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Student Financial Assistance (SFA) Emergency Bursary

The Student Financial Assistance (SFA) emergency bursary is for students going through an unforeseen financial crisis. It is a one-time award presented to a student that is currently enrolled in a domestic undergraduate, continuing education or law program.

The financial crisis must be:

  • An unexpected circumstance or emergency
  • Impacts a student in a material manner
  • Affects a student's success in completing their semester

The SFA emergency bursary is only available in the fall and winter semesters. It is not available in the spring or summer semester.

Typically, the SFA emergency bursary becomes available during, or the week after, Study Week. Once available, it can be found on the Toronto Metropolitan University's (TMU) scholarship platform, AwardSpring (external link) Please apply with your AwardSpring profile during the specified time. Deadline dates vary by school year and semester. To confirm deadline dates, refer to your AwardSpring profile once the emergency bursary becomes available.

Emergency Bursary

The SFA emergency bursary is not meant to address funding shortfalls where government financial aid (OSAP, out-of-province funding, government social assistance, savings, or employment income) is insufficient to cover educational expenses. Should students obtain the bursary, it should not be relied on as a main source of income. This award can only be received once. 

The SFA emergency bursary may not fund a student’s entire unmet financial need. To be eligible to apply for the SFA emergency bursary, a student must:

  • Provide appropriate documentation to support the emergency situation that has occurred. This can include, but is not limited to, police reports, emails, banking documents, invoices/receipts, etc.
  • Demonstrate that they have depleted all other financial resources. This includes government student aid such as OSAP or out-of-province student aid, employment income (EI) or an equivalent government aid program, insurance benefits, and personal financial resources.
  • Be officially registered in a program of study at TMU.
  • Have a clear academic standing.
  • Have a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 1.67 or higher.
  • Meet with a SFA Advisor via a virtual one-on-one Google Meet appointment. Appointments can be booked by emailing (opens in new window) , or by contacting the ServiceHub.

Students will not be considered for the SFA emergency bursary if:

  • They have declined to receive available loan funding via government student aid.
  • They have received another emergency bursary from TMU. This is a one-time award.

Note: An application to the SFA emergency bursary does not guarantee that students will be a successful recipient.

For more support, we encourage students to check out Additional Resources.

Please note that while the steps are still accurate, the screenshots are now outdated. New images will be available in October 2023.

Applications for the SFA emergency bursary are completed through AwardSpring (external link, opens in new window) .

Please note that an application to the SFA emergency bursary is a request, not a guarantee. Before you apply, you must meet with a SFA advisor. Once submitted, your application is assessed by a committee.

Applications are assessed within two to four business days after submission. Once reviewed, you will receive an update emailed to your TMU email address. 

To successfully apply for the SFA emergency bursary, refer to the instructions below:

  1. If you have not already done so, create a profile on AwardSpring (external link, opens in new window) . Be sure to select that you wish to be considered for awards, scholarships, and bursaries that require a demonstration of financial need. An example of this is highlighted below:

    A screen in AwardSpring asking you to confirm if you would like to be considered for awards, scholarships and bursaries. The second question asks you to indicate if you are a current TMU student or an applicant.
  2. Follow the instructions on AwardSpring to apply for the emergency bursary. This is a one-time award. Late applications will not be considered.

    Example screen of what you see when you click on the emergency bursary complete follow-up button.

If you are having any issues with the AwardSpring platform, please contact the Student Awards and Scholarships Office by email at To ensure your email is answered in a timely manner, please make your email subject line "SFA Emergency Bursary Application Issue."

Students cannot choose how to receive their bursary; this is determined by the bursary committee. Eligible SFA emergency bursary recipients may receive their funds directly from their student account (MyServiceHub) or from an external electronic payment tool (PayMyTuition). The specific funding disbursement method will be outlined in the decision email sent to the student’s TMU email. All applicants to the SFA emergency bursary will receive a decision email.

Funding timelines depend on the disbursement method:

  • To the student account (MyServiceHub): Funds are processed and posted to the student account within five business days from the date of the email decision.
  • To PayMyTuition: Funds must first be processed and sent to the external vendor, PayMyTuition. The vendor must then process the funds. Once processed, instructions on how to set up an Interac e-transfer to accept the funds will be sent from (opens in new window)  to the student’s TMU email within 10-15 business days from the date of the email decision. Pay attention to an email from PayMyTuition. For detailed instructions with screenshots, refer to the Domestic e-Transfer Refunds via PayMyTuition.
  • The SFA emergency bursary is exempt as study period income. A student’s OSAP will not be impacted if they are a successful bursary recipient.
  • If you (the student) is a successful recipient of the SFA emergency bursary, please do not report it on your OSAP application. Our SFA team reports all awards, scholarships, and bursaries from TMU onto your OSAP application.
  • Recipients of the SFA emergency bursary will reduce their available funding from the Student Access Guarantee (SAG). The bursary committee also has the right to decline a recipient if their SAG obligation is not met.

We recognize that financial challenges sometimes come with other personal struggles. Below are a number of resources to support you and your well-being:

  • Career Boost: The institution’s award-winning student employment program, Career Boost, offers paid jobs to eligible students.
  • Financial Literacy (FinLit) (opens in new window) : An online guide that provides a general overview of financial literacy, including reading materials, videos and personal finance workshops available at the University.
  • The Good Food Centre (external link, opens in new window) : They offer hunger relief to help you through a difficult period.
  • Development and Counselling: Counsellors can meet with you one-on-one to discuss a wide variety of personal concerns or crisis situations.
  • Study Skills and Transition Support: Could your study skills use some work? Learn new strategies and tools including specialized support for writing, math and English.
  • Academic Accommodation Support: Accommodations are available for temporary or permanent disabilities including assistive technology, academic arrangements, financial assistance and more.
  • Student Wellbeing: If you’re looking for help making healthy lifestyle changes, check out the many programs, resources and services to help you thrive.
  • Subsidized Electricity: If you are from a low-income household, you may be eligible for additional financial assistance through one or more publicly-funded programs, such as the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP), the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), and the Energy Affordability Program (EAP).
  • Canada Learning Bond: The Canada Learning Bond is money that the government adds to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for children from low-income families.

The SFA emergency bursary is a one-time award for currently enrolled, domestic undergraduate, continuing education, and law students who encounter an unforeseen financial crisis. The financial crisis should be an unexpected circumstance/emergency, which could not have been planned. This financial crisis must result in a verifiable need that has a direct material impact on a student’s ability to successfully complete their semester. Students must be active in their course(s) at the time the unforeseen financial crisis occurred.

It is not meant to address funding shortfalls where government financial aid (OSAP or out-of-province funding), government social assistance, savings, or employment income is insufficient to cover educational expenses. Should students obtain a bursary, it should not be relied on as a consistent source of income.

The SFA emergency bursary is not guaranteed to every applicant. Bursary applications are assessed individually by looking at each student’s unique financial situation and circumstances. It is expected that students exhaust all other forms of funding before seeking bursary assistance. For instance, if a student is eligible to receive a government loan, but declines it, this would undermine their eligibility to receive a bursary.

TMU believes that funding a student’s education is a shared responsibility, and thus, it is expected that students are able to contribute financially to their education.

Information submitted in bursary applications will be verified. The misrepresentation of information will result in the disqualification of your application, at minimum. Depending on the nature of the misrepresented information, further action may be taken.

Values Subject to Change

The availability and monetary values of bursaries are subject to change. The University reserves the right to change the amount disbursed for a given bursary in light of new information which was not available at the time of disbursement (e.g. change in course load, withdrawal from a program, new disbursement of a scholarship/award or government financial assistance, etc.)

SFA emergency bursary recipients are responsible for notifying the Student Awards and Scholarships Office (SASO) and SFA of any changes to their particular situation (i.e. students drop courses, OSAP funding comes through, situation is remedied prior to bursary assistance being granted, etc.).

Given the situational nature of bursary assistance, SASO and SFA reserve the right to reassess or adjust any funding granted, should the conditions under which the funds were granted change. Students will be contacted via their University email should their bursary amount be adjusted.

Request for Reconsideration and Discretion of the University

Every attempt has been made to be clear in the communication of the terms and conditions outlined in this document. In the event of any interpretive disputes, the University reserves the right to render a final determination on eligibility for bursary funding. Interpretation of information provided in bursary applications is solely at the discretion of the University.

Clarifying amendments to the terms and conditions for bursaries may be made by the University without notice.