SGS Emergency Grant

Award Overview


The SGS Emergency Grant program aims to provide short-term financial relief to students with an unexpected immediate financial crisis. The Emergency Grant cannot serve as a general source of support or make up for a shortage in OSAP and other graduate funding sources. Students are encouraged to meet with a member of the SGS Financial Advising Team to review available resources including OSAP and complete a financial need assessment to determine eligibility.


It is expected that prior to applying for this grant, students will have explored all sources of funding such as their graduate unit, anticipated income, OSAP or other government assistance programs, personal savings, daycare subsidies, family support, and bank lines of credit, as appropriate.

To receive an SGS Emergency Grant students must meet the following criteria:

  • Are registered full-time in a degree program at the School of Graduate Studies;
  • Are experiencing an unanticipated financial emergency that impacts their ability to continue in their program;
  • Have first applied to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) or other government student aid programs and have received an OSAP Notice of Assessment (domestic students only); and
  • Are able to demonstrate financial need through the application process (i.e. expenses must be greater than all available resources)

OISE students are asked to seek assistance through the OISE Bursary Program and consult with the OISE Financial Aid Coordinator at for need-based assistance.

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.

Application Period

Emergency Grant applications are generally not available between August 1st to October 30th in any academic year. It is expected that students register each academic year with a solid financial plan in place and have access to sufficient resources to support their studies for the duration of the academic year. The Emergency Grant cannot serve as a general source of funding or make up for a shortage in OSAP and other funding sources.

Students who meet one or more of the following criteria are ineligible:

  • Have been deemed by OSAP (or an out of province student loan program) as having sufficient resources
  • Are unable to demonstrate financial need through the financial need assessment process
  • Non-degree, visiting, and part-time students
  • In programs ineligible for OSAP (visit the Enrolment Services website for more details)
  • Are requesting assistance with tuition payment or with outstanding arrears from a prior academic session
  • Registered in the early months of the academic year seeking financial aid for their program
  • Have completed all degree requirements


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.


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