GSA Emergency Bursaries

If you are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19, you are encouraged to assess your eligibility for federal support and also to contact the  Student Service Centre, as the GSA has made additional supplementary funding for graduate students available through this office.

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.

The Student Service Centre works individually with graduate students to determine eligibility for this funding. Applications must be submitted to the Student Service Centre, not the GSA. For inquiries about eligibility, please contact

To apply for a GSA Emergency Bursary:

  1. Read the GSA Policy and eligibility criteria below.
  2. Visit the Student Service Centre   GSA Emergency Bursary webpage to confirm your eligibility and access the online application.


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

P.POL.4.1 Purpose
P.POL.4.1.a The GSA Emergency Bursary (GSA EB) is funded by the Graduate Student Support Fund, a GSA-negotiated benefit to all GSA members.
P.POL.4.1.b The GSA EB is a non-repayable bursary for GSA members who need assistance due to an unanticipated emergency.
P.POL.4.1.c GSA EBs are reviewed and recommended to the GSA by financial aid advisors in the Student Service Centre (SSC), Office of the Registrar.
P.POL.4.2 Eligibility
P.POL.4.2.a Applicants must be GSA members as per GSA Bylaw and Policy, Sections B.BYL.1.a and B.BYL.1.1.b.
P.POL.4.2.b Applicants must have exhausted all other available funding options before applying for a GSA EB.
P.POL.4.2.c Dental costs will not be funded if the applicant has opted out of the GSA Health and Dental Plan.
P.POL.4.2.d There is no limit to the number of GSA EB applications a GSA member can submit during their degree program. There is a maximum of one (1) GSA EB per fiscal year.
P.POL.4.3 Allocation
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 The maximum amount that will be awarded to a GSA member for a GSA EB is $4,000.
P.POL.4.3.d Under exceptional circumstances and upon the recommendation of SSC financial aid advisors, the President (or delegate) may agree to waive the maximum allocation policies or other eligibility criteria.
P.POL.4.4 Applications
P.POL.4.4.a An applicant must apply through SSC.
P.POL.4.4.b Applications can be accessed through the GSA website.
P.POL.4.4.c Applicants are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of their applications.
P.POL.4.5 Procedures
P.POL.4.5.a Funds will normally be distributed as follows:
P.POL.4.5.a.i 5% of the total annual GSA EB budget will be held back as contingency funding and
P.POL.4.5.a.ii If the funds have not been completely expended near the end of the fiscal year, a decision will be made by the GSA Board on the best way to expend the funds.
P.POL.4.5.b Under delegated authority from the Vice-President Student Services (VPSS), applications will be reviewed and processed by the GSA office.
P.POL.4.5.c Questions concerning the interpretation of GSA EB Policy will be decided upon by the VPSS.
P.POL.4.5.d SSC financial aid advisors will contact GSA EB recipients via email when a cheque is available for pick up at the GSA office.
P.POL.4.6 Appeals
P.POL.4.6.a Any appeals of denied applications must be received by the VPSS, with a copy to the Executive Director (or delegate) within ten (10) working days from the date on which the denial of the application was issued.
P.POL.4.6.b Appeals must state the grounds for the appeal in writing.
P.POL.4.6.c Appeals will be heard based on the material submitted by the applicant and any associated response concerning the denial of the application.
P.POL.4.6.d Appeals will be heard by a Directly-Elected Officer (DEO), excluding the VPSS, and two (2) GSA Councillors or GSA Council-Elected Officers selected by the President (or other DEO if there is a conflict of interest).
P.POL.4.6.e Appeal decisions will normally be made within twenty (20) working days of the receipt of an appeal.
P.POL.4.6.f All decisions concerning appeals are final and binding.

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