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

Updated: October 19, 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.

Winter 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 Winter 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 Winter 2022 Tuition Exemption

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

  • Registered and paid fees continuously since winter 2020 (Jan-Apr 2020) up to and including Fall 2021 (Sept-Dec 2021).
  • Did not receive the tuition exemption in a previous session and plan to register for Winter 2022.
  • As of January 1, 2022, will be beyond their Program Length (Refer to Program Length Chart)

  • Will only require one final semester of registration during Winter 2022.
  • Is currently 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
  • 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.

The deadline to submit an application is November 4, 2021 ( 11:59 pm EST).  

Step #2: Complete the application for the Tuition Exemption form on Microsoft Forms: 

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 Winter 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 winter 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 winter 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 Winter 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 Office of the Registrar and Student Services 

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.


Questions? Please contact the Graduate Student Funding Office.