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Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD)

This bursary is supposed to be of aid for students with disabilities. The assistance you could receive are disability-related depending on your needs.

What is the purpose of this bursary?

The Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD) and the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities (CSG-PDSE) supports students through full time or part time post secondary courses. The bursary helps students with expenses incurred due to their disability-related equipment and students educational services.

Students with disabilities can benefit from arrangements like note-takers, technical aids, tutors, interpreters while pursuing post-secondary education.

BSWD – Eligibility, How to Apply, and Amount Awarded

Who is eligible?

There are two ways for you to receive financial aid. You could either apply for the BSWD or the CSG-PDSE.

For the BSWD:

  • You need to self-identify as a person with temporary or permanent disability.
  • You are eligible and have applied for financial support from any of the following sources:
    • OSAP for Full-Time Students and have at least a dollar in calculated provincial need.
    • OSAP for Part-Time Students and are receiving an Ontario Part Time Grant
    • Institution-Funded Special Bursary, this is for students who are enrolled in public universities and colleges in Ontario only.

For the CSG-PDSE

  • You identify as a person with permanent disability.
  • You are eligible and have applied for financial aid from any one of the following sources:
    • OSAP for Full-Time Students and have at least a dollar in calculated federal need.
    • OSAP for Part-Time Students and are receiving an Ontario Part Time Grant

How to apply?

The application for the BSWD/CSG-PDSE clearly states all the important documents that are required according to the arrangements requested by you. It will provide all the details of next steps after you have begun the initial application process.

If you’re applying for the academic year of 2020-21, the Ontario BSWD and CSG_PDSE application is available in PDF and HTML formats. And, if you’re planning on going to school in 2021-22, then the application will be available in PDF and HTML formats.

Once you are done with your application, the financial aid officer at your university will examine all the information provided in your documents.

Your application will then be cross-checked for eligibility in order to estimate the best way to afford all your requirements [services and equipment]. At this stage, the Student Financial Aid Office of your school will collaborate with the Office for Students with Disabilities to work out a plan that works for you and the school.

The most apt way to ensure you’re in the loop through the process is to keep in touch with your college or university’s financial aid office.

What are the deadlines?

  • Application Deadline

The financial aid office of your school should receive your application latest within 60 days before the end of your academic program.

  • Documentation Deadline

All your documents must make their way into the financial aid office no more than 40 days after the end of your academic program.

  • Receipt Deadline

You have to submit all the receipts corresponding to the support provided to the financial aid office of your school. These receipts must be submitted no more than 30 days post the end of your academic period. Read ‘After you get your aid’ below, for more details on this.

Getting your aid

Your school must confirm your admission before any funds are released. Generally, the aid is issued via cheque. You will have to check with the financial aid office for details about whether the whole amount will be issued in one cheque or through multiple installments.

After you get your aid

All the equipment you require must be purchased before the end of your academic program. You also need to keep in mind that any services you opt for that have been approved for BSWD and/or CSG-PDSE need to be sought before the end of your study period.

Through the course, you must safekeep all receipts as proof of purchase for equipment. Even in the case of services such as note-taking or interpretation, you need to log timings so that they match the receipts you provide.

In case you do not purchase goods and services before the end of your study period, you might have to repay all or some of the funding you receive. Along with this, your eligibility for any further funding from OSAP might be affected. This could also happen if the receipts you submit do not match the cost of said equipment or services. You might be penalised even if the financial aid office doesn’t receive the submission of your receipts.

How much money can you receive?

The amount issued as financial aid depends on the cost of your requirements along with whether you are temporarily or permanently disabled.

In order to be eligible for the BSWD you could either be permanently or temporarily disabled.

However, for the CSG-PDSE, you must have a permanent disability.

The most you can receive as financial aid per academic year is as follows:

  • BSWD: $2,000
  • CSG-PDSE: $20,000

Here’s what you need to know about service and equipment purchases:

Despite your need for funding, some of the disability-related services and equipment might not be eligible for the funding. For example, anything you purchase before your application is approved will not be eligible for funding. Your school might also offer certain services of equipment for free of cost, or it might just not be offered by the school. Along with this, any equipment and software bought more than 60 days before the commencement of your study period will also not be eligible for the BSWD or CSG-PDSE.

In case you have taken a Learning Disability Assessment within a span of 6 months before your academic course starts, the costs can be included in the BSWD and/or CSG-PDSE. Lastly, don’t forget to reach out to your school’s financial aid office, as the most appropriate next steps and details will be available with them.

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Provincial Funding

Looking for student aid options offered by your local province? Choose your province of residence below to check out provincial funding options such as grants, loans, scholarships, and bursaries.
*All student funding, whether made available privately or through various government branches, is only approved to those who qualify, by the original source of funding. There are many criteria that each candidate must meet to be approved. Schools can only inform you of what may be available.