GSA Emergency Bursaries

The GSA Emergency Bursary is a non-repayable bursary for graduate students at the University of Alberta who need assistance due to an unanticipated emergency.

Student Connect works individually with graduate students to determine eligibility for this funding. Applications must be submitted to Student Connect, not the GSA. 

To apply for a GSA Emergency Bursary:

  • Read the GSA Policy and eligibility criteria below.
  • Contact Student Connect at (780) 492-3113 to make an appointment with an Emergency Aid Advisor.
  • Complete and submit the GSA Emergency Bursary online application BEFORE your appointment with the Emergency Aid Advisor. Click here to access the form.

Please take your ONEcard to your appointment.

GSA Policy, GSA Grant Application Policy and Information, GSA Emergency Bursaries (quoted directly from GSA Bylaw and Policy):

P.POL.4.1 Sponsor/Purpose
P.POL.4.1.a The GSSF is a benefit to all graduate students, provided by the GSA through negotiations of the CA covering graduate student assistantships. The GSA Emergency Bursary (GSA EB), provided through the GSSF, is a non-repayable bursary for graduate students at the University of Alberta who need assistance due to an unanticipated emergency.
P.POL.4.2 Eligibility Criteria
P.POL.4.2.a Must be a member of the GSA, as per Section B:Members, GSA Bylaw, Members, Section B.BYL.1.a and B.BYL.1.1.b.
P.POL.4.2.b An applicant cannot have received a GSA EB in the past fiscal year (1 April – 31 March).
P.POL.4.2.c Applicants must have exhausted all other available funding options before applying for a GSA EB.
P.POL.4.3 Application Information
P.POL.4.3.a GSA EBs are offered on an as-needed basis, provided funds are available.
P.POL.4.3.b If all available funds have been expended in the specified period, no additional applications will be accepted during that period.
P.POL.4.3.c Applicants are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of their application packages.
P.POL.4.4 Applying for a GSA EB
P.POL.4.4.a An applicant must apply through Student Connect and schedule a meeting with an Emergency Aid Advisor.
P.POL.4.4.b Applications are available through the GSA website.
P.POL.4.5 Allocation Policy
P.POL.4.5.a There is no limit to the number of GSA EB applications an individual can submit during their degree program. There is a maximum of one (1) GSA EB per fiscal year (1 April – 31 March).
P.POL.4.5.b The maximum amount that will be awarded to an individual for a GSA EB is $2,000.
P.POL.4.5.c GSA EBs are reviewed and recommended to the GSA by the Student Financial Support (SFS), Office of the Registrar.
P.POL.4.5.d Dental costs will not be funded if the applicant has opted out of the GSA Health and Dental Plan.
P.POL.4.5.e Under exceptional circumstances and upon the recommendation of SFS, the President (or delegate) may agree to waive the maximum allocation policies or other eligibility criteria.
P.POL.4.6 Appeals Policy
P.POL.4.6.a Any appeals of denied applications must be received by the GSA within ten (10) working days.
P.POL.4.6.b Appeals must state the grounds for the appeal in writing.
P.POL.4.6.c Appeals will be reviewed at arm’s length by the VPSS (or designate) and two (2) GSA Councillors (including Speaker and CRO) selected by the President (or other DEO if there is a conflict of interest). All decisions are final and binding. Appeal decisions will normally be made within twenty (20) working days.
P.POL.4.7 Budget Allocation Policy
P.POL.4.7.a Funds will normally be distributed as follows:
P.POL.4.7.a.i 5% of the total annual GSA EB budget will be held back as contingency funding and
P.POL.4.7.a.ii If the funds have not been completely expended near the end of the fiscal year, a decision will be made by the GSAB on the best way to expend the funds.
P.POL.4.8 Office Procedures
P.POL.4.8.a Applications will be reviewed by the GSA office for eligibility and completeness (Sections P.POL.4.2-4.5, above) using the following checklist:
P.POL.4.8.a.i The application information is complete and required documentation has been submitted or confirmed and
P.POL.4.8.a.ii The criteria in the Allocation Policy (Section P.POL.4.5, above) have been met.
P.POL.4.8.b All applications and recommendations from SFS will be reviewed by the VPSS (or designate).
P.POL.4.8.c SFS will contact GSA EB recipients via email when a cheque is available for pick up at the GSA office.
P.POL.4.9 Interpretation of GSA EB Policy
P.POL.4.9.a The GSAB will be consulted about any concerns and questions raised by the GSA office about interpretation of GSA EB Policy. The GSAB’s decision is final and binding.
P.POL.4.10 Changes to GSA EB Policy
P.POL.4.10.a GSA EB policy is subject to GSA Council approval and cannot be changed without GSA Council’s approval, excluding editorial revisions/clarifications.

The above is an excerpt from GSA Bylaw and Policy, Section P: GSA Grants, Awards, and Bursaries, GSA Policy, GSA Grant Application Policy and Information, GSA Emergency Bursaries. The full Policy can be found in GSA Bylaw and Policy; if there are any discrepancies between the above excerpt and the most current, GSA Council-approved Policy, the Policy referred to in the above link will take precedence.

If you have any questions about GSA Emergency Bursary Policy, please call the GSA office at (780) 492-2175 or email