The Hub New emergency bursaries available

New emergency bursaries available

It hasn’t been an easy year for anyone, but we know the COVID-19 global pandemic has hit some of us harder than others.

Many people have had to make difficult financial decisions, reassess priorities, and put a number of different things in their life on hold. We know how many barriers Athabasca University (AU) learners overcome in pursuit of their education, and in these uncertain times, we don’t want a financial emergency to be one of them.

To help support the AU community, last June the university created an Emergency Relief Fund for learners who were coping with an urgent financial need due to the pandemic. Thanks to both AU’s Undergraduate Students’ Association (AUSU) and Graduate Students’ Association (AUGSA), our generous donor community, and some internal AU funds, AU was able to distribute 134 $1,000 emergency bursaries to support learners in need.

Now, recognizing the ongoing impact of the pandemic, AU has reopened the applications for the Emergency Relief Fund for learners in our community who continue to face financial burden due to the pandemic.

Bursary applications will open Feb. 19 at 8:30 a.m. and close Feb. 28 at 11:59 p.m., 2021 (MST). The fund will provide a $1,000 bursary to learners experiencing a financial emergency. All program students are encouraged to apply!

“We have heard from countless students about the hardships the pandemic has brought. We are glad that as a campus community at Athabasca University that we have been able to reach out and help where we can. AUSU would like to thank everyone at Athabasca University for making the emergency bursary fund available for students.”

– Stacey Hutchings, President, Athabasca University Students' Union (AUSU)

“These bursaries are so much more than the dollar amount. They are groceries for a young family, a course that can be taken rather than deferred, a new computer that actually works well during a video call and so on. They are a validation of the commitment to learning and a recognition of the extraordinary circumstances we are navigating.”

– Mary-Anne Parker, President, Athabasca University Graduate Students' Association (AUGSA)

If you would like to help support AU learners, please visit AU’s online donation form to make a donation. Together we can make a difference, and help transform a learner’s educational journey.

Frequently Asked Questions—Emergency Bursary Fund

When can I apply?

Applications will be accepted between Feb. 19 at 8:30 a.m. and close Feb. 28 at 11:59 p.m., 2021 (MST).

How do I apply?

Application forms will be available on the student awards website at:

Who is eligible?

An applicant must meet the following criteria to be eligible to apply for this bursary:

  • Be a current and active AU program student in an undergraduate or graduate program of study.
  • Must be actively registered in at least one AU course at the time of application.
  • Have completed a minimum of three AU credits.
  • Experienced an unexpected financial hardship due to a personal emergency.
  • Demonstration of financial emergency that has the potential to negatively affect their course work and/or progress in their AU program.
  • Submit the completed application to the Student Awards Unit, Office of the Registrar at AU.

If I applied for the last emergency bursary and did not receive one, can I reapply?

Yes, if you did not receive an emergency bursary you may reapply to be entered into the lottery.  

Is there a deadline?

Applications will be open between Feb. 19 at 8:30 a.m. and close Feb. 28 at 11:59 p.m.,2019 (MST).

Your application must be submitted before midnight Feb.28, 2021 (MST).

Only correctly formatted and successfully submitted applications will be accepted. Follow instructions provided on the Student Awards Website.

How will you decide who is successful?

You must complete the undergraduate or graduate application and submit via the student awards portal. If you meet the requirements listed above, your name will be entered into a lottery. We will distribute as many awards as we have funding to support.

I received an Emergency Bursary for the July 2020 round; can I apply and get another one?

No you can not. Students are eligible for one emergency bursary only.  

Do I have to provide my financial information?

No you do not. But, you will be asked to provide a brief explanation of your personal emergency and the potential it has to disrupt your studies at AU. This may be used in other communications.

How much is the bursary worth?

Each bursary is valued at $1000 CAD.

When will funding be distributed?

Payment will be made by cheque and mailed near the end of March 2021. The payment will be mailed to the address on your official student record. Please ensure we have your current address. To confirm or make changes, log in to MyAU.

How will I receive the bursary funds?

Payment will be made by cheque and mailed by the end of March 2021.

If I applied for any other government grants, can I still apply?

Yes, absolutely. We encourage you to apply for any funding you are eligible for. It will not impact your eligibility for this bursary.

If I am not successful, are there other student awards that I will automatically be considered for?

You will not be automatically considered for other awards, but we do encourage you to apply for any other student awards that you may be eligible for.

Will there be other opportunities to apply again for the bursary?

If additional funds become available, we will re-open an additional round of applications at a future date. You will need to reapply at that time.

Who funds the bursary?

These bursaries have been funded by Athabasca University, along with leadership gifts from Athabasca University Graduate Students’ Association (AUGSA), and the Athabasca University Students’ Union (AUSU). Additional support has been received from other community donors.

The bursaries are proportionally shared between undergraduate and graduate learners. 

Filed Under:
  • February 10, 2021