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 an unexpected financial crisis in what was otherwise a solid financial plan.  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 as having sufficient resources (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

All graduate students who encounter an unanticipated serious financial emergency are encouraged to request a financial advising appointment to discuss the application and other possible financial aid options.

Before applying, we encourage students to discuss their financial emergency with thier Faculty Registrar or graduate department to discuss the extenuating circumstances and any resources for students in financial need. In many cases, Faculties have local funds available for the students and/or they can contact SGS on your behalf to inquire about additional support.

Students may normally only apply for an Emergency Grant once per academic year. In exceptional circumstances, a second application may be considered, but only if new and compelling information can be provided. Students should discuss their circumstances with the financial advising staff before applying.

  • Complete the Financial Need Assessment Form (FNA), and collect any supporting document required;
  • Once completed, combine and save the FNA form and all other supporting documents as a single PDF file;
  • Name the file as follows: <your last name>, <your first name>, <SGS Grant>;
  • Access the SGS Emergency Grant Application using the link provided on the FNA form;
  • Using your Utoronto email address, login to the application site with your UTORid;
  • Complete the online SGS Emergency Grant Application, and upload the FNA files when prompted at the end;
  • You may select the option to receive a copy of your responses via your Utoronto email account;
  • Click “submit”

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