If you are expecting a Waterloo award as indicated by your department at the time of admission, or have subsequently been advised of further support, the Department/Faculty must initiate a request to Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) before your award can be processed.

Graduate awards payments

If awards have been processed through GSPA they can be viewed in the Finances - Account Summary and/or the Financial Aid - View My Financial Aid on the Quest website.

The GSPA begins disbursing award payments the first Wednesday or Friday of each term (Spring Term - May 1, Fall Term - September 1 and Winter Term - January 1) and continues every Wednesday and Friday for 3 weeks. After the 3rd week, disbursements continue weekly on Fridays.

  • Scholarships and bursaries paid through Waterloo are first applied to the student tuition accounts, providing the student has the registered status “Fees Arranged” on Quest. Instructions on how to do this can be found on the Student Financial Services website.
  • Only amounts exceeding fees will be refunded. See Finance's web site for information on Refunds for Scholarships, Bursaries & Awards.

Awards terms and regulations for payment

  • Waterloo awards are tenable only for full-time study for the assigned academic term and graduate program held at the University of Waterloo.
  • change of enrolment status (Graduate Studies forms website) to part-time or inactive, or for a program completion or withdrawal will require repayment of the award. Repayment amounts are calculated based on the University of Waterloo's tuition refund policy (see Calendar of Events and Academic Deadlines). Any change in enrolment must be reported to the GSPA.
  • Some awards have specific immigration status conditions. Any change in immigration status must be reported to the GSPA by submission of appropriate documentation.
  • Recipients will be issued the appropriate T4A forms by the University in February each year.
  • If you are applying for government assistance (e.g., OSAP), you must report any scholarships as income as it could reduce your aid entitlement.
  • Receipt of certain major internal or external awards may result in an adjustment of your department funding package. Please contact your department graduate co-ordinator to discuss the possible impact.

See the Graduate Studies Calendar - Fees Section for further information on fees, degree completion/withdrawals/refunds, and promissory notes, etc.

Note: Financial Aid for Graduate Students is updated daily throughout the term. Please check your Quest account periodically for updated information.

    Graduate Teaching Assistantships (TA) and Graduate Research Assistantships (RA)

    Graduate Teaching Assistantships (TA) and Graduate Research Assistantships (RA) and sessional teaching appointments at the University of Waterloo are considered employment income and are subject to statutory deductions (Human Resources website) for income tax, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions and Employment Insurance (EI) premiums.

    Payments are processed by the Human Resources Payroll department and are made by direct deposit to the student's bank account on the last Friday of each month. Annual earnings are reported on a T4 slip. RA, TA and sessional income can be automatically redirected to your student account to pay student fees. This can be arranged by completing a Promissory Note as instructed on the Student Financial Services website.

    Some Faculties couple a Graduate Experience Award (GEA) with a TA.  Normally, the award is one-half the value of the TA. Students should check with their Graduate Department Coordinator to find out if they will also receive a GEA in conjunction with their TA.

    If a student receives a GEA, the payment is processed through Quest from Departmental nominations and are made by direct deposit to the student’s bank account or by cheque to the current mailing address indicated in Quest. Annual awards are reported on a T4A slip.