Dear members of the U of G community,

COVID-19 has introduced many new and different challenges into all of our lives. For students in particular, life during COVID-19 has demanded new ways of studying and learning. It has also created additional material pressures for our students with respect to summer jobs, travel restrictions and unexpected expenses.

I want to assure U of G students that we are here to support you and your continued success. Over the last few weeks, the University has made several investments in student aid and support to help students during this difficult time. U of G provides $47 million annually in student supports and bursaries. In light of COVID-19, the University has also increased the number and value of emergency bursaries for our graduate and undergraduate students; created multi-year scholarships to support our incoming international undergraduate students; and maintained and topped up funding for all thesis-based graduate students in the summer semester to at least $6,000. We have also provided $2,500 to students in course-based master’s programs who never expected to secure funding from the University.

Canadian universities have also been united in elevating our students’ concerns to government. U of G has been a strong voice in these conversations. I am pleased to share that yesterday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a significant announcement about support for post-secondary students. This announcement includes new income support, financial aid and employment opportunities. You can read more about these new measures on the Prime Minister’s website.

Here are some of the key highlights from the announcement:

  • A new Canada Emergency Student Benefit will provide income support to students and new graduates. This benefit will provide $1,250/month to eligible students from May to August 2020.
  • The government will create 76,000 new jobs in sectors that need support and are in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and a new Canada Student Service Grant has been created to help students gain paid experience through volunteering in roles that provide service to their communities during the pandemic.
  • There will be new funding for expiring scholarships, grants and fellowships to support graduate students in continuing their work.
  • Access to financial aid will increase through doubling of grants under the Canada Student Loans Program and expansion of eligibility requirements to access financial assistance. An additional $75 million will be dedicated for further support for Indigenous students.

Ensuring that our students remain successful and supported is so important during this challenging time. If you have questions, I encourage you to connect with Student Financial Services.

Franco Vaccarino
President and Vice-Chancellor

The University’s COVID-19 website is your best source of information on U of G’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.