The Unfunded Student Assistance Fund (U.S.A.F.) provides tuition relief to unfunded members. Unfunded members are defined as members who receive less in funding than they pay in tuition, and may be undergrads, unfunded or postfunded research or professional masters’, flex-time Ph.Ds. and D.M.As.
Who is eligible to apply to the U.S.A.F.?
For the September 1, 2018-August 31, 2019 round of the U.S.A.F., anyone who meets the following criteria is eligible to apply: (a) You have secured at least 30 hours of Unit 1 work from May 2018 by the time of application. (b) You were a registered student in the 2018-19 academic year. (c) You had to pay tuition in the 2018-19 academic year. (d) You were unfunded in the 2018-19 academic year. Unfunded students are defined as students who receive less in funding than they pay in tuition, and may include undergrads, unfunded or postfunded research or professional masters’, flex-time Ph.Ds. and D.M.As.
I have a special circumstance; how will the 2018-19 U.S.A.F. work for me?
I received a conference, research, and/or travel grant; a Bursary for Students With Disabilities; and/or a U.ofT. School of Graduate Studies (S.G.S.) emergency grant. Grants that explicitly reimburse expenses are not counted as funding for the purposes of the U.S.A.F. Recipients of these grants are more likely to have their disbursements miscalculated. Please check your disbursement amount carefully.
I performed R.A. or casual work in the Social Sciences or Humanities that was paid as T4A rather than T4 income. Members with this type of work are more likely to have their disbursements miscalculated. Please check your disbursement amount carefully.
I graduated! You are still eligible to receive a U.S.A.F. disbursement for whatever portion of the 2018-19 academic year you were enrolled.
I was not enrolled as a student for the full year (due to a leave, early graduation, late start, etc.). You are still eligible to receive a U.S.A.F. disbursement for whatever portion of the 2018-19 academic year you were enrolled. Your disbursement will be prorated.
I got a T.A.ship (or other Unit 1 work) in the summer of 2019 after the deadline to apply for the 2018-19 U.S.A.F. had passed. Can I apply for the U.S.A.F. now? There will be a special circumstances round of the U.S.A.F. open in July 2019. You can apply then. This round is only for members who were not eligible in May, because they either did not incur tuition expenses until June-August or did not secure bargaining unit work until June-August. The July round will pay out equivalent amounts to the May round.
I am in the second year of my master’s degree and have to pay tuition; shouldn’t I be eligible for the T.A.F.? Starting in the 2018-19 academic year, second year masters’ students are no longer eligible to apply for the T.A.F.; instead, they are eligible to apply for the U.S.A.F.
I am a D.M.A; isn’t a portion of the U.S.A.F. earmarked specifically for me? Under the previous Collective Agreement, a portion of the U.S.A.F. was specifically earmarked for D.M.As., and the entitlement amounts for D.M.As. were calculated differently than for other applicants. The new Collective Agreement treats D.M.As. in the same way as all other U.S.A.F. applicants; there will no longer be a specific amount earmarked for D.M.As. However, D.M.As. who started before 2018-19 will continue to have their U.S.A.F. entitlements calculated according to the old system.
How much money will I get?
The 2018-19 U.S.A.F. has been allocated $700,000 plus any unused money from other funds (excluding the Top-up Fund and the T.A.F.). The fund is fully disbursed each year.
The fund disburses, per member, (a) the entirety of the first $1,000 of the gap between the amount received in funding and charged in tuition between September 1, 2018 and August 31, 2019, and then (b) a percentage of eligible members’ remaining tuition-funding gap. This percentage will be the percentage of the total remaining tuition-funding gap (of all eligible applicants) that the monies remaining in the fund can cover. The percentage of the tuition-funding gap covered in a given year will vary depending on the number of eligible applicants and their need. U.S.A.F. Disbursement = (Tuition – Funding) x Percentage.
For the purposes of the U.S.A.F., funding includes: all supervisor stipends, internal and external grants and awards (e.g., D.C.A., O.G.S., S.S.H.R.C., etc.), any T4A R.A.ships (all R.A.ships in the Life and Physical Sciences and Engineering departments and some R.A.ships in other departments), O.S.A.P. and other financial aid grants, and any other funding provided by your supervisor, your department, the university, the Canadian or other government, or other funding bodies. Funding does not include: T4 wages, conference/travel/research grants, O.S.A.P. loans or other financial aid loans, B.S.W.Ds., or S.G.S. emergency grants.
When will I get my money?
Applications for this fund will be open between May 1 and May 31, 2019. Disbursements will follow in the Summer semester.
How do I apply?
The application form is available online and accessible through the Union’s website. To find the application, login to the Member Portal (found by scrolling up to the top right of this page).
A complete application for the U.S.A.F. will include: (a) a membership card, (b) the 2018-19 U.S.A.F. Application Form, and (c) supporting documentation—this will include your 2018-19 ACORN Invoice and documentation for any funding (excluding T4 wages and any grants that explicitly reimburse expenses, e.g., travel grants) not captured on your ACORN Invoice.
You will receive an immediate confirmation email for each application you submit. PLEASE NOTE: if you do not receive a confirmation email you did not successfully submit the application.
If you do not have (a) a membership card (i.e., you do not have a CUPE No., found on the left-hand side of the Portal home page), you will be directed to fill out a Membership Application Form (also found on the ‘Forms’ tab). When your membership application is processed, the 2018-19 U.S.A.F. Application Form will be accessible through the portal. PLEASE NOTE: processing membership applications can take up to four (4) business days. Failure to fill out a membership application in a timely way (i.e., less than five days before the deadline) is not grounds for submitting a late application.
Applications will be accepted between May 1 and May 31, 2019.