Supporting students in hard times

May 23, 2023

Everywhere we turn, life is getting more expensive—food costs continue to rise, rents are the highest we’ve ever seen. For university students, many of whom are already living on a shoestring budget, it’s a daily struggle to make ends meet.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in student stress on campus recently,” says Tom Nault, SFU registrar and executive director of student enrollment. “It’s not always easy for students to find additional ways to earn more money. They don’t have many luxuries in their lives that they can cut out to be able to balance their budgets and afford things. They are using every penny as wisely as they can.”

Tom hears of many students working two or three jobs just to be able to afford life’s necessities. Some are choosing to eat less nutritious food or skip meals entirely. Some wonder if they will even be able to continue their studies.

Student bursaries provide critical financial support for SFU students in need. This spring, through SFU’s annual giving campaign, generous alumni and donors like you can ensure that students worry a little less about money—and focus more on their studies and university experience.

“Bursaries are one of the more meaningful ways to support a student,” says Tom. “All philanthropy or donations to the university are well used, but this is a way you can directly impact a student in their ability to complete their semester and work their way toward graduation.”

Take Devin, a communications student and hard-working student athlete who has benefited from bursary support.

“The bursary helped me pay my tuition, pay my rent and buy food,” he explains. “I would have really struggled financially without it. Please tell supporters that their donations go a long way—and even change people’s lives.”

Typically, throughout fall and spring semesters, over 3,000 students receive bursaries, which vary between $1,500 and $2,500 each. Demand is slightly less during summer semesters when student enrollment is lower.

We’re grateful to our donors for helping our students realize their dreams. Additional contributions to SFU student bursaries will make a big difference.

“I was so excited when I learned I’d received a bursary – the very first thing I did was call my mom.”- Devin O’Hea, 5th year student