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Support to Students Whose Academic Progress Was Significantly Impeded Due to COVID-19 

Updated: June 27, 2022 

The following measures are being put in place by the School of Graduate Studies and by OISE to support students whose academic progress has been significantly impeded due to COVID-19.

Fall 2022 - Register with Tuition Exemption on Basis of Progress Delays Due to COVID-19

The General Intent of the Tuition Exemption

The general intent of the request to Register with Tuition Exemption on the basis of progress delays due to COVID-19 is to support students whose ability to complete their program was significantly impeded for reasons directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students who experienced academic delays due to the pandemic and only require one final semester of registration during Fall 2022 to complete their degree can apply for a one-time-only exemption allowing them to register without paying tuition fees. The overall notion being that the student would have completed their degree if not for the pandemic and therefore should not pay more tuition fees than they would have normally paid.

Important notes:

  • Students will still be responsible for mandatory non-tuition fees such as incidental, ancillary, and system access fees, and will be subject to services charges on unpaid fees as per the University’s regulations.
     
  • Students cannot apply for the Tuition Exemption if degree fees from previous sessions are unpaid and owed. (Students cannot register if degree fees from previous sessions are owed and therefore, do not qualify for the Tuition Exemption as they are unable to register.)

Application Process for Students Applying for Fall 2022 Tuition Exemption

Step #1: Students must meet the initial eligibility requirements:

  • Were registered in their current program during or before the Winter 2020 session (Jan-Apr 2020), when the pandemic started.
     
  • Were registered and paid fees continuously since Winter 2020 (Jan-Apr 2020) up to Fall 2022.
     
  • Did not receive the tuition exemption in a previous session and plan to register for Fall 2022.
     
  • As of September 1, 2022, will be beyond their Program Length (Refer to Program Length Chart)
     
  • Will only require one final semester of registration during Fall 2022.

IMPORTANT:

  • Students who were not enrolled in their current program in Winter 2020 (Jan-Apr 2020) will not be considered for tuition exemption.
     
  • Students who are not beyond their program length will not be approved for tuition exemption.
     
  • Students who are required to pay the full minimum degree fee for their program and are not beyond their program length will not be approved for tuition exemption. 
     
  • The tuition exemption is based on the premise that no other funding towards tuition or other substantial funding, valued at approx. $8,000 is expected during the 2022-23 academic year.  Should it be determined that funding in excess of $8,000 is expected from other sources, the tuition exemption will not be approved.
     
  • For those receiving OSAP, the tuition exemption must be reported to OSAP and may affect your OSAP eligibility. Prior to applying for the tuition exemption, students should explore the potential impact the tuition exemption may have on their eligibility. Please see https://future.utoronto.ca/finances/financial-aid/osap-and-other-government-aid/

The deadline to submit an application was July 25th (11:59 PM).  Late applications will not be accepted. 

Students who applied for Fall 2022 tuition exemption will be informed of their application status via email before September 1, 2022 (recommended tuition payment date). 

Step #2: Complete the application for the Tuition Exemption form on Microsoft Forms (to open in October for the Winter 2023 round): 

 

The application will be reviewed by the Registrar's Office and Student Experience team.  Students who do not meet the eligiblity criteria as outlined in Step #1 will be informed that their application is not moving forward.

Step #3: The Supervisor (research stream program students) or Faculty Advisor/Program Coordinator (coursework-only program students) will review your COVID-19 Tuition Exemption Form and make a recommendation for tuition exemption attesting to the following:

For Research Stream program students:

  • Additional time/work is needed before the thesis/dissertation can be defended or before the major research paper is completed. This additional work would NOT have been needed except for COVID-19 related disruptions.
     
  • All feasible alternative academic activities (e.g., writing sections of dissertation or publications, coursework, professional development) have been completed, and
     
  • The revised research plan will require only one additional session of registration during Fall 2022 in order for the student to complete their degree.

 

For Coursework-only program students:

  • The student was making good progress prior to COVID-19 and should have completed the program before fall 2022. Academic activities or access to necessary resources has been significantly impeded due to pandemic-related impacts (e.g., required courses or experiential learning activities have been cancelled or deferred, or personal circumstances).
     
  • The Advisor, Program Coordinator or equivalent has reviewed the personal impact statement prior to recommending the tuition exemption.
     
  • Completion of outstanding academic activities to complete their degree program will require only one additional session of registration beyond their program length during fall 2022.

 

Step #4: The department administrator reviews the application.

The dept. administrator may communicate directly with the student and their supervisor to get additional information as necessary to ensure that the student is indeed in their final semester during Fall 2022. For example, to confirm that a Final Oral Defense has been scheduled. Once complete, the dept. administrator will forward the application to the Chair/Chair’s designate for review.
 

Step #5: The Chair/Chair’s Designate reviews the application and approves/declines the tuition exemption.
 

Step #6: The Application is reviewed by the OISE Dean’s Office and Graduate Funding Office

To qualify for a tuition exemption, students must be currently outside the funded cohort and will receive no other substantial funding.  Should it be determined that funding in excess of $8,000 is expected in the 2022-23 academic year, the tuition exemption will not be approved.

Once review is completed, you will receive a confirmation of your tuition exemption status.

Note: if your application is denied at any point in the process, the Registrar's Office, your Department, or the Graduate Funding Office will be in contact.


Contacts

Questions? Please contact the Graduate Student Funding Office.