Supplementary Bursary

The Supplementary Bursary program provides funds for students who demonstrate a financial shortfall for the current school year's academic and basic living costs. Bursaries, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid. To be eligible for bursary funding, you must be able to demonstrate financial need for the current academic year after exhausting all available funding resources and meeting the academic and enrollment requirements.

Funding for the Supplementary Bursary program is provided by donors, the Students' Union Access Fund, and the University of Alberta.

Apply for Supplementary Bursary 

What are the eligibility requirements?
  • You must be an undergraduate or graduate student currently attending classes at the University of Alberta at the time of your application.
  • You must be in satisfactory academic standing or greater based on your most recent term grades.
  • Graduate students: You must be registered for full-time studies in either the Fall or Winter term at minimum; if you are not enrolled full-time in any term, you will not be eligible.
  • Domestic students: You must apply for and accept the maximum available government student loans for which you are eligible (exceptions for students providing documentation of First Nations, Métis, or Inuit identity may apply).
  • International students: It is expected that all international students have sufficient funding support based on the Government of Canada Study Permit requirements; if you apply to the Supplementary Bursary program as an international student, you are required to provide documentation of the original financial plan for your entire study time period and what has unexpectedly changed. Note that international students in their first year of studies are not eligible to apply for this program.
  • Your application must demonstrate a financial shortfall for academic and basic living costs for the academic year in which you are currently enrolled.
How do I apply?

Before submitting, please review the Supplementary Bursary Application Guide for tips on ensuring all requirements are met for submitting a complete application.

The application will be open from October 1st to July 15th each academic year, contingent on available funding. Students can apply at any time during the academic year as long as they show current and active registration. Any questions about the application can be sent to

Bursary applications for the 2021-2022 academic year (Sep 2021 - Aug 2022) are now open. Application deadlines are as follows:

  • Dec 15, 2021: Fall 2021 enrollment only
  • April 30, 2022: Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 enrollment
  • June 30, 2022: Spring 2022 enrollment
  • July 15, 2022: Summer 2022 enrollment

Review the Eligibility requirements section to determine when to submit an application. 

How much funding could I receive?

Annual bursary maximum values are variable and differ based on full-time or part-time enrollment status. Bursary funding maximums are evaluated on an individual student basis and based on need associated with an educational program and basic living costs for the current academic school year. Eligibility for a bursary does not guarantee that you will receive the full amount of funding to cover all costs.

Note for undergraduate students: The Access Fund Bursary is included as part of the annual bursary maximum value for undergraduate students. If you have opted out of the Students' Union Access Fund fee for the current year, your bursary award amount will be reduced by the current year Access Fund bursary maximum amount.

How long does it take to find out the status of my application?
Depending on applicant volumes, notification of the results of your bursary application will be approximately 4-8 weeks from the time of your most recent application submission date. Notifications of the progress of your bursary application will be sent to your University of Alberta email address and posted to your application dashboard in the Application for Financial Support system.
How do I receive the money?

If you receive a bursary offer, you will need to accept your offer in Bear Tracks and indicate your preferred method of payment receipt. Note that there is a deadline to accept your bursary offer, after which time it will be revoked. Acceptance deadlines vary, so please read your offer carefully.

Bursary offers will first be applied to any outstanding tuition or fees you have for the current or any previous academic terms. If you have an Emergency Loan balance with our office, funds will also be applied to repay this loan. Any remaining funds will be transferred to you by direct deposit. Please ensure both your direct deposit banking information and home (mailing) address in Bear Tracks are accurate and active.

To set up your direct deposit information in Bear Tracks, navigate to Financial Account > Direct Deposit Refund. An active mailing address is required for direct deposit refund processing. If you are an International student and cannot set up a bank account at a Canadian bank because you are currently not living in Canada, your refund will be held until you can set up a bank account and update your direct deposit information. If no direct deposit banking information is entered on your student account, you will not receive your refund. A cheque will not be issued. Please email with any questions.

How do I request a reassessment?

Requests for a reassessment will be considered only if there is new financial information or extenuating circumstances not included on your original bursary application.

To request a reassessment, email using the subject "Request for Bursary Reassessment." Include a letter outlining the change in your circumstances. Your change in circumstances will be reviewed by an advisor, who will contact you if additional supporting documentation is required.

Do I need to notify my government student loan provider?

Alberta Student Loan Recipients: You are not required to notify Alberta Student Aid of any bursary awards you receive.

Out-of-Province Student Loan Recipients: If you hold out-of-province government student loans for the current year, you must notify your provincial student loan provider to declare a change of income. When declaring your change of income, describe your bursary as "scholarship income." For more information or assistance, please contact the Student Service Centre.

What other bursary funding is available?

Other types of bursaries are also available from faculties and other sources on campus:

What bursaries are part of the Supplementary Bursary program?
The Supplementary Bursary program is made possible in part by the generosity and commitment of donors. Review the Bursaries by Faculty pages for lists of bursaries available.

Bursary 101 Videos