Student resource: Student Awards Management System (SAMS)

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A graphic that shows a hand holding a bag of money in front of a background of flames.
Feeling the burn of tuition fees and textbook costs? A student award may cool the heat. OpenClipart–Vectors via Pixabay, manipulated by lee lim

From direct entrance scholarships, continuing awards based on academic merit, to bursaries focused on financial need, SAMS has something for everyone

With nearly two weeks of the fall semester already behind us, the University of Regina (UofR) is buzzing with activity. New students are navigating their way through campus, getting familiar with their courses, and making connections, while returning students are jumping headlong into their studies. Amidst the meets and greets, syllabus overviews, and club sign-ins, there is also the reality of tuition fees. For many, this means juggling academics with part-time work to help with the financial costs that come with university. The university’s Student Awards Management System (SAMS) stands as a beacon of opportunity, offering financial support and academic recognition to domestic and international students at UofR. 

SAMS offers transformative experiences for students. It considers a holistic range of criteria, from academic excellence to community involvement, making it accessible to diverse groups of students. A third-year Computer Science student said, ‘’Receiving the SAMS award has been a game changer for me. It allowed me to focus more on my studies and less on how to pay for them.’’ They further add, “The SAMS Award recognizes that excellence comes in many forms, and it encouraged me to be a well-rounded individual rather than just a grading machine.’’  

This is evident in the vast array of categories open for students to apply for on the SAMS portal. From direct entrance scholarships, continuing awards based on academic merit, to bursaries focused on financial need, SAMS has something for everyone. The system also offers financial aid to those with disabilities and athletes participating in U Sport competitions.  

In addition to the UofR scholarships offered through SAMS, university students enrolled with one of the three federated colleges – Campion, Luther, and First Nations University – have the unique perk of being eligible for additional scholarships specific to their individual institution. This layered approach amplifies the benefit of being part of a federated college and offers students an extra avenue for financial support and academic recognition. The colleges will have their own timelines and application processes for these awards offered outside of SAMS, so be sure to check with them directly. 

Applying through SAMS appears to be straightforward. A new student needs to first create an account by visiting safa@uregina.ca and once all required information is entered, a temporary password is sent to the student’s email address to activate and log into the account. Next, select ‘’Awards currently accepting applications,’’ use the filters, and search for awards that match your eligibility criteria. Awards can be faculty-specific, as well as open to all students. Navigate to ‘’View my application’’ to fill out the required information. Be cautious not to submit your application until you have attached your supporting documents such as a personal statement, financial disclosure, and references. 

It is essential that students are aware of some often-overlooked aspects of the SAMS application process. One of the most common pitfalls is missing the application deadline. The early bird catches the worm, and the same applies at SAMS. Given its competitive nature, the importance of applying early cannot be understated. The last date to apply for most scholarships this year is Oct 2. If you’re unsure about any part of the process, the Student Awards and Financial Aids Office, located in the Administration Humanities Building at room 108, is your go-to place. They offer workshops to guide students on how to write a compelling personal statement and address any other application-related issues.  

Yet, while SAMS offers many opportunities, it’s not without criticisms. ‘’Applying for scholarships on the SAMS portal system can get sometimes pretty wearisome. It takes time to fill in and you must enter the same information every semester. Making it easier would be appreciated! ‘’said a fourth-year history major. Student life is already filled with lots of responsibilities and the time-consuming nature of the SAMS application can just add another layer of stress. At this time, it is up to students to streamline the process the best they can. One practical tip is to keep a well-organized folder with all the necessary documents and information, making it easier to apply each semester. 

In conclusion, SAMS serves as a lifeline for students by offering a comprehensive range of financial aid options that cater to the diverse student body. While the system has its quirks, the rewards far outweigh the inconveniences. As students, we owe it to ourselves to seize the chance and get those applications in. 

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