The University of Toronto is working to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including providing emergency financial support and work-study opportunities for students. This page provides resources to access those university financial aid supports as well as provincial and federal government programs. We will update this page as new initiatives are introduced.
The Emergency Undergraduate Grant is intended to assist current U of T undergraduate domestic and international students impacted by COVID-19 and who need immediate short-term financial relief because of unexpected expenses. This grant is open to both part-time and full-time students.
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.
The SGS Emergency Loan alleviates temporary cash flow problems for students who are expecting the release of funds in the near future (i.e., 30 to 120 days) from employment, a major award instalment, OSAP (Ontario Students’ Assistance Program), teaching assistantship, or research assistantship payment, etc. All graduate students who encounter an unanticipated serious financial emergency are encouraged to meet with the SGS Graduate Student Financial Advisor to discuss options and determine eligibility.
The Ontario provincial government is deferring loan payments and interest accruals for OSAP until September 30. The province opened OSAP applications for the 2020-2021 school year.
The Ontario provincial government has expanded access to its existing Emergency Assistance program under the current provisions of Ontario Works. Ontario residents with limited income, assets or credit who are in a crisis or an emergency situation can apply for short-term assistance. Those who currently receive assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program are not eligible.
The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) is directed towards post-secondary students and recent graduates who are ineligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or for Employment Insurance (EI), and who are unable to find full-time employment or are unable to work due to COVID-19.
The Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 costs to students who volunteer in the COVID-19 effort, depending on the number of hours volunteered.
Students must be 30 years of age or younger to apply. Those recieving the CESB are eligible for the grant, those recieving the CERB are not.
Note: Roll-out of the program is currently delayed.
The Government of Canada offers student grants and loans to full-time and part-time students. The federal government has doubled the maximum amount to $6,000 for full-time students, and $3,600 for part-time studies. No payments will be required on loans and interest will not accrue until September 30, 2020.
The GST/HST credit is a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals and families with low and modest incomes offset all or part of the GST or HST they pay. The Canadian Government is providing a one-time special increase that will double the maximum annual GST/HST tax credit for the 2019-20 benefit year.
The Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) provides full-time students access to student jobs offered by the federal government. The program aims to provide students with opportunities to learn about the federal government and gain valuable experience while developing and improving their employability skills.
Students holding research scholarships or fellowships that end between March – August 2020 and who intend to continue their studies will have a one-semester extension. Award holders will need to attest that their work was disrupted by COVID-19, and they are not receiving from emergency benefits from the Government.
A 3-month extension in funding for holders of federal research grants to support eligible trainees and staff paid out of these awards has been proposed. These extensions cannot be combined with other income supports.
Please check research granting councils for details as they become available.
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) provides temporary income support to workers who have stopped working or have less than $1,000 (before taxes) in employment income in a 4-week period for reasons related to COVID-19, or to individuals who are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits.
Undergraduate, Graduate and International Students may be eligible.
Employment Insurance provides regular benefits to individuals who have lost their job or were laid off without pay. Additionally, Employment Insurance sickness benefits cover workers who need to take sick leave not covered by their employer.
Undergraduate students who meet insurable hour thresholds may qualify for EI benefits.
In addition to grants or loans available from the University of Toronto, you may be eligible for the following assistance:
Extended Work Hours
International students providing essential services are temporarily allowed to work more than 20 hours if you are:
To see if your work is considered an essential service or function, check the Guide on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Work and Study Permits
The Canadian Government has introduced several temporary policy changes to study and work permits that will support international students studying online from abroad.
While schools and child care centres are closed, parents, guardians and caregivers can apply for direct funding to offset the cost of buying materials to support their child’s learning. Ontario’s support for families provides all eligible parents with a one-time per child payment of: $200 for children aged 0 to 12, or $250 for children or youth aged 0 to 21 with special needs.
Ontario’s Emergency Assistance program provides additional benefits for those who have children.
The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age.
The federal government is providing up to an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. Payments are also recalculated in July to adjust for inflation. Those who already receive the CCB do not need to re-apply: this lump sum top-up is automatic. If you do not already receive the CCB, you can apply through the CCB website. You must first ensure that you and, if applicable, your spouse or common-law partner have filed your 2018 tax return.
Employment Insurance maternity and parental benefits provide financial assistance to people who are away from work because they’re pregnant or have recently given birth and parents who are away from work to care for their newborn or newly adopted child. These benefits continue.
The Work Study Program offers paid, on-campus positions that provide you with an opportunity to deepen your knowledge, strengthen your skills and explore how your academic studies translate to career possibilities. All Work Study positions are CCR recognized.