SGS Emergency Grant

Award Overview


The SGS Emergency Grant program aims to assist registered, full-time graduate students who have encountered an unforeseen, urgent, and/or serious financial emergency during the course of their program. The Emergency Grant is not intended to replace or make up a shortfall in OSAP, other funding sources or serve as routine or long-term support, but aims to provide short-term, immediate relief during a financial crisis and/or unexpected expenses due to COVID-19. Students submitting an SGS Emergency Grant are expected to meet with a member of the SGS Financial Advising Team to review the application.


It is expected that prior to applying for this grant, students will have explored all sources of funding such as anticipated income, OSAP or other government assistance programs (e.g. CERB or CESB), personal savings, daycare subsidies, family support, and bank lines of credit, as appropriate.
Basic eligibility criteria for an SGS Emergency Grant are listed below.

Eligible students must:

  • Be registered full-time in a degree program at the School of Graduate Studies;
  • Have encountered an unanticipated serious financial emergency
  • Have applied to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) or other government student aid programs and received an OSAP Notice of Assessment (domestic students only); and
  • Demonstrated financial need through the application process (i.e. expenses must be greater than resources)

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Students must first apply to the OISE Bursary Program

International students must demonstrate that they have the resources to fund their studies in Canada to receive a Canadian student authorization. International students who are in financial distress should contact their Faculty Registrar or graduate unit to discuss their extenuating circumstances before submitting the grant application.


  • Students deemed by OSAP or the successful completion of a grant application as having sufficient resources (i.e. no demonstration of financial need)
  • Non-degree, visiting, and part-time students
  • Students in programs ineligible for OSAP and UTAPS (visit the Enrolment Services website for more details)

Application Process

We encourage all students to contact their Faculty Registrar Office or graduate department to discuss their financial emergency and any possible resources. In many cases, Graduate Faculties have local funds available for students and/or they can contact SGS on the student’s behalf to inquire about additional support.

SGS Emergency Assistance

Graduate students who encounter an unanticipated financial emergency are asked to email the SGS Financial Advising Team to request a financial advising appointment. Advising appointments provide students with the opportunity to learn about various emergency and financial aid programs and obtain the necessary applications.

Steps include:

  • Meet with a member of the SGS Financial Advising Team to review financial aid programs and eligibility for emergency assistance;
  • Complete an SGS Financial Need Assessment Form (FNA) provided by the SGS Advisor; refer to an  SGS FNA Form Guide for more information;
  • Gather any required supporting documents (OSAP assessment, funding letters, receipts, financial statements);
  • Using your Utoronto email address, login to the Emergency  Grant Application using the link provided to you by the SGS Advisor; and
  • Complete the online application, upload the FNA form and any required documents, then submit.

Students may normally apply for an SGS Emergency Grant once per academic year. In exceptional circumstances, a second application may be considered, but only where new and compelling information is available.

UofT Quarantine Assistance

Graduate students who have completed their mandatory stay at an approved Government of Canada hotel, and have registered with the U of T quarantine program (either the Full UofT Program or the “At-Home” quarantine program), may request financial assistance to help offset the cost specific to the student’s mandatory hotel stay. Students will be required to submit the paid hotel receipt upon application and verify they are registered with the UofT Quarantine Program.

Students seeking assistance are asked to email the SGS Financial Advising Team to inquire about a COVID-19 grant. Please include “Federal Hotel Quarantine” in the email subject line.

To register with the U of T Quarantine Program please contact directly or refer to the following webpage for more information on UofT Quarantine Accommodation.

Please note that as of August 9th travellers are no longer required to complete the 3-day stopover at a government authorized hotel. For more information please visit Covid-19 Information for University of Toronto Students and scroll down to Information on Quarantine Accommodation.

Application Requirements

The following are examples of supporting documents that may be required for the Financial Need Assessment Form:

  • OSAP Notice of Assessment or Out-of-Province equivalent
  • Annual funding letter (students in a funded program)
  • Personal Financial Statements (for international students this includes statements used for their Study Permit application/renewal)
  • Rental agreement or lease
  • Medical and dental insurance statements
  • Letter from supervisor/advisor

Additional Info

Results and Payment 

Decisions will be communicated via the student’s official U of T email address within 2-3 weeks once an application is deemed complete and includes all required documentation. Emergency Loans may be approved in the interim for eligible students.

Students will normally receive grant payments via direct deposit to their personal Canadian bank account. If banking information is not entered by students’ on their ACORN account, payments will be issued by cheque and sent by Canada Post to the personal mailing address listed on ACORN. Students should ensure that their current mailing address and associated address expiry date is updated on ACORN to avoid delays in payment.

Contacts & Resources

Financial Aid and Advising
(416) 978-2839