Financial Support for Western Students

We know that this is a challenging time for students, as you navigate the impact of COVID-19 in your academic, personal, and professional lives. The information below outlines financial supports available at Western and through the provincial/federal governments, as well as strategies for navigating summer/post-grad job prospects during these uncertain times.

What kind of financial support is available through Western?

Bursary Assistance (Summer term)

Are you registered in courses for the Summer 2020 study period? The Summer 2020 bursary application will become available in late April. Bursaries are non-repayable grants that are awarded on the basis of financial need. For more information and updated application deadlines, please visit the Office of the Registrar.

Financial Counselling

If you have concerns about financing your education, appointments are available for students who would like to speak directly with a Financial Aid Counsellor. Topics of discussion could include reviewing your OSAP entitlement, applying for financial assistance, developing a personal budget, student financial planning, debt management advice or emergency financial assistance. To request assistance, complete a Virtual Helpline request form, and a staff member will be in touch within 1 business day.

Graduate Students

Funding commitments made to graduate students in their funding letters will be honoured, regardless of whether you are able to progress in your scholarly activities and/or duties due to the current disruptions. For more information on graduate-specific funding and fees, including a new one-time 2020 Graduate Summer Term Bursary, please visit the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies.

OSAP & Government Loans (Summer term)

Are you registered in courses for the Summer 2020 study period? You may be eligible for provincial and/or federal assistance through OSAP or other lending programs. Visit the Office of the Registrar for more details, including application instructions and deadlines.

International Student Emergency Funding

Western offers short-term loans to international students who encounter unforeseen financial emergencies. The maximum loan is $500. Financial emergencies may arise as a result of medical expenses, delays in transfers of funds from outside of Canada, expensive textbooks, moving, etc. Learn more at the International & Exchange Student Centre website.

Work Study (Summer term)

Are you registered in courses for the Summer 2020 study period? The Summer 2020 work study application will become available in late April. Work study offers an opportunity for students to work part-time at Western University in jobs that accommodate their studies. Summer 2020 work study is available to eligible students and Supervisors who can accommodate work remotely. For more information and updated application deadlines, please visit the Office of the Registrar 

International Student Work Opportunities Program (Summer Term)

The International Student Work Opportunities Program (ISWOP) is a work study program for international undergraduate (main campus degree) students designed to provide financial assistance through paid part-time employment on the campus. Learn more at the International & Exchange Student Centre website.

What kind of financial support is available from the Provincial and Federal governments?

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides a taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4 weeks, up to 16 weeks, to eligible works who have lost their income due to COVID-19. Click here to learn more and to access the online application.

*NEW* Canada Emergency Student Benefit

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit may provide you with temporary income support from May to August.

*NEW* Canada Student Service Grant

Students volunteering in efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for grant funding. Click here to monitor for developments and for the application to become available.

*NEW* Canada Student Grant and Canada Student Loan Programs (2020-21)

The federal government has recently announced an increase in student grant funding for the 2020-21 school year through the Canada Student Grant, in addition to an increase in the amount students can borrow under the Canada Student Loan program. Apply through your provincial lending authority.

Government financial aid payment deferrals and interest accrual

The Canadian federal and Ontario provincial governments are temporarily deferring loan payments and interest accrual for OSAP borrowers. From March 30, 2020 to September 30, 2020, you will not be required to make any loan payments, and interest will not accrue on your student loans. Click here to learn more about temporary deferral. For out-of-province students, please visit your government's website for detail about current financial aid deferral policies.

International Student Work Hours Extension for Essential Services

To help battle the COVID-19 outbreak, starting immediately, the government will remove the restriction that allows international students to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session, provided they are working in an essential service or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods. Learn more at the Government of Canada website.

Employment Insurance (EI)

Apply for benefits if you have lost your job or if you are unable to work due to illness, injury, or quarantine. Click here to learn more and to access the online application.

Canada Child Benefit

The government is providing up to an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May; no action is required if you already receive the CCB. If you do not already receive the CCB, click here to apply.

Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

If you are not already receiving support from Ontario Works (OW) or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), you can apply online if you meet eligibility requirements.

Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment

The government is providing a one-time special payment starting April 9 through the Goods and Services Tax credit for low- and modest-income families. The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for families. If you are eligible, you will get it automatically. Learn more about the Goods and Services Tax credit.

What kind of jobs are available?

Canada Summer Jobs Program

Canada Summer Jobs is an initiative of the Federal Government, which aims to provide flexible and holistic services to support all young Canadians in developing the skills and gaining paid work experience to successfully transition into the labour market. Explore opportunities through the Canada Job Bank.


Internships/co-ops are a great way to gain paid, degree-relevant work experience. Visit Careers & Experience for more information on the types of internship/co-op opportunities available through your faculty. Already approved for internship/co-op? Employers are still hiring! Visit Western Connect to view current opportunities.

Western Connect job board

All Western students have access to the Western Connect portal, which houses thousands of job opportunities on a yearly basis. Use your Western user ID and password to log in and access both summer and new graduate postings.

Western Undergraduate Summer Research Internship Program

The Western Undergraduate Summer Research Internship Program is an initiative to help undergraduates gain experience and secure summer employment during the COVID-19 crisis. To apply for the program, contact your faculty’s Associate Dean (Research).

Working at Western job board

Interested in working at Western? Both full-time and part-time student roles are posted through the Working at Western job board. On the left panel of “Search Jobs”, use the filter to select which jobs display in the main panel (e.g., search by “Posting Type” > “Student”).

Other tips and information:

Banking and credit

For those facing challenges with ongoing expenses or keeping up with regular payments, visit your bank's website for options proposed by your bank in response to COVID-19, as they may be able to help with varying forms of relief on certain credit products, waive certain fees, and/or delay payments. For homeowners, you can access more information on mortgage payment deferrals via the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website.

Budgeting in times of uncertainty

During times of economic uncertainty, it’s important to monitor your spending and to only spend money on the essentials. For more information on best practices related to essential vs. non-essential spending, check out Module 1 of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s online Financial Literacy Program.

Filing your income tax

The deadlines to file your 2019 tax year return and to make any payments on taxes owing have been extended to June 1. Penalties and interest relief will be considered on a case-by-case basis for income tax balances not covered by the relief provisions described on the Canada Revenue Agency website. Visit the Canada Revenue Agency website for more details.

Job search strategies

Learn more about which employers are hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic, find advertised remote jobs, improve your job search skills, and look at key strategies for job searching or interviewing in difficult times - visit the Career Education website for more details.

Resume and Cover Letter help

Visit Western’s Employment Resource Centre for tailored e-advising on your resume, cover letter, personal statement, CV, and/or LinkedIn profile.

Working from home

Adjusting to a new work environment can be difficult; for tips and strategies to help manage the unexpected stresses of working and living during the COVID-19 pandemic, check out