Bursary for Students with Disabilities and the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment
The Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD) and the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment (CSG-PDSE) program, which is funded through the provincial and federal governments, assists students with a disability and financial need to meet their disability-related educational costs.
Students must have applied and be eligible for some assistance through one of the following financial aid programs: full-time OSAP, Part-time Canada Student Loans and Grants, or the Ontario Special Bursary.
If you have at least $1.00 of calculated financial need you are eligible for the bursary which can be used to cover disability-related educational expenses.
- Complete your financial aid application (for full-time OSAP, Part-time Canada Student Loans and Grants, or Ontario Special Bursary).
- Meet with your AccessAbility Services advisor and/or the Adaptive Educational Technologist to identify the specific disability-related services or equipment you require.
- Work with the advisor to complete an application which is submitted to Student Awards and Financial Aid. There are timelines for the application. It must be submitted no later than 90 days before the end of the study period.
- The application will be reviewed by Student Awards and Financial Aid to ensure eligibility. Please note: You cannot have outstanding bursary receipts from previous terms, or be in an overpayment position with OSAP.
- You will receive an e-mail from Student Awards and Financial Aid with a decision outlining the amount of the award and the timeline in which the cheque will be mailed.
- The bursary funds will be forwarded to your mailing address (as per your Quest account) and you should receive it within approximately 15 days from the receipt of the approval e-mail.
- You must make all purchases for approved services and equipment within your OSAP study period. You can find the official start and end date at https://uwaterloo.ca/quest/undergraduate-students/important-dates.
Please note that you are not required to accept OSAP loan funding in order to be eligible for the BSWD and/or CSG-PDSE.
Dropping Courses or Withdrawing From Studies
If you drop courses or withdraw from studies, your eligibility under the BSWD program may change. Do not continue to use any unused BSWD funds. Contact Student Awards and Financial Aid immediately.
Submission of Receipts
You must submit receipt(s) for the education-related costs covered by the bursary to the Student Awards and Financial Aid Office as soon as possible. For purchase of equipment it is no later than 30 days after funding is issued. For purchase of services it is no later than 30 days after you study period end date.
Please note that if you do not provide the receipts, you may not be entitled to further funding through this program and/or OSAP and that any funds that are released to you will be considered an overpayment.
DisabilityAwards.ca is a portal to awards and scholarships for students with disabilities studying at Canada's colleges and universities. It is an extensive database of scholarships, bursaries and grants you may be specifically eligible to access for funding.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to take the OSAP loans to be eligible for the bursary?
No. You are not required to claim the OSAP loans to be eligible for this bursary.
Is there a limit on the amount of funds that I can receive from the BSWD each year?
The limit per academic year is $10,000. The bursary is made up of two government funding components: federal ($8,000) and provincial ($2,000). Some expenses are only eligible under the provincial portion.
Can I apply every year?
Yes, if you apply and qualify for financial aid every year.
When will my application be processed and approximately how long will it take for me to receive confirmation of approval of my BSWD application?
If you meet all eligibility requirements and all supporting documentation is received, the application will take approximately 5-10 days to process.
When and how will I receive the BSWD funds?
Students will receive an acknowledgement e-mail detailing the amount approved for services/equipment. The bursary funds will be forwarded to your mailing address (as per your Quest account) and you should receive it within approximately 15 days from the receipt of the acknowledgement e-mail.
My parents/spouse medical plan covers some of my disability-related expenses; can I receive the unsupported amount from the BSWD?
Yes, it is possible to receive the unsupported funding through the bursary for expenses not covered by the medical plan.
I did not use all of the funds from the BSWD; how and where do I return the funds?
PAYMENT OF UNUSED BURSARY FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES’ FUNDING (EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2009)
PAYING VIA CERTIFIED CHEQUE, MONEY ORDER OR BANK DRAFT
- Payment may be made by certified cheque, money order or bank draft payable to University of Waterloo. Please include your student number and name on the certified cheque/money order/bank draft.
- Payments should be sent to:
Student Awards & Financial Aid
University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1 Canada
PAYING VIA BANK PAYMENT (ONLINE, TELEPHONE OR AT YOUR BANK)
- To pay your fees at a Canadian bank or via online or telephone banking, set up the University of Waterloo as a “bill payment” and use your student ID # as the “account number”. Bank payments take 2 - 4 days to appear on student accounts. Please forward a copy of your transfer of funds receipt to Student Awards & Financial Aid for processing.
I didn’t use all of the approved BSWD funds for specific equipment or services; can I use the unused BSWD funds for something else?
No, you cannot use the funds for any other purchases: funds must be used for approved services/equipment only.
Can I spend more on items than what was originally approved on my BSWD application?
Expenses that exceed the approved amounts, or purchases made that were not approved, are the student’s responsibility to pay.
I didn't use all of the approved BSWD funds for tutoring for a specific course; can I use those funds for additional tutoring in another course?
You should see your AccessAbility Services advisor to discuss the situation and Student Awards and Financial Aid will be contacted.
Does this bursary amount affect my OSAP award?
No, it does not affect your OSAP award.