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


​​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.
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?

  • Students are responsible for the complete and timely submission of their COBSS application.
  • Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted/considered.

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

  • ​​The Certificate of Award (COA) 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 specific 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 (COA). ​

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.

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 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.