SGS Emergency Grant

Award Overview


The SGS Emergency Grant program aims to assist currently registered, full-time graduate students who encounter an unanticipated serious financial emergency. The grant is intended to help provide immediate short-term relief of such financial need and is not intended as a source of long-term funding. Students should also consult the information on SGS Emergency Loans which may be appropriate depending on the situation.

COVID-19 Supports: The University of Toronto is working to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including providing emergency financial support and work-study opportunities for students. The new Funding Opportunity Directory provides resources to access those university financial aid supports as well as provincial and federal government programs. The Directory will be updated as new initiatives are introduced.  Please also check your department websites for possible additional resources.


All graduate students who encounter an unanticipated serious financial emergency are encouraged to meet with SGS financial advising staff to discuss options and determine eligibility.

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 (e.g. CERB or CESB) programs, savings, daycare subsidies, family support, and bank lines of credit, as appropriate.
Basic eligibility criteria for an SGS Emergency Grant are listed below.  More detailed information can be found on the grant application form


  • Registered full-time in the School of Graduate Studies;
  • Normally have applied to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) or other government student aid programs and received an OSAP Notice of Assessment; and
  • Have encountered an unanticipated serious financial emergency along with a demonstrated financial need.
  • Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Students must first apply to the OISE Bursary Program


  • Students deemed by OSAP as having sufficient resources
  • Non-degree, visiting, and part-time students
  • Programs ineligible for OSAP and UTAPS (visit the Enrolment Services website for more details)


When completing the financial section of the grant application, students should take note of the following list of eligible and ineligible expenses. More detailed information can be found on the application form.

Eligible Expenses

  • Rent & Living Expenses
  • Debt servicing
  • Child care expenses
  • Travel due to a death or terminal illness in the family
  • Health care and emergency dental care expenses
  • Prescriptions
  • Exceptional unanticipated expenses

Ineligible Expenses

  • Debts and obligations
  • Tuition and program-related expenses
  • Support for partner or family expenses
  • Delays resulting from research and supervision complications

Application Process

All graduate students who encounter an unanticipated serious financial emergency are encouraged to meet with SGS financial advising staff and asked to fill out the Financial Information Sheet before the appointment.

Once deemed appropriate and eligible, students should submit the completed grant application form and required documentation (e.g. OSAP Notice of Assessment) together with any other relevant additional documents (e.g., letter from supervisor/advisor) via email to

Students can apply for an Emergency Grant at any time throughout the year. Before applying, we encourage students to discuss their needs with someone from their graduate unit, such as their supervisor or their graduate coordinator. They may be able to help with other sources of financial assistance and/or provide useful advice.

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 Advisor before applying.

Additional Info


Normally, Emergency Grants that are awarded will first be applied to fees or institutional loans that are outstanding. Upon request (see section 2 of the application form), students may be able to receive payment personally. Students must ensure that their current mailing address and associated address expiry date is updated on ACORN to avoid delays in payment.

Students who would prefer to receive payments via direct deposit to their personal Canadian bank account will need to add banking information to their ACORN account authorizing the University to deposit ACORN payments directly. If banking information is not provided on ACORN, payments will be issued by cheque and sent by Canada Post to the personal mailing address as provided on ACORN.

Contacts & Resources

Financial Aid and Advising
(416) 978-2839