CanLearn site
- External scholarships, bursaries, awards payable to the student
- BC Passport to Education
Proof of financial aid
If you will not have acceptable proof of the financial aid by the due date, you have two options:
- pay your Term Balance in full by the due date to avoid a fees arranged extension fee; or
- complete the Promissory Note once you have acceptable proof of financial aid or payment of the remaining balance. NOTE: If this is after the due date, a fees arranged extension fee will be charged to your account. We do not waive fees arranged extension fees for departmental delays that prevent you from completing the Promissory Note by the due date.
Problems with your Promissory Note
- If you post-date a payment, we will not be able to process it or your Promissory Note until the date the payment arrives on your student account.
- If you need to use a Promissory Note to become Fees Arranged after the Quest process is no longer available for the term, please complete the pdf Promissory Note and send it to Student Financial Services with all supporting documentation.
- we will notify you by e-mail if we cannot process your Promissory Note. Check your uwaterloo.ca e-mail account regularly; if you do not respond within 24 hours, a fees arranged extension fee will apply. We do not waive extension fees.
Prefer not to complete the Promissory Note?
- If you are not using a Promissory Note to arrange your fees, be sure you pay the entire Term Balance so that it arrives on your student account by the due date. A fees arranged extension fee will be applied for payments that arrive after the due date.
- We strongly recommend that you do not send payment by bank draft/cashier's check/money order; this type of payment relies on postal service and will result in a fees arranged extension fee charge to your account if it does not arrive on your student account by the due date. Please make a bank payment to settle your student bill.
- If you pay your account balance with more than one payment, the account will be considered "paid in full" as at the date the final payment arrives on your student account, regardless of when it was initiated at your bank. If that is after the due date, a fees arranged extension fee will be charged to your student account.
- We do not accept payment using personal cheque.
- A company cheque originating from a financial organization in Canada or the US will be accepted. See the Payments from an International Bank page for the approved payment methods from banks outside Canada.