Understanding your Student Account and Funding Package

The following overview has been developed to assist you in navigating the various financial processes relevant to graduate studies. It is divided into 3 primary categories accessible through the tabs below:

Understanding your Student Account

Graduate students must maintain continuous registration in all terms — Fall, Winter and Summer — until graduation, subject to the time limits stated in Current Students – Regulations, and must pay the appropriate term fee.

When you register for Fall term, unless it is your final term of study, you are encouraged to also register for Winter term. This is recommended in order to mitigate the risk of missing the Winter registration deadline and having to pay a late fee. Tuition fees for both terms will then be reflected in your account*.

*Note: Only Fall term fees are paid in the Fall. The remaining balance on your account indicates your Winter term fees. These fees do not need to be paid until the beginning of Winter term.

Because Summer term registration happens separately, only Summer term fees will appear on your student account in May of each year.

What Is Covered by the Fellowship, and What Do I need to Pay?

Tuition and ancillary fees on your student account will be paid automatically by your York Fellowship and/or applicable scholarships and awards. There is no action needed on your part – this process is completed automatically at the beginning of each term.

Please note that the Fellowship is not indexed to cover the following fees: Referenda Fees, and Registration Fees (approximately $15 per term). If, however, the funding applied to your account exceeds the tuition and ancillary fees, the credit will automatically be applied to any additional charges on the account.

If you do not have a credit balance in your student account, you are required to pay the outstanding balance. Outstanding balances will be subject to interest charges if payment is not received by the due date on your most recent student account statement.

Overview of Transaction Details

Your student account is grouped into a 6-column table on the Transactions page (note: best viewed on a non-mobile device):

Posting Date

The date to which an item has been posted to your account.



The type of posting.



A more fulsome description of the type of posting.

Registration Fee GS


Amount of funds for the posting, with positive totals representing debits (charges) and negative totals representing credits (awards, etc.).


Cumulative Balance

The total balance currently remaining on your account.


Statement Appearing On

The SFS statement date the transaction appears on.





Common Transaction Items you may see on your Student Account


  • Action text: Prog.Assess
  • Description text: GS (degree) (term)


Tuition is an administrative charge for teaching, research, and instruction.

Referenda Fees*

  • Action text: Prog.Assess
  • Description text: GS (degree) (term)
*Note: Referenda fees automatically appear in your student account.


Referenda fees are in addition to tuition and ancillary fees to the Registrar’s Office, and must be paid by the student. Surplus funds in a student’s account will be used to cover these fees, either through the York Fellowship or other scholarships and awards. These are fees voted on by students and include items such as supporting the Excalibur student paper, the York University Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA), Community and Legal Aid Services Program (CLASP), and many others.

York Fellowship

  • Action text: Award
  • Description text: YU Graduate Fellowship (Degree) – (Type of Fellowship)


The Fellowship is funding support offered to eligible graduate students to facilitate research activity.

Registration Fee

  • Action text: Registr.Fee
  • Description text: Registration Fee GS (degree) (term)


A registration fee is an administrative charge by the university.

Health Care Bursary

  • Action text: Bursary
  • Description text: YU Health Care

YUGSA Health Care Plan

  • Action text: Adjustment
  • Description text: Health Care - GSA


Graduate students who are receiving a York Fellowship as part of their graduate funding will be provided with a $1,000 York University Health Care Graduate Bursary accessed through their student account, to be used for extended health care coverage for students who do not have an alternative plan.

Currently, graduate students are required to enroll in the health care plan managed by the York University Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA). This health care plan costs $410 - the charge shows up as "Health Care - GSA" in the student account as an "Adjustment" action. In order to opt out, students are required to demonstrate that they have comparable health and dental coverage in addition to OHIP and UHIP. Students can de-enrol in the YUGSA health care plan by visiting YUGSA - Opt In & Out.

Refund Cheque

  • Action text: Adjustment
  • Description text: Refund Cheque per GS


Refund issued to you due to a credit appearing on your account. Please see the "How do I Receive my Funds?" tab for more information.

Graduate Funding Package: Fellowships and Awards vs. Employment

Funding is offered to eligible full-time graduate students in research-based programs in order to support their graduate career. A student’s funding package may consist of one or more of the following internal and external funding sources: fellowships, scholarships and awards, Teaching Assistantships (TA), or Research Assistantships (RA).

Funding is contingent on continuous registration as a full-time student, continued satisfactory academic progress as determined by Faculty of Graduate Studies Regulations and Program Requirements, and fulfillment of any funding-related employment obligations.

Note: Funding offered through fellowships and awards has different processes and stipulations than funding offered through part-time employment.

Disbursement of York Funding

The following table illustrates how you receive your funding as a graduate student.chart showing how funding packages

Timing of Disbursement

> Fellowship:

Master's: Received in two installments in the Fall and Winter term: the 1st before the tuition deadline (approximately 2nd week of term), and the 2nd after confirmation you will not be taking on a teaching assistant appointment (approximately 4th week of term). This process repeats itself for the duration of your funding package, in equal installments. In the Summer term, the full Fellowship is disbursed before the tuition deadline (approximately 2nd week of term).

PhD: Received in equal installments each term, at the beginning of each term (approximately 2nd week of term).

> Fellowship Op-Out: If you have opted out of receiving your Fellowship by term, you will receive all of your annual alotment in Summer.

> Graduate Financial Assistance: Received in equal installments before November 1 for Fall Term, March 1 for Winter term, and July 1 for summer term.

> Internal/External Scholarships: Received in equal installments each term, at the beginning of each term (approximately 3rd week of term).

> *Health Care Bursary: Received in a single installment each academic year, either at the beginning of Fall or Winter term (approximately 3rd week of term).

> CUPE Wages: Received the last week of each month.

> RA Assignments: Received the last week of each month.

I have just received my paystub for the work that I have performed but it is unclear. How do I read and understand my paystub?

The following sample paystub provides a general overview of what amounts students are eligible to receive from their contracts. It also includes information on all statutory deductions. The overall amount may vary from month to month depending on the contracts that are in effect. For any questions or concerns, students are encouraged to connect with their Graduate Program Assistant.

[Click image to open in a new window]

graduate funding table


Hours and Earnings

A breakdown of all earnings from York University (current vs. year-to-date).

Typical items listed in this section for graduate students include:

  • Regular Earnings - CUPE 3903 - 1: Monthly salary amount for a CUPE Unit 1 position
  • Vacation Earnings - CUPE 3903 - 1: Vacation pay is 4% of salary
  • Graduate Student Asst Res Pmt : Monthly salary amount for a Research Assistant position


Income Tax is withheld from your earnings in accordance with Federal, Provincial and Territorial Income Tax regulations.

Before-Tax Deductions

Deduction amounts before any taxes have been deducted from the gross amount of your pay.

Relevant Before-Tax Deductions include union dues determined by your affiliated union.

After-Tax Deductions

Deduction amounts after any taxes have been deducted from the gross amount of your pay.

Employer Paid Benefits

Employer paid premiums for workplace safety insurance used to pay benefits to workers who are injured or become ill in the workplace.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The following is an overview of common questions related to graduate funding at York. Please review these FAQs addressing various types of payments you may receive as a graduate student, dependent on your individual situation. If you have further queries or require additional assistance, please connect with your Graduate Program Assistant (GPA).

How do I know if I have a funding commitment through my graduate program?

Students who receive a funding offer letter from the Office of the Dean, Graduate Studies, can expect to receive funding support from the University.

Am I eligible to receive funding?

Funding is contingent upon the student’s ability to maintain satisfactory academic progress as determined by Faculty regulations and program requirements, and active registration in full-time status. Students who request a Leave of Absence, voluntarily withdraw from her/his program and who are enrolled in professional graduate programs are not eligible to receive funding support from the institution.

If I request a Leave of Absence or withdraw from the program, do I lose my funding?

When a student requests and is approved for a Leave of Absence, her/his record is suspended for the duration of the leave. Similarly, the student’s funding commitment is also frozen for that time period. However, once the student resumes his/her academic progress, the funding will be reinstated. In the case of withdrawals, faculty regulations outline a specific window by which the student has to reinstate back into the program in order to have his/her funding commitment automatically reinstated. If students wish to resume their studies in the program after this time, they will be required to re-apply for admission back into the program and, at that time, the program will re-assess the case to reinstate the student’s funding commitment. This decision would be contingent on the student’s academic progress prior to withdrawing.

What work opportunities, as a graduate student, are available for me?

Work opportunities for graduate students are offered through either a Teaching Assistantship (TA), Graduate Assistantship (GA), or Research Assistantship (RA).

The following table outlines the various work opportunities available to graduate students, involving both unionized (TA,GA) and non-unionized (RA) assignments.

 Teaching Assistant
Graduate Assistant
Research Assistant
DefinitionFull-time graduate students employed in teaching, demonstrating, tutoring or markingFull-time graduate students employed in administrative, clerical and research workFull-time graduate students employed in administrative, clerical and research work that serves the purpose of advancing the students’ progress towards fulfilment of their program and degree requirements
Compensation RateDefined in CUPE 3903 Unit 1 Collective AgreementDefined in CUPE 3903 Unit 3 Collective AgreementDetermined by graduate program and/or hiring unit
Workload RestrictionsMax. 270 hours for a full (1.0) assignmentMax. 270 hours for a full (1.0) assignmentN/A
DeductionsApplicable statutory deductions (i.e. Tax, CPP, EI etc.)Applicable statutory deductions (i.e. Tax, CPP, EI etc.)N/A
CRA Tax TreatmentRegular income, 100% taxable, reported on T4 tax receiptRegular income, 100% taxable, reported on T4 tax receiptTax exempt, reported on T4A tax receipt
Paid ThroughHR Payroll HR PayrollHR Payroll
Pay ScheduleMonthly, on 25th Monthly, on 25th Monthly, on 25th

Can I apply for casual positions at the University?

When considering applying for casual employment opportunities (e.g. Lifeguard, Residence Don, exam Invigilator, etc.) which do not fall under CUPE 3903 unionized assignments, it is important that you let the hiring department know that you are a full-time graduate student as restrictions may apply. However, funded graduate students are limited to 10 hours per week.

Am I eligible to apply for graduate scholarships? Will my funding be impacted if I received a scholarship?

In addition to work opportunities, students are also eligible to receive scholarships which may impact their funding commitment in a given academic year. Scholarships can be externally funded (e.g. Tri-Council awards, SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR, etc.) or internally funded (program-specific awards, fully funded by donor) and the source of the funds determine whether the funds would count towards the student’s funding commitment. Students are encouraged to speak to their Graduate Program if they have specific questions about the implication of a graduate scholarship for their funding commitments. Donor funds and entrance scholarships to not count towards the university's funding commitment.

I received a TA assignment over the Fall and Winter terms and received another TA in the Summer term. I received far less in the Summer term. Why is there a discrepancy?

When a graduate student receives her/his first CUPE assignment in a given year (either a TA or a GA), the wages are comprised of a salary and Grant-in-Aid (GIA), which is an additional top-up on the salary, for the first full (1.0) TA or GA assignment. Any CUPE assignment above the first full TA/GA assignment will only yield the salary and is not eligible for additional Grant-in-Aid top up.

Is there any way I can pay my tuition fees from my salary? If my tuition fees are paid off and I receive funds in my student account, how can I request a refund?

Graduate students who receive work contracts can opt into the Automated Payroll Deduction Plan. Once this has been activated, a portion of the wages will be deposited into the student’s accounts to pay her/his tuition fees.

Note: If you have requested your tuition fee payment by payroll deduction in previous years, you may not need to continue this practice as the York Fellowship ensures that the minimum funding commitment will cover your tuition. Please read the "Who Might Want To Consider Payroll Deduction" section on the Payroll Deduction page.

In situations where students have paid their tuition in full and receive other funds in their account, the remaining surplus balance in her/his account will be issued as a refund. Refunds are processed automatically, and students are encouraged to sign up for Direct Deposit to expedite this process. Please see the "How do you Receive your Funds?" tab for more information.

I am an International graduate student who has received a CUPE assignment. I have been told that my Visa tuition fees will be automatically lowered but this has not happened. When can I expect to see this reversal to the lower rate?

International students who receive a CUPE assignment may also be eligible to receive additional funds in the form of an international Tuition Offset which is applied towards tuition fees. The international Tuition Offset may not cover the entire tuition amount, and Visa students are expected to pay the outstanding balance.

OSAP and your Funding Package

I am applying for OSAP this year. Will this impact my funding package?

No, this will not impact your funding package, however, the funding you receive from York University must be reported to the Ministry on your OSAP application and may have an impact on your OSAP assessment. The amount reported should reflect the actual amount to be received during the application period (i.e. students receiving a $10,000 funding package who are applying for OSAP for the Fall/Winter terms, should report $6,666 which represents the $3,333 per term breakdown).

I have received numerous awards from the university and I am receiving OSAP. Do I need to report them?

Unless otherwise advised, you must report all funding to OSAP. This includes all funding directly related to your funding package, all merit based scholarships (based on academic performance only) and all employment income received during the study period.

York University will report on your behalf all financial needs-based funding (outside of the funding package), the Ontario Graduate Scholarship and the Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology.

"I have a credit in my Student Account. How do I receive my funds?"

If you have a credit in your student account balance, a refund will be issued. If you have not signed up for Direct Deposit, a cheque will be mailed to your address on record.

Note: We highly encourage all graduate students to sign up for direct deposit. You will receive your money faster, avoid any issues with postal services, and save yourself a trip to the bank.

Refunds are issued shortly after a credit appears in your account. It takes up to 5 business days for your funds to appear in your bank account if you have signed up for Direct Deposit. Student Financial Services processes refunds of credit balances every two weeks. Refunds issued by cheque may take 2-4 weeks for receipt.

If your banking information changes, please visit the Create or Update my Banking Information Setup Tool to update your information.

If you have any questions regarding your student account, funding package and/or receipt of funds, please contact your Graduate Program Assistant.