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

Updated: July 28, 2021

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 2021 - 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 2021 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.

(Note: 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).


The following processes are in place:


Application Process for Students in Research Stream Programs Applying for Fall 2021 Tuition Exemption

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

  1. Registered and paid fees continuously since winter 2020 (Jan-Apr 2020) up to and including summer 2021 (May-Aug 2021).
     
  2. Did not receive the tuition exemption in a previous session and plans to register for fall 2021.
     
  3. As of September 1, 2021, will be beyond their Program Length (refer to charts in pdf
     
  4. Is outside the funded cohort and will receive no other funding towards tuition or other substantial funding, valued at approx. $8,000 (i.e. Tri-council / OGS awards, DCA, GA, or TA) during the 2021-22 academic year.

Please Note:

  • If you are not beyond your program length and are enrolled in a program with a minimum degree fee, you will not be approved for tuition exemption. Students are required to pay the full minimum degree fee for their program.
     
  • 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 tuition exemption is based on the premise that you have no other funding towards tuition or other substantial funding, valued at approx. $8,000 during the 2021-22 academic year. Should you receive funding in excess of $8,000 from other sources, the tuition exemption will be withdrawn.

To verify that you meet the initial eligibility requirements, students must first fill out the  Assessment Survey here

Once the survey has been completed, your dept will contact you to discuss next steps in the OISE Tuition Exemption due to COVID-19 application process and if applicable, provide you with access to the JotForm to complete an application.

The deadline to fill out the initial eligibility assessment survey is Sunday, August 8, 2021 (11:59 EST).

 

Step #2: Complete and sign the student section of the Tuition Exemption form on JotForms.

Access and instructions will be provided to students who have met the initial eligibility requirement assessment survey in Step #1.
 

Step #3: The supervisor/supervisor committee will review your COVID-19 Mentoring Form and signs the JotForm making a recommendation for tuition exemption attesting to the following:

  1. 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.
     
  2. All feasible alternative academic activities (e.g., writing sections of dissertation or publications, coursework, professional development) have been completed, and
     
  3. The revised research plan will require only one additional session of registration during fall 2021 in order for the student to complete their degree.
     

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 2021. 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 signs the JotForm approving the tuition exemption.
 

Step #6: The JotForm is reviewed by the OISE Dean’s Office and Office of the Registrar and Student Services who confirms the approval and processes the exemption on ACORN.

Once completed, you will receive a confirmation that the tuition exemption has been processed.

Note: if your application is denied at any point in the process, your department or the Dean's Office will be in contact.


Application Process for Students in Coursework-Only Programs (Including Internship/Practicum Requirements) Applying for Fall 2021 Tuition Exemption
 

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

  1. Registered and paid fees continuously since winter 2020 (Jan-Apr 2020) up to and including summer 2021 (May-Aug 2021).
     
  2. Did not receive the tuition exemption in a previous session and plans to register for fall 2021.
     
  3. As of September 1, 2021, will be beyond their Program Length (refer to charts in pdf).
     
  4. Is outside the funded cohort and will receive no other funding towards tuition or other substantial funding, valued at approx. $8,000 (i.e. Tri-council/OGS awards, DCA, GA, or TA) during the 2021-22 academic year.

Please Note:

  • If you are not beyond your program length and are enrolled in a program with a minimum degree fee, you will not be approved for tuition exemption as you must have paid the full minimum degree fee.
     
  • 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 tuition exemption is based on the premise that you have no other funding towards tuition or other substantial funding, valued at approx. $8,000 during the 2020-21 academic year. Should you receive funding in excess of $8,000 from other sources, the tuition exemption will be withdrawn.

To verify that you meet the initial eligibility requirements, students must first fill out the Assessment Survey here. 

Once the survey has been completed, your dept will contact you to discuss next steps in the OISE Tuition Exemption due to COVID-19 application process and if applicable, provide you with access JotForm to complete an application.

The deadline to fill out the initial eligibility assessment survey is Sunday, August 8, 2021 (11:59 EST).

 

Step #2: Complete and sign the student section of the Tuition Exemption form on JotForms.

Access and instructions will be provided to students who have met the initial eligibility requirement Assessment Survey in Step #1.

The JotForm will ask students to fill out a Personal Impact Statement describing the COVID-19 related disruption that effected their academic progress in their program (in cases where a Program Disruption was declared the tuition exemption will automatically be applied to the impacted students). Please ensure that this section is filled out.
 

Step #3: The Faculty Advisor/Program Coordinator or equivalent will review the Personal Impact Statement and signs the JotForm making a recommendation for tuition exemption attesting to the following:

  1. The student was making good progress prior to COVID-19 and should have completed the program before fall 2021. 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).
     
  2. The Advisor, Program Coordinator or equivalent has reviewed the personal impact statement prior to recommending the tuition exemption.
     
  3. Completion of outstanding academic activities to complete their degree program will require only one additional session of registration beyond their program length during fall 2021.
     

Step #4: The department administrator reviews the application.

The department administrator may communicate directly with the student and their Faculty Advisor/ Program Coordinator or equivalent to get additional information as necessary to ensure that the student is indeed in their final semester this fall 2021. 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 signs the JotForm approving the tuition exemption.
 

Step #6: The JotForm is reviewed by the OISE Dean’s Office and the Office of the Registrar and Student Services who confirms the approval and processes the exemption on ACORN.

Once completed, you will receive a confirmation that the tuition exemption has been processed.

Note: if your application is denied at any point in the process, your department or the OISE Dean's Office will be in contact.


Contacts

Questions? Please contact the Office of the Registrar and Student Services