Institution-Funded Special Bursary

What is the Institution-Funded Special Bursary?

The Institution-Funded Special Bursary (IFSB) offers financial assistance to help cover your educational costs.

The amount of bursary you may receive for the academic year will depend on your eligible educational costs, such as tuition, books, travel costs and child care costs.

The maximum bursary amount you can receive is $2,500 per academic year.

A student's continued eligibility for future IFSB funding depends on the successful completion of both past and currently-funded IFSB sessions.


You may be eligible for an Institution-Funded Special Bursary at York University if:

  • You are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or Protected Person as defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada);
  • Your family income is below the threshold for a given family size;
  • You are not receiving grant or loan funding from:
    • The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP);
    • The Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP);
    • Second Career;
    • A student financial assistance program from another province, territory or country.
  • You are registered for English as a Second Language (YUELI).
  • You are taking courses at York University and are:
    • Enrolled on a part-time basis in a postsecondary program that leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate, or;
    • Taking courses on a full- or a part-time basis to upgrade your academic skills.
    • Check with Registrarial Services to find out which programs are approved.

  • Your study period is at least four weeks in length.
  • You are considered part-time if you are enrolled in courses that constitute less than 60% of a full course load. If you are a student who has a permanent disability and are studying at between 40% and 60% of a full course load you can choose to be treated as full- or part-time. If you choose to be considered part-time, you are eligible to apply for a Special Bursary through IFSB.

    Here are examples of a part-time course and credit load:
  • If 5 courses are considered a full course load, then 2 courses is a 40% course load (2 ÷ 5 x 100 = 40).
  • If 30 credits are considered a full course load, then 16 credits is a 53% course load (16 ÷ 30 x 100 = 53).

In some cases, factors other than courses or credits are used to determine course load. Contact Registrarial Services if you are unable to determine your course load.

Conditions for Special Bursary

You cannot receive a Special Bursary during the same study period in which you are receiving OSAP, CSLP, Second Career, or student financial assistance from another province, territory or country.

However, if you have extra education-related expenses for services and equipment resulting from a disability, you may also be eligible for an Ontario Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD). Contact Registrarial Services for more information.

If you leave school or drop a course, you may be required to repay a portion of the Special Bursary back to your institution. You may not be entitled to the full amount of the Special Bursary if you do not finish the course(s) as planned.

Funding received through a Special Bursary is taxable. If you receive a bursary, your institution will issue you a T4A in February indicating the total amount of bursary assistance.

Application Process

To apply for a Special Bursary, complete and submit to Student Financial Services a paper copy of the application form.

Completing the Bursary Application

You will find instructions for completing individual questions or items on the application form itself. Questions or items that need additional explanation are listed below for several Sections of the application. If you need more information or help completing the application, contact Registrarial Services.

If you are married or are in a common-law relationship, the application form must be completed by you and your spouse.



All correspondence will be sent to the address you enter on the application.

Marital status

Indicate what your marital status will be as of the last day of the month in which your program begins.

If you are in a common-law relationship, check "Married/Common-law". For the purposes of the IFSB, a common-law relationship exists when:

  • You and your spouse have been living together in a conjugal relationship for at least three years; or
  • You and your spouse are raising any children of whom you both are the natural or adoptive parents.


Type of government income

Indicate the type of government income you expect to receive during your program of study. If you checked "Other", provide details about the type of assistance you will receive on a separate sheet and attach this sheet to your application form.

Gross Income from the Current Year

Include income from all sources, except GST/HST rebates, Child Tax Benefits, assistance received through the federal Universal Child Care Benefit, and funding from the BSWD.

Do not include pain and suffering awards, including WSIB Noneconomic loss (NEL) awards, in amounts less than $100,000. Any amount over $100,000 is considered income in the period it was received. If payments are made for different incidents, the payments related to each incident are exempt up to $100,000.

Proof of Income

You must provide proof of your income and your spouse's (including common-law) income, if applicable. Proof of income includes copies of pay stubs from Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Ontario Works (OW) (or a letter from a caseworker), pay stubs from other government income such as Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits, Loss of Earning Benefits (WSIB) or Employment and Training Allowance, copies of employment pay stubs, and letters from employers confirming actual gross monthly income.

If you are unemployed and supported by a third party, you must submit a signed and dated letter from them confirming support.


  • If you are married, provide a photocopy of your marriage certificate. If you do not have a marriage certificate, you must provide a jointly signed legal affidavit.
  • If you are in a common-law relationship, provide a legal affidavit signed by you and your spouse confirming that you are in a common-law relationship.
  • If you are separated, provide a copy of your legal separation agreement or court order. If you do not have a separation agreement or court order, you must provide a legal affidavit indicating the date of separation.
  • If you are divorced, provide a copy of your divorce judgment or order.
  • If you are a sole-support parent, and never married, provide a legal affidavit signed by you confirming that you are a sole-support parent.
  • If you are widowed, provide a copy of your spouse's death certificate.
  • If you have dependent children, you must provide proof of each of your child(ren)'s date of birth (e.g., Canada Child Tax Benefit statement).

Indicate the name and address of your spouse on the application.

Citizenship Status

The following documentation is required:

Protected Persons

A Protected Person is defined in subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada). If you are a Protected Person, you must provide a photocopy of your valid Protected Persons Status Document and a photocopy of your temporary Social Insurance Number (SIN) card.

Permanent Resident

If you are a Permanent Resident, you must provide a photocopy of your Canada Immigration Record or a copy of the front and back of your Permanent Resident Card.