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 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 or graduate department to discuss their financial emergency and any possible resources. In many cases, Faculties have local funds available for students and/or they can contact SGS on your behalf to inquire about additional support.

Graduate students who encounter an unanticipated financial emergency are asked to request a financial advising appointment to discuss financial aid programs and possible emergency assistance. Steps may include:

  • Meet with an SGS Financial Advisor to review financial aid programs and eligibility for emergency assistance;
  • Complete an SGS Financial Need Assessment Form (FNA);
  • 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 Financial Advisor; and
  • Complete the online application, upload the FNA and required documents at the end, and submit.

Students may normally only 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