Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD)
The BSWD is a government bursary intended to help students with disabilities access disability-related costs incurred while participating in post-secondary education. In order to be considered for this bursary, students must have applied and be eligible for some type of OSAP assistance. Students must also have contacted and be registered with the Accessibility, Well-Being and Counselling office.
Your application must be received by Student Financial Services no later than 90 days before the end of your study period.
Eligibility and Funding Amounts
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 Ontario Special Bursary.
|If the student has…||Student has applied and is eligible for…||Eligible to apply for…|
|A permanent disability and 40% course load or more||F/T (OSAP) Canada Student Loan and/or Ontario Student Loan||$10,000 maximum|
|A permanent disability and 20% – 39% course load||P/T Canada Student Loan and/or Grant||$8,000 maximum|
|A temporary disability and 40% course load or more||F/T (OSAP) Canada Student Loan and/or Ontario Student Loan||$2,000 maximum|
|A temporary disability and 20% – 39% course load||P/T Canada Student Loan and/or Grant||$2,000 maximum|
|Temporary/Permanent disability||Ontario Special Bursary (OSBP)||$2,000 maximum|
- Before applying for the BSWD, you must apply for financial aid (for full-time OSAP, Part-time Canada Student Loans and Grants, or an Ontario Special Bursary).
- Once your financial aid application is completed, you can download the BSWD application from the OSAP Web site or pick it up at Accessibility, Well-Being and Counselling Services at Glendon Hall 111A.
- Complete the application with your disability counsellor who will identify the specific disability-related services or equipment to assist you.
- The application and any relevant documentation must be submitted to Student Financial Services in York Hall C138 for processing no later than 90 days before the end of the study period. For example, if the study period ends on April 30, the application and all relevant documentation must be submitted by January 30.
- Student Financial Services will review the application and make ensure that you are eligible and that funds can be released to you. Our office will check that you:
- are progressing well through your program of studies;
- have no outstanding disability bursary overpayment or OSAP overpayment;
- have no outstanding bursary receipts from a previous session;
- are not in default of previous OSAP programs;
- are not submitting duplicate requests for equipment or services.
- It usually takes three to four weeks to process the application and request the cheque.
- Once completed, an email will be sent to you outlining the amount of the award and the timeline in which the cheque will be mailed.
Requirements to Receive your BSWD Cheque
To receive your BSWD cheque in the mail you must:
- be a registered student in the course load that you applied for on the financial aid application);
- have picked-up your first OSAP Installment; and
- have started your classes.
Dropping Courses and Withdrawing from Studies
If you drop courses, change program, or withdraw from studies, your eligibility under the BSWD program will change – do not continue to use any unused BSWD funds, and contact Student Financial Services immediately.
When can the BSWD funds be used?
The bursary applies only to the specific academic session as indicated on the student’s bursary application. Funds are approved only for the items or services that were approved by the disability counsellor on the bursary application.
For a list of disability-related educational expenses eligible under this bursary, click here.
Note: Any unused portion of the bursary must be repaid and cannot be carried forward to another term. The cheque should be made payable to York University and must be submitted to Student Financial Services at York Hall C138.
Submission of Receipts
The Ministry requires that students submit receipts to Student Financial Services in York Hall C138 for paid disability-related educational expenses. Receipts submitted for services and equipment that were not listed on the application cannot be accepted. Receipts must be submitted with the following receipt forms. Any changes to the items on the application must be discussed with your disability counselor.
For one-time purchases such as hardware and software, receipts must be submitted immediately after purchase. Receipts for on-going expenses such as tutors, readers, note-takers should be submitted as services are provided. Please note that invoices, quotes and VISA statements are not acceptable proof of payment.
If receipts are not provided, the Ministry will consider that you have been over awarded, and you will not be eligible for any further assistance under any OSAP program until receipts are submitted or the overpayment is repaid.
Special Appeal for Full-time Students
If you applied through the full-time OSAP program, but did not receive any assistance because the calculated resources were higher than the allowable expenses, you may still qualify for BSWD support. Please see your disability counselor for further information.
Awards for Students with Disabilities
Students can apply for all York awards using one application- the Student Financial Profile (SFP). For more information on this application and steps to apply see our SFP page.
DisabilityAwards.ca is an online portal for scholarships and awards for students with disabilities studying in Canada’s colleges and universities.
NEADS (National Educational Association of Disabled Students) is dedicated to ensuring that educational institutions, federal, and provincial websites provide accessible information for students with disabilities. It offers an Online Resource Centre which includes a directory where students with disabilities can access information on scholarships, bursaries, awards, and government programs.