Payments + Policies

Award Payments

Every student receiving an award/scholarship needs to accept their award, which may include submitting required documentation to the Graduate Studies office. Read more on how awards are paid, adjusted and managed on this page.

Accepting & Activating an Award

For an award to be set and paid through our office, you must:

  • Accept your award
    • For Internal and Donor Funded awards – accept your award offer on the GA3 System. 
    • For Government Funded awards, such as NSERC or SSHRC Doctoral awards - you must provide our office with the agency’s award notification letter and first instalment form, as well as the agency’s acceptance form, if applicable. Once received, you must accept your award offer through the GA3 System. For CIHR Doctoral and Vanier CGS, to request the first instalment, award recipients must complete the Confirmation of Commencement form on ResearchNet. For CGSM awards, you don't need to provide any documentation to our office.  
    • For Other Externally Funded awards, such as Alzheimer’s Society Awards – you must provide our office with the agency’s award notification letter. Once payment has been received by our office, you must accept your award offer through the GA3 System.
  • Be registered in the intended graduate program before the first day of the term
  • Sign up for direct deposit, with a Canadian bank account in your goSFU account.
    Learn how to set up Direct Deposit →

Payment Process

Award payments are:

  • paid in lump sums per term, as per the schedule on the GA3 System (found under the My Awards tab)
  • applied to your goSFU account, paying any tuition or outstanding balance. Remaining funds are transferred to your bank account, if you have signed up for direct deposit on goSFU.

CIHR Doctoral Award Holders ONLY - Research Allowances

A research allowance is provided to contribute to the costs of the award recipients. Please check with your Supervisor about available funding (Supervisor can view the balance in FAST system). Note: the fund will be available to the Supervisor only after CIHR releases the fund to SFU.

Payment Schedule

Award payments will occur on a scheduled basis throughout the term as shown below. These dates are approximate and are subject to change.

Fall 2023
  Award Must be Accepted on GA3 by Student Must be Registered by Funds Will Appear in SFU Student Account by the End of

Direct Deposit Refunds Available by

Cheque Refunds
1st Schedule Sept 7, 2023 Sept 7, 2023 Sept 13, 2023 Sept 15, 2023 Contact
2nd Schedule Sept 21, 2023 Sept 21, 2023 Sept 27, 2023 Sept 29, 2023
3rd Schedule Oct 5, 2023 Oct 5, 2023 Oct 11, 2023 Oct 13, 2023
4th Schedule Oct 26, 2023 Oct 26, 2023 Nov 1, 2023 Nov 3, 2023
5th Schedule Nov 9, 2023 Nov 9, 2023 Nov 15, 2023 Nov 17, 2023
6th Schedule Nov 30, 2023 Nov 30, 2023 Dec 6, 2023 Dec 8, 2023

Wire Payment for Refunds/Overpayment

SFU has partnered with Flywire to issue refunds for scholarships and overpayments to international students' home country. This refund method is only intended as a temporary measure for international students studying outside of Canada without a Canadian bank account. Once you arrive in Canada and create a Canadian bank account, you must enroll in direct deposit to receive future funds.

After an award has been paid into your account, you may request a wire transfer by completing this form. Once submitted, Student Accounts will email you for your international banking information before processing the wire transfer, which will arrive in approximately 2-4 weeks. 

Your CAD refund will be converted to the currency of your country's bank account, based on real-time currency exchange rates.

Flywire charges between $1.25 and $25 CAD for international wire transfers.

If you have a Canadian bank account, your refund will be issued to that account. However, requests for exceptional circumstances may be directed to Student Accounts (

As per policy GP45, we are unable to wire funds to Canadian sanctioned countries.

About Direct Deposit

Students can check or update direct deposit information on their goSFU account. This is a different payment system from payroll for Teaching Assistantships or Research Assistantships. For privacy reasons, our office cannot share banking information with payroll.

If you have not signed up for direct deposit, your refund will be delayed - refund cheques are only issued once a month from the Registrar's Office.

Employee Tuition Waivers 

Students who have an employee tuition waiver and an award will have their award processed first, paying off tuition. Tuition waivers are generally processed in the fifth week of classes in any given term, after which the tuition reimbursement will display as a credit or refund in goSFU. Students will need to submit a refund request to Student Accounts.

Award Limits

Senate regulations governing university awards states that the annual maximum support you are permitted to receive from university administered awards and scholarships is $60,000 unless otherwise specified in the terms of reference for the award. This includes external agency awards administered by SFU (e.g. CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC).