COVID-19 FAQs

Student Financial Services (SFS) Availability

SFS staff is available by email and are responding as quickly as possible to emails.

Questions about your student account, such as payments, refunds, amount owing, and UHIP can be directed to accquest@uoguelph.ca.

Questions about government aid, changes and updates to your OSAP, appeals, and financial counselling can be directed to finaid@uoguelph.ca.

Questions about all University of Guelph scholarships, bursaries, Work Study, and the Undergraduate Research Assistantship program can be directed to awards@uoguelph.ca.

 


COVID-19 Emergency Financial Resources

Students may be eligible to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and/or Employment Insurance. Information is available on the Government of Canada website. Please check this site regularly as Canada’s economic response plan is being updated regularly.

 

Students may be eligible to apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). Students may be eligible to receive $1,250 for each four-week period from May to August. Additionally, those students with dependents or permanent disabilities may be eligible to receive up to $2,000. Read about eligibility for the CESB. Students need to re-apply for each four-week period for which they are eligible. The deadline to apply is September 30, 2020. If you have never filed a Canadian tax return before, you will need to register with the CRA before applying. Read more about how to apply for the CESB.

Students registered in the Summer 2020 semester should also apply for assistance through the University of Guelph’s bursary program and are encouraged to submit the Financial Need Assessment form (NAF) most applicable to their status. You can access the NAFs on our Forms and Documents webpage. If you don’t know which NAF you should complete, contact awards@uoguelph.ca for help.

 

International students may be eligible to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). If you reside in Canada, have a valid Social Insurance Number and meet the other eligibility requirements, you are encouraged to apply for the CERB. Read more about the CERB on the Government of Canada website. International students registered in the Summer 2020 semester should also apply for assistance through the University of Guelph’s bursary program and are encouraged to submit the International Student Financial Need Assessment form.

 

Applications that are completed fully will be assessed and students notified within five days of submission. Make sure you have submitted your banking information on WebAdvisor so that any awarded bursary funds can be directly deposited to your bank account. Please see the instructions for submitting your banking information.

 

1. Apply for government support if you are unemployed

The federal government has introduced the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) to help alleviate the financial burden caused by COVID-19. Students may be eligible to receive $1,250 for each four-week period from May to August. Additionally, those students with dependents or permanent disabilities may be eligible to receive up to $2,000. Read about eligibility for the CESB. Students need to re-apply for each four-week period for which they are eligible. The deadline to apply is September 30, 2020. If you have never filed a Canadian tax return before, you will need to register with the CRA before applying. Read more about how to apply for the CESB.

2. Canada Summer Jobs Program

The Canada Summer Jobs program provides opportunities for youth to develop and improve their skills within the not-for-profit, small business, and public sectors, and supports the delivery of key community services. Effective April 8, 2020, temporary changes have been implemented to create 70,000 jobs for young people aged 15 to 30 years. Visit the Job Bank to begin your job search.

3. Scholarships

Applications for Fall semester scholarships are open. Visit the Scholarships section of the Student Financial Services website for more information.

Additional resources include:


Student Accounts – Tuition, Refunds and Payments

In light of the campus closure in March and changes to transit services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students will be receiving a partial refund of their Winter 2020 student bus pass fee. The refund amount will be $55.12.

If you are a returning student, the refund will be applied as a credit toward your Fall 2020 bill. Once Fall bills are posted, you will be able to view this credit on WebAdvisor, Account View by clicking on Fall 2020, expanding "Charges" and then expanding "Other Fees." The credit will appear as "W20 Covid Bus/Latenight Pass Refund."

If you have graduated, are not returning in the Fall, or would like to request the refund in advance of the Fall semester due to extenuating circumstances, please email accquest@uoguelph.ca. The refund will be issued through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – Direct Deposit. Please submit your banking information on WebAdvisor if we do not already have your information on file. Read the instructions for submitting your banking information.

 

Effective May 1, 2020, all fees that were optional in the fall 2019 and winter 2020 semesters are now compulsory for students on the Guelph campus. This includes Student Organization fees and other University fees.

 

While many things have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, U of G’s commitment to delivering high-quality courses and innovative programs and to student success has stayed the same. All students will be able to start or resume their studies and work toward degree completion. This includes the ability to complete coursework, take exams and receive grades for the courses in which they enrolled. As such, tuition rates will not change.

 

The cost of delivering courses and programs remains the same, regardless of delivery format. In fact, the University is incurring new and additional costs from having to move the bulk of courses and programs online due to COVID-19. These costs include digital infrastructure, staffing, training and enhancements that are needed to ensure high-quality offerings and delivery.

 

Tuition costs reflect our commitment to continue to deliver excellent academic programs and student services. Faculty and staff have worked hard to develop innovative and engaging ways to teach and support students both inside and outside of the classroom. Tuition is vital to maintaining academic continuity and operations, as well as providing the supports students require now and when the University returns to normal operations. As mentioned, U of G will continue to offer high-quality courses and programs, and all students will be able to continue their studies and make progress toward degree completion this fall.

It is also important to note that domestic tuition is currently frozen as per the current Tuition Fee Policy from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. In addition, last year’s provincial government mandated a 10 per cent tuition cut and implemented changes to the Ontario Student Assistance Program.

 

We recognize the financial stress and challenges many students are facing. U of G has created and deployed numerous initiatives to support our students, from emergency relief funding to research support to new bursary funds to help ensure access and support. More information is available at Student Financial Services.

 

Most student fees are being reduced by 30 to close to 40 per cent. Many student fees are being reduced for the fall semester. The University will continue to offer important support services to help our students achieve academic and personal success. This includes OpenEd (Distance Education), CourseLink support, Student Accessibility Services, Student Wellness and Gryphons Athletics. In keeping with public health and government directives on physical distancing, some of these services may be delivered through online platforms or by phone. As such, some compulsory fees have been charged to maintain these essential services.

 

If you have completed the questionnaire on the Housing Portal and have been advised by Student Housing Services that you are ineligible to live in residence during the Fall semester, you will have the option to:

  1. Withdraw your residence application and apply your deposit toward your Fall 2020 tuition.
  2. Withdraw your residence application and receive a full refund. Please email accquest@uoguelph.ca requesting the refund of $750 and submit your banking information through WebAdvisor to receive the refund by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – Direct Deposit. Read the instructions for submitting your banking information. You will receive your refund within four to six weeks.
  3. Keep your residence application on file for the Winter 2021 semester. Should space become available and public health conditions change significantly, you will have priority consideration. Your residence deposit will be applied against your Fall 2020 tuition.

Information about residence eligibility is available on the Student Housing Services COVID-19 webpage.

 

Student Financial Services will no longer be accepting in-person payments for your student financial account – this includes debit payments. Check the list of accepted payment methods.

 

Email accquest@uoguelph.ca from your uoguelph.ca email account to request a refund. The refund will be issued through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – Direct Deposit. Please submit your banking information on WebAdvisor if we do not already have your information on file. Read the instructions for submitting your banking information.

Due to the current situation with COVID-19, we are experiencing a significantly higher volume of refund requests and are working to issue refunds as quickly as possible. Please allow four to six weeks for a refund to be received in your bank account.

 


Awards

Eligibility for new or continuing scholarships will be based on numerically graded courses only. Students who opt for a “pass” on courses in Winter 2020 will have those courses included in their cumulative credits requirement, but it will not impact their cumulative grade point average for selection or eligibility.

 

Departments who hire Work Study students will determine whether or not their Summer 2020 Work Study positions are available, with consideration given as to whether there is sufficient work available to support remote working arrangements. Additional questions may be directed to Human Resources.

Financial Need Assessment Forms will be available beginning April 27, and SFS will assess students’ need eligibility as usual.

Employers of Work Study students will determine if the requirements of the position can be fulfilled while ensuring they are following U of G policies and procedures related to COVID-19.

 

We are proceeding under the premise that we have some options and flexibility for students who secured URA positions. Students selected for a URA position should consult with the hiring faculty or manager. Hiring faculty and managers will assess options around start and end dates, hourly wages, and conducting research remotely while ensuring U of G policies and procedures related to COVID-19 are followed.

Hiring departments should consult Human Resources for assistance with their hiring. Funding for this program is available, and all efforts should be made to employ students selected for URA positions.

 

Due to the change to the refund schedule for Summer 2020, graduate awards will be dispersed in two installments: 1/3 in mid-May and the remaining 2/3 in early June (provided full-time registration is maintained). Please ensure your banking information is up to date with Student Financial Services to receive your funding by Direct Deposit. Read more about how to submit your bank information on WebAdvisor.

 


OSAP and COVID-19

We are working closely with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to ensure students are not penalized due to a COVID-19 related withdrawal. Students who fully or partially withdraw due to COVID-19 (i.e., drop below full-time OSAP eligibility) are eligible to submit an appeal. This appeal is for students who, due to COVID-19, were ill, self-isolating, quarantined or caring for an immediate family member (i.e., spouse, parent or dependent) and could not participate in class. It can also be used for students who withdrew due to mental health issues resulting from COVID-19. Students who meet this requirement can submit an OSAP Exceptional Circumstances Review form accompanied by an attestation that identifies the COVID-19 measures taken and for whom. It must also include the dates you were impacted. The form can be found on the OSAP website or by emailing finaid@uoguelph.ca.

 

Selecting the pass designation versus a numerical grade will not directly impact your OSAP academic progress requirements. OSAP will consider the total number of completed credits over your study period to assess academic progress. Read more about OSAP academic progress on our OSAP webpage.

Students who do not meet OSAP academic progress requirements due to circumstances beyond their control can submit an appeal. Please email finaid@uoguelph.ca to request an OSAP Appeal Form.

 

Yes, CERB or CESB received during your OSAP study period would need to be reported as "other income". You should not report CERB or CESB in the government income section of your application but rather include it along with all other income in your response to the "other income" question.

 

To reset your OSAP password:

  1. Visit the OSAP website
  2. Click “Log In”
  3. Click “Forgot OAN or password” to retrieve either your OSAP Access Number (OAN) or password using the online or email options.

If you cannot retrieve the information this way, contact finaid@uoguelph.ca.

 

If possible, submit your OSAP documentation directly through your OSAP account online. You can upload documents from the Print/Upload page in your account.

If you have other documents such as reviews or appeals, look for the link that says, “Click here if you have other (optional) documents to upload”. This will take you to the Optional Uploads page where you can submit application updates or review documents.

You can also email documents to finaid@uoguelph.ca. Please use your uoguelph.ca email account and include your student ID in your email message. Please send documents as PDFs when possible.

 

The University is preparing for the majority of our classes to be delivered online or in an alternative format this fall. For this reason we advise you to answer “Yes” to the OSAP question regarding whether or not you will register for courses through distance education (DE), correspondence, and/or fully online. If/when you receive information about your fall class schedule that indicates your specific delivery will not be fully online, email finaid@uoguelph.ca to let our OSAP department know and we will update your OSAP application accordingly.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we maneuver these challenging times. Our intent is to provide the best advice based on what we know today, knowing full well that at any given moment things could change. We encourage you to keep checking the Student Financial Services website for the most up-to-date information on our services, as well as COVID-19 FAQs.

 

Under the CARES Act, the U.S. Department of Education allows a foreign institution to offer courses through distance education if the government authorities in the country in which the foreign institution is located have declared a public health emergency, major disaster or emergency, or national emergency due to COVID-19. The foreign institute can continue to offer the courses via distance education for the duration of the emergency and the first payment period after the emergency ends. This means that if the state of emergency ends during the summer term, students will be allowed to take courses through alternative formats or distance education during the fall term only.

 

If parental income for 2020 will be less due to unexpected and/or one-time extenuating circumstances (e.g., job loss, illness, retirement, etc.), you can submit a “Request to Use Parents’ Estimated Income” review. The form is available on the OSAP website or by contacting finaid@uoguelph.ca.

 

If you will not be attending full-time studies (based on OSAP’s definition), you must cancel/close your OSAP application. This can be done by logging into your OSAP account and selecting “close” next to the applicable application. It is your responsibility to ensure your application is closed prior to the school confirming your enrolment, which begins in late-August. If your application is already confirmed, drops and/or withdrawals are subject to penalties.

If you decide to attend on a part-time basis (based on OSAP’s definition), you may be eligible to apply for Part-Time OSAP as long as you do not have a confirmed Full-Time OSAP application for Fall already.

More information can be found on the OSAP Eligibility webpage.

 

We recommend that you review your application to ensure the information is correct. Common errors or omissions include but are not limited to:

  • incorrect course load;
  • reporting university scholarships/bursaries that the school reports on your behalf resulting in your awards being counted twice;
  • adding decimals to parental income resulting in higher income being reported;
  • not completing a Request for Review: Adjust Living Allowance form if your parents reside within 30km but you do not live with them

We recommend that you log into your OSAP account, select “check status” and select “View a summary of your application” to review your application and ensure your responses are correct. You cannot make changes to your application yourself, therefore if you want to update information on your application, you must upload a signed letter to OSAP website that identifies the items you want to update or change along with any required documents.

If you have concerns after reviewing you application or you are unsure, please contact finaid@uoguelph.ca with a brief summary of your situation/concerns for guidance.

 

You should receive an estimate after you submit your OSAP application. It typically takes an additional 1-5 business days for your assessment to be available on your OSAP account. In some cases, your assessment will not be available if you have certain supporting documentation outstanding. Please ensure all supporting documentation has been submitted and allow time additional time for processing.