UBC Bursary Program

About the bursary

The UBC Bursary program is designed to help fill the gap between your assessed educational and living costs, and your available government assistance and expected financial contributions.

The bursary program follows the framework set out by StudentAid BC to provide eligible domestic students access to the financial resources they need to meet their needs. 

UBC’s Common Assessment Mechanism

The bursary application collects information such as family income and size to ensure that the greatest possible number of students receive financial support.

Being eligible for a bursary does not guarantee that you will receive the full amount of funding to cover all costs.

How we determine funding amounts

A defined set of criteria is followed to determine the amount of funding you can receive.

For most programs, the following is used to determine your funding amount:

  • Your individual student loan needs assessment, which is determined by your provincial lender
  • Your program's eligibility for UBC Bursary funding
  • Your family size and prior year’s total family income

Read below for the exceptions specified for certain programs.

For JD, DMD, MD, PHRMD, and BEd (11-month program)

  • The unmet financial need of other students
  • The total number of bursary applicants for your program
  • Available funding from departments/faculties specifically allocated to your program

For Designated Graduate programs

  • Your department or faculty will provide bursary funding if you are in designated graduate programs 
  • Eligibility and bursary amounts depend on funds your department/faculty can provide

For all other programs

  • Your individual student loan needs assessment, which is determined by your provincial lender
  • Your program's eligibility for UBC Bursary funding
  • Your family size and prior year’s total family income

Eligibility requirements

  • You must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or have refugee status,

  • You must be enrolled in an eligible program with a full-time course load,

  • You must apply for the bursary by the deadline,

  • You must be receiving full-time Canadian government student loans for a study period that is a minimum of 12 consecutive weeks in length and matches the period for which you’re applying for bursary support,

  • You must have received confirmation of enrolment for your Canadian government student loan by the bursary deadline, and

  • You must have an assessed unmet financial need using UBC’s Common Assessment Mechanism, which is based on StudentAid BC policies.

Programs that are not eligible for the bursary: Certificate, Diploma, Unclassified, Qualifying, Visiting, Access Studies, and UBC Co-op

UBC Bursary applications are subject to verification. See UBC Bursary Verifications below for more details. 

UBC Access Promise for eligible BC students

The UBC Access Promise program automatically assesses bursary funding for eligible British Columbia students meeting the program criteria below. All eligible students are encouraged to submit an application to ensure maximum funding support.

Students who were eligible as Access Promise in one session may not automatically qualify as Access Promise students in subsequent or future session(s).

Access Promise student criteria

  • You must meet UBC Bursary Program criteria,
  • You must be registered in any undergraduate degree program at UBC Vancouver campus, except for JD, MD, PHRMD, DMD, and BEd 11MO,
  • You must have received the maximum Canada Student Grant for Full-Time Students,
  • Have received a full-time student loan through StudentAid BCand
  • You must be classified by StudentAid BC as a Dependent student who is considered to be dependent on a financial sponsor, such as parent(s), or self-identify as an indigenous person.

Application deadlines

There are two bursary application periods, winter and summer.

August 15, 2021

Winter applications for 2021/22 open

September 17, 2021
11:59 pm PST

Winter applications for 2021/22 close

April 29, 2022

Summer applications for 2022 open 

June 1, 2022
11:59 pm PST

Summer Applications for 2022  close 

Applying for your student loan

Your enrolment must be confirmed with your provincial loan provider before the bursary application deadlines above to be eligible for UBC bursaries.

When to apply for your loan

To meet the bursary deadline, you are strongly encouraged to apply for your provincial student loan by the following dates:

  • For Winter bursary applications: July 31 

  • For Summer bursary applications: April 15  

    How to apply for the UBC Bursary program

    1. Log in to the Student Service Centre (SSC)
    2. Make sure your contact information is up to date by   selecting “Contact summary” under Personal info.

    3. Select "Apply to UBC Bursary" under Finance.

    4. All applicants are notified of their bursary application outcome via email. If you have received a bursary, you will be notified by email with instructions on how to accept your offer. Bursary offers not accepted within the study period will be cancelled.

    Information in the application is collected under the authority of section 26(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

    If there are changes to your financial situation

    If you are facing unexpected financial distress or have had a significant change to your financial situation, contact an Enrolment Services Advisor. They can help you navigate these changes and connect you to relevant support.

    If you have been awarded a bursary and have recently come into additional resources not reported on your bursary application, you must report this to your Enrolment Services Advisor

    UBC Bursary Verifications

    All UBC bursary support is subject to financial reviews and verifications.

    Failure to provide the requested documents in a timely manner may result in the delay or cancellation of your UBC bursary funding, and/or a reassessment of your application.

    Keep all relevant receipts and documents for 18 months after you apply. Information provided on your bursary application can be verified before and after the bursary decision, and up to 18 months after you receive your funding.

    If your application is selected for verification

    If your application is selected for verification, you may be asked to provide additional supporting documents, such as: 

    • Housing documentation: rental agreement and proof of payment.
    • Bank statements: Statements for the student, parent, and/or dependents.
    • Notice of Assessment: Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment for the most recently available tax year (including line 150).
    • Proof of address: For student and family members living in same household.

    Cash receipts will not be accepted as proof of payment.

    If you're claiming child care expenses in your bursary application

    Before applying for bursary support

    • You must apply for government funding before applying for bursary support.
    • You may be asked to submit a confirmation letter from the BC Child Care Service Centre indicating Affordable Child Care Benefits (ACCB) eligibility/ineligibility
    • You may be eligible for the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative without an application.
    • You need to submit an application for the Affordable Child Care Benefit every year. The BC Child Care Service Centre estimates that it takes 10 business days to process an electronic application. Please ensure that you apply early to allow time for your application to be processed before the start of the academic year. 

    Supporting documentation

    You may be asked to submit proof of expenses such as:

    • A letter from child care service providers.
    • Proof of payment to child care service providers.
    • Confirmation of child care benefits from BC Child Care Service Centre.

    Other financial support programs


    I haven't applied for my student loan yet. Can I submit a bursary application?

    Yes. You can apply for the UBC Bursary Program before your loan application is complete. However, UBC will need to confirm your enrolment by the bursary deadline.

    I have loans from a province other than BC. How do I ensure my bursary eligibility?

    If you are receiving a student loan through Quebec, Northwest Territories, or Nunavut Student Financial Assistance you will be required to upload your Notice of Assessment before your bursary application can be assessed. 

    Students receiving student loans from other provinces will need to make sure their loan has been confirmed by the bursary deadline, but are not required to upload their Notice of Assessment.

    Are there any programs at UBC that aren't eligible for bursary support?

    The following student categories are not eligible for bursary funding

    • All Non-Degree Studies student categories (Certificate, Diploma, Unclassified Qualifying, Visiting, and Access Studies)
    • Students enrolled in a UBC Co-op term 

    Am I eligible for bursary support during my Co-op term?

    Students enrolled in an approved UBC Co-op term are not eligible for bursary funding during their Co-op term(s). 

    Students who have received bursary funds before Co-op registration has been added for the current study period will have their bursary reassessed accordingly and funds will be recovered.

    Am I eligible for bursary support if my loan starts in January?

    Yes, UBC offers a bursary only for Winter Term 2 which is open from December 15 to January 15 (if it falls on a weekend the deadline will be the next working day) for students with full-time Canadian government student loans starting in Winter Term 2 (January). Loans must be confirmed by January 15 to be considered for bursary eligibility. Students are encouraged to apply for their term 2 loans by November 15th.

    Is there any bursary support for high-cost professional degree programs?

    Graduate programs designated as professional programs are eligible for faculty-funded or donor-funded bursaries specifically identified to their particular program. Faculty-funded bursaries are subject to faculty budget approval, and therefore, are not guaranteed. All graduate students who wish to be considered for bursary support must submit a bursary application through the Student Service Centre (SSC) by the deadline.

    How will my bursary funds be issued?

    Bursaries issued by the University are applied first toward tuition and student fees. When the amount of the bursary is greater than the outstanding fees in any term:

    • If the student has provided banking information in the Student Service Center (SSC), the surplus funds are paid to the student through direct deposit to the student's bank account, normally within 3-5 business days of the payment being issued.
    • If banking information has not been provided, any remaining funds will be deposited back to the student's tuition account as a credit toward future study.

    Students are required to sign up for direct deposit to ensure timely access to bursary funds.

    What happens if I forget to accept my bursary offer?

    Students are required to accept their bursary offer as soon as possible and no later than the last day of the study period they applied for funding. Students who do not accept their bursary within their loan study period will have their bursary cancelled.

    Is my bursary confidential?

    For the purpose of maintaining donor relations and informing the donor about the impact of their generosity, UBC, UBC may disclose to award donors:

    • Your name,
    • Contact information (mailing address, telephone number and email address), and
    • Your year and program of study, and other information relevant to the requirements of the award.

    Information about your award may also be shared with University faculty and staff on a “need to know” basis but it will otherwise be kept confidential to the extent authorized by law.

    If you have questions

    If you're an undergraduate student, please contact your Enrolment Services Advisor directly. To find your advisor’s contact information, log into your Student Services Centre (SSC) and select “UBC Contacts” under Personal Info.  

    Graduate, postgraduate, and all other students can contact an Enrolment Services Advisor by calling 604 822 9836 or submitting your question through the online form.