York University Emergency Bursary - FW19/WI20


The York University Emergency Bursary aims to assist registered (full-time and part-time) York University undergraduate students (domestic and international) with unanticipated financial hardship incurred as a direct result of COVID-19. Each request for emergency aid is considered on its own merits and based on financial need associated with an educational program and essential living costs during the period of March 1 to April 30, 2020.

It is expected that prior to applying for the York University Emergency Bursary, students will have explored all sources of funding such as family support, personal savings, government assistance programs (e.g. Canada Emergency Response Benefit, Employment Insurance, OSAP), and bank lines of credit, as appropriate. It is also expected that students will explore financial assistance from their respective York Faculties to supplement the Emergency Bursary.

Deadline: May 31, 2020

Value: Up to $1,500 CDN


Full-time and part-time undergraduate students (domestic and international) who are currently enrolled in full year Fall/Winter 2019-2020 courses or Winter 2020 courses.

Please note: This program is restricted to undergraduate students only. Graduate students can apply for assistance through the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) Emergency Bursary. School of Continuing Studies students can apply for assistance through the York University Emergency Bursary for School of Continuing Studies Students.

Eligible Expenses

The Emergency Bursary will help to provide immediate short-term relief for unexpected financial need such as the inability to meet essential living expenses (for example housing, rent, food, and other basic needs) due specifically to COVID-19. It is not intended to be a source of long-term funding or to replace lost income or to support discretionary expenses. Examples of eligible expenses include:

  1. Housing and accommodations
    • Local rent payments that cannot be met due to a lack of available financial resources as a direct result of COVID-19.

  2. Meals and living expenses
    • Inability to purchase groceries due to a lack of available financial resources as a direct result of COVID-19.

  3. Health care and medical expenses
    • Inability to purchase medication or fill prescriptions due to a lack of available financial resources as a direct result of COVID-19.

  4. Lost Income
    • The Emergency Bursary is not intended to directly replace income that was lost because of COVID-19 job losses, layoffs or reduced employment hours. Rather, a student’s lost income will be assessed in the consideration of total financial hardship when determining financial need. Students requesting assistance in meeting their basic living costs because of financial hardship resulting from lost income must provide supporting documentation of two recent pay stubs or their Record of Employment. Applications that are incomplete or missing supporting documentation will be denied.

  5. Other extenuating circumstances
    • Other extenuating financial need related to essential living costs resulting from COVID-19. Expenses must be reasonable and supported with acceptable documentation.

Ineligible Expenses

Emergency bursary funds cannot be approved for expenses or debts that are not directly related to COVID-19, including debt obligations that existed prior to March 1, 2020 or are not directly related to changes in your conditions because of COVID-19. Examples of ineligible expenses include:

  • directly replacing lost income (students requesting direct income loss support should apply for government assistance such as EI or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, as applicable)
  • outstanding tuition fees
  • requests for assistance with summer fees
  • missed loan payments (payments in arrears)
  • discretionary expenses (e.g. gym memberships)
  • other non-essential personal expenses unrelated to COVID-19

To Apply

  • Applicants must complete all sections of the form. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
  • Include a personal statement in the application that outlines your calculation of financial need (to support the amount requested), resulting from COVID-19.
  • Attach all relevant supporting documentation such as receipts for rent, proof of loss of employment (e.g. letter/email from employer or Record of Employment) and two recent pay stubs.
Important: York University will ONLY issue your Emergency Bursary through Electronic Funds Transfer (direct deposit). If you have not already provided the University with your banking information, you must provide it here: https://sfs.yorku.ca/refunds/request, before submitting your application for emergency funds.

Incomplete Applications

Students who submit incomplete applications (e.g. missing supporting documentation) will be denied bursary support). These students can reapply, but students should note that York processes all applications in date order; and students who resubmit an application are considered to have submitted a “new application” and will be processed accordingly.

Processing Times and Receipt of Funds

Please allow five to ten (5 to 10) business days for your bursary application to be assessed by York University, and an additional five to seven (5 to 7) business days for the funds to be received by your banking institution from York University (EFT/Direct Deposit transfer).

Other Financial Support

Emergency Travel Disruption Bursary

You can also apply for the Emergency Travel Disruption Bursary if you are:

  • an undergraduate or graduate international student who is currently enrolled in the Fall/Winter 2019-2020 academic session; or
  • an undergraduate or graduate (domestic or international) student who is currently on an international study program (i.e. exchanges, coops, placements etc.) at a partner university or institution;
  • and

  • you have incurred unexpected travel costs such as flight change fees or additional housing costs due to travel restrictions, border control changes, etc. during COVID-19 during the period March 1 – April 30, 2020.

Federal and provincial government assistance

Both the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario have made emergency bursary funding available to individuals with COVID-19 related financial needs.