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.

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.

Summer 2024
  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 May 9 May 9 May 13 May 17 Contact
2nd Schedule May 23 May 23 May 27 May 31
3rd Schedule Jun 13 Jun 13 Jun 17 Jun 21
4th Schedule Jul 4 Jul 4 Jul 8 Jul 12
5th Schedule Jul 25 Jul 25 Jul 29 Aug 2
6th Schedule Aug 15 Aug 15 Aug 19 Aug 23

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.

Tuition Waivers

Some awards and funding restrict payments to students who have tuition waivers; visit the Terms of Reference for the award you are receiving to learn more. Students who have 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).

Working Professionals

Some awards and funding restrict payments to students who are working professionals. A working professional is an individual who has completed formal specialized education or training in a particular area and/or has recognized competence in that area and is employed in a job where their specialized knowledge is required. This includes, but is not limited to, professions such as teacher, counsellor, accountant, consultant, electrician, analyst, plumber, engineer, or physician.