Definition of 'Financial Need'

Many scholarships and bursaries require that a student must have demonstrated financial need.  How does the University of Windsor define financial need?

Financial Need can be defined under one of the following scenarios:

  1. A student is receiving and has accepted, the maximum level of government student aid such as OSAP:  There is a limited expected financial contribution from other sources (savings, parents, etc.) after the student's minimum expected (or flat-rate) student contribution is factored in creating a defined unmet need calculation.
  2. A student is receiving at least $1 of government student aid and has accepted all sources of funding including loan, but is not receiving the maximum level of funding BEFORE UWindsor scholarships or bursaries are factored in AND they have no other OSAP exempt sources of income to help support their direct educational costs. Although together with a student's expected financial contribution from their own resources (savings, parents, student's minimum expected or flat-rate student contribution, etc.), the student should have sufficient funding to meet their direct educational costs, they may still be considered to have financial need on the basis that they are eligible for at least 1$ of government student aid.  In this case, need-based financial aid may reduce a student's reliance on student loans and compliment their existing resources.  A student who is eligible for at least 1$ in OSAP funding but who is receiving OSAP exempt benefits (Child Tax Benefits, Housing Subsidy, etc.) may not be considered to have financial need as their exempt benefits may cover their financial shortfall.
  3. A student has applied for government student aid or OSAP assistance and would otherwise qualify however they have restriction issues which are affecting their ability to receive funding.  Special rules and documentation requirements apply.
  4. A student has applied for government student aid or OSAP assistance and does not qualify as it is deemed that they should have sufficient resources ((savings, parents, student's minimum expected or flat-rate student contribution, etc.) to meet their educational costs but there are special circumstances that were not factored into the standardized need assessment.  Special rules and documentation requirements apply.
  5. International students are required to show proof of funding, for study permit and visa approvals for a minimum of one year with the expectation that students will continue to have access to that funding throughout their education.  In some cases, there are unexpected changes in a student's financial situation that require a student to seek external support to continue their studies.  Some examples may include but are not limited to:
    • travel resulting from a death in the immediate family
    • medical expenses not covered by the University’s Green Shield OHIP Equivalent Health Insurance Plan (GSHIP)
    • loss of essential property not covered by insurance
    • an interruption of financial resources from home country due to civil unrest
    • an interruption of financial resources from family support due to unforeseen circumstances.

Examples of situations which cannot be covered are: transportation and other costs involved in returning home at the end of studies; research expenses and thesis costs; sending money back home even in an emergency with your immediate family that has not accompanied you to Canada; cosmetic medical costs such as non-emergency dental care; and tuition and fees.

International students who are deemed to be in financial need will be those students who have experienced an extenuating circumstance that has interrupted their financial plan.  International students who are deemed to be in financial need will receive first consideration for international need-based funding provided that they are not already receiving other institutional support that would otherwise meet their financial need (GA's, TA's, bursaries, scholarships, etc.).  Where funds are limited, a determination will be made based on the student’s circumstances.  Should there be more awards available than students deemed to be in financial need, the remaining awards will be allocated accordingly.

Under definitions 3) and 4), students who meet the Ontario residency requirement should visit the OSAP Appeal Information section of our website to determine whether or not they have grounds for an appeal.   Out of Province students should follow up with their province of residency to determine what appeal options might be available to them.

In any case, students who fall under 3) and 4) may still submit an application for a need-based award and provide details of their situation in order to meet the specific award application deadlines.  Additional follow-up to determine financial need can then be initiated if necessary.

Services Available:

You may reach our office at: (519) 253-3000 Ext. 3300

Regular SAFA Service Hours 

 Monday  1:00PM - 4:00PM
 Tuesday  1:00PM - 4:00PM
 Wednesday    9:00AM - 12:00PM; 2:00PM - 4:00PM
 Thursday  9:00AM - 12:00PM; 2:00PM - 4:00PM
 Friday   1:00PM - 4:00PM


Please refer to as there may be a knowledge base article that may answer your question.

In order to better assist you, please always include your UWindsor Student Number in your communications.

Students should complete their UWinAward Student Application/Profile via UWinsite Student > Student Homepage > Award Profile to be matched with eligible funding opportunities.

Additional Information for Domestic Students who are experiencing financial hardship.

Additional Information for International Students who are experiencing financial hardship.

If you require additional assistance you may contact our office by email at



Documents may be faxed, sent as an attachment via email at, or placed in our drop-box located in the lobby of CHT or mailed to:

Student Awards & Financial Aid
University of Windsor
401 Sunset Ave. CHT Room 102
Windsor, ON N9B 3P4

Fax: (519) 973-7087

Pleaes refer to as there may be a knowledge base article that may answer your question.


Student Awards & Financial Aid Office

University of Windsor
Chrysler Hall Tower, 1st Floor
401 Sunset Avenue
Windsor, ON, Canada, N9B 3P4

We are available for in-person service during the following hours:

Regular SAFA Service Hours

 Monday  1:00PM - 4:00PM
 Tuesday  1:00PM - 4:00PM
 Wednesday   9:00AM - 4:00PM
 Thursday  9:00AM - 4:00PM
 Friday   1:00PM - 4:00PM


To enter our in-person service queue with the Student Awards or the Financial Aid office, please scan this QR Code or click if using a mobile device:

If you feel that you need to talk to someone about your situation, please take the following steps:

1)  Try asking your question using  We have many knowledge base articles that might be able to assit you with you question.

2) Log in to to submit a service request and a Student Awards or Financial Aid Representative will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.

3) Call our office during our phone service hours.  A Student Award or Financial Aid Representative may be able to resolve your issue over the phone.

4) If options 1) through 3) do not resolve your issue,  we will schedule you a virtual Teams meeting/appointment with a Student Awards or Financial Aid Specialist for a time that is mutually convenient.


UWinAward Profile/Application Support

Here is the schedule for our virtual drop-in sessions available for students who require assistance with their UWinAward Profile/Application for bursary and scholarship applications.

Important Notes:

  • We will attempt to return messages and service requests within 2 business days where possible.  In September, January & May however, our response time may be closer to 7-10 business days.

  • Please do not leave/send multiple messages/emails as this will delay our response time.