SGS Emergency Grant

Award Overview


The SGS Emergency Grant program aims to provide short-term financial relief to students experiencing an immediate financial crisis. The Emergency Grant cannot serve as a continued funding source 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 discuss available resources including government financial aid programs and review grant eligibility and may be asked to complete a financial need assessment.


It is expected that prior to applying for this grant, students will have explored all possible sources of funding through their graduate unit or Registrar’s Office, OSAP or other government assistance programs, personal savings and resources, financial institution loans and students lines of credit, etc.

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

  • Are registered full-time in an OSAP eligible degree program at the School of Graduate Studies;
  • Are experiencing an unanticipated financial emergency that impacts their ability to continue in their program;
  • Have submitted an application to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) or other government student aid program; and
  • Are able to demonstrate financial need through the application process.

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

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 normally 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
  • Are registered in a program that is not eligible for OSAP (see the The University Registrar’s website for more details)
  • Require assistance with tuition or arrears from a prior academic session
  • Newly registered their program seeking general financial aid to support their studies
  • Have completed their degree requirements


Application Process

We encourage all students to contact their Faculty Registrar Office or Graduate Unit to discuss their financial emergency and available resources. In many cases, local grants are available 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 the opportunity to learn about various financial aid programs, review the financial need assessment process and access recommended grant applications.

Steps may include:

  • Meet with a member of the SGS Financial Advising Team to review financial aid programs and eligibility;
  • Complete a Financial Need Assessment. Students can refer to an  SGS FNA Form Guide for more information;
  • Gather any required supporting documents (OSAP assessment, funding letters, receipts, financial statements);
  • Access the Emergency  Grant Application using the link provided by the SGS Advisor; and
  • Complete and submit  the online application, and required documents.

Students may normally apply for an SGS Emergency Grant once per academic year. In exceptional circumstances, a second application may be considered, 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

Additional Info

Results and Payment 

An application is deemed complete once all information and required documentation has been collected, Decisions will be communicated via the student’s official U of T email address. Emergency Loans may be approved for students during the application process 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