COVID-19 applicant FAQs

Last updated June 18, 2021

Below you'll find FAQs on a range of topics, including program delivery, information on financial aid and tuition, student supports and more.

FAQs for international applicants
If your question isn’t addressed, please email ask.george@georgebrown.ca.

I haven't applied yet and I’m not sure if I should. What should I do?

Don’t put your plans on hold. We're committed to the health and safety of our students and we’ve started a slow and gradual transition to campus based on direction from the government and public health officials. 

We anticipate all aspects of programs will be fulfilled before graduation. The timing of when certain components of a program can be completed may shift depending on guidelines from public health officials. 

FALL 2021

Programs will be delivered in both online and hybrid formats for the Fall 2021 semester, starting Sept. 7.

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Are there in-person classes? Does that affect me?

The Fall 2021 semester will be delivered in both online and hybrid formats and will provide the high-quality, career-focused education that George Brown College is known for. Online learning provides flexibility and can help you make the most of your learning time.  

While there are plans to increase on-campus services when it is safe to do so, the program delivery format isn’t expected to change over the course of the fall semester.

Public health guidelines continue to limit the number of people we are allowed in our buildings, and we don’t know when restrictions will lift. But we do know that many of our students have decided to learn from home this fall, which may be outside of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). Rest assured, you will not be required on campus if your program is listed as online on our program delivery page.

Fall 2021 semester program delivery 

Can I accept my offer and change my mind later?

FALL 2021 SEMESTER  

We encourage you to accept your offer. You have until September 20, 2021, to withdraw from a program with a partial refund. 

Accept your offer

Can I defer my acceptance to a future semester?

Domestic students with offers who want to defer to a future intake should contact admissions@georgebrown.ca. Your request will be reviewed based on availability and capacity. International students should contact their admissions officer (as per the contact details on your offer letter) or send an email request to intladmissons@georgebrown.ca.

Is there a chance part of the semester will be delivered on campus?

Programs are being delivered in both online and hybrid formats for the Fall 2021 semester. 

While there are plans to increase on-campus services when it is safe to do so, the program delivery format isn’t expected to change over the course of the fall semester.

Public health guidelines continue to limit the number of people we are allowed in our buildings, and we don’t know when restrictions will lift. But we do know that many of our students have decided to learn from home this fall, which may be outside of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). Rest assured, you will not be required on campus if your program is listed as online on our program delivery page.

What can I expect for the fall semester?

Programs are being delivered in both online and hybrid formats for the Fall 2021 semester.  

Online programs and the online element of hybrid programs will be a combination of real-time (synchronous) and pre-recorded (asynchronous) delivery and will use a combination of online tools, such as Blackboard, Microsoft Teams and Zoom. There will likely be online tools that are specific to various programs. Your professors and/or program coordinator will provide details. 

Fall 2021 semester program delivery

Find program contacts below if you have questions about the spring or fall semesters:

Centre for Arts, Design and Information Technology

Centre for Business

Centre for Community Services & Early Childhood

Centre for Construction & Engineering Technologies

Centre for Health Sciences

Centre for Hospitality & Culinary Arts

School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Centre for Preparatory & Liberal Studies

Continuing Education

How will I get the hands-on learning I expect from college?

Providing hands-on opportunities for students to develop skills is a vital part of how we deliver learning at George Brown. But protecting the health and safety of our community is of the utmost importance during this unprecedented time for the college, the province and the country.

We've started a gradual and phased return to campus, based on guidance from public health authorities and government, providing access to our labs and facilities for small groups of students that require limited instruction.  

What about programs with work-integrated learning (FIELD PLACEMENTS, CO-OP, INTERNSHIPS, ETC.)?

Many of our employer partners are hosting virtual and in-workplace (if appropriate) work-integrated learning and co-op placements. Students can contact their program coordinator to confirm the status of work-integrated learning opportunities. 

Can I apply for Academic Upgrading?

Visit georgebrown.ca/academic-upgrading for more information. 


Financial Aid and Tuition

Is there a tuition payment plan for the Spring 2021 semester?

We recognize that COVID-19 has presented challenges for students, including unanticipated financial pressures, and so we have established a tuition payment plan for the Spring 2021 semester.  

The payment plan is available to new and returning domestic students and returning international students.  

Students can pay their Spring 2021 semester tuition in full on Friday, April 9, 2021, or in three instalments due on the following dates:  

  • First instalment — Friday, April 9, 2021  
  • Second instalment — Friday, May 21, 2021  
  • Third instalment — Friday, June 18, 2021  

How to sign up for the tuition payment plan  

Students can sign up for the Spring 2021 semester tuition payment plan on STU-VIEW. The application opens Monday, March 22, 2021. Students must be registered for spring semester programs to qualify. 

Is there a tuition payment plan for the Fall 2021 semester?

We recognize that COVID-19 has presented challenges for students, including unanticipated financial pressures, and so we have established a tuition payment plan for the Fall 2021 semester.  

The payment plan is available to new and returning domestic students and returning international students.  

Students can pay their Fall 2021 semester tuition in full on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, or in three instalments due on the following dates:  

  • First instalment — Friday, Aug. 20, 2021  
  • Second instalment — Monday, Sept. 20, 2021  
  • Third instalment — Friday, Oct. 21, 2021  

How to sign up for the tuition payment plan  

Students can sign up for the Fall 2021 semester tuition payment plan on STU-VIEW. The application opens Monday, July 26, 2021. Students must be registered for fall semester programs to qualify.  

Will there be tuition reductions because programs are delivered online?

While the learning format is different, we remain committed to helping you build the skills and experience you need to kick-start your career. Tuition fees support the cost of academic program delivery, including instruction, assessment and administration, all of which are still taking place. These fees also support the many student support services that are now being delivered online, including virtual counselling sessions, tutoring, career advising, Accessible Learning Services and more. Tuition is not specific to location or mode of delivery. With this in mind, we will not be offering discounts for the Spring/Summer 2021 semester. This applies to both domestic and international students. George Brown remains committed to helping students complete their programs, and we will continue to ensure that learning outcomes are met while programs are being delivered online.

Given that college’s buildings are closed, and also that students are not able to access the Athletics & Recreation facilities, the college will waive the Athletics & Recreation and the Athletics Building Capital fees ($78 per student) for the Spring/Summer 2021 semester, as it did for the Winter 2020 and Fall 2020 semesters. All other fees will continue to be charged since services continue to be offered to students. 

Will changes due to COVID-19 affect OSAP eligibility?

You can visit ontario.ca/osap to find more information and to submit your application. To learn more about OSAP and George Brown Financial Aid, visit georgebrown.ca/apply/financial-aid/osap.

We encourage you to accept your offer and we hope to welcome you soon to the George Brown community.

Will student grants or awards in the upcoming school year be impacted by COVID-19?

Student grants and awards continue to be offered. Please refer to the college’s Awards and Scholarships page for more information on applying for bursaries and scholarships.


International students

Learn about the requirements for studying in Toronto by visiting our Travelling to Canada page.

Is George Brown on the list of approved Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs)?

Yes. George Brown College is on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) list of approved designated learning institutions (DLI). 

You may now travel to Canada only if: 

  • You have documentation of a negative COVID-19 test (PCR) performed within 72 hours of your departure to Canada,
  • You have a valid study permit or letter of introduction, and
  • You are attending a designated learning institute (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by the province or territory where the DLI is located and listed on IRCC’s website.

Travelling to Canada

*NEW* Can I start my online studies from my home country (outside of Canada) without a study permit approval or study permit?

Yes. You can begin your online studies from outside of Canada until December 31, 2021, and count time studied from abroad towards your future post-graduate work permit (PGWP).

These measures apply to all international students who:  

  • meet all the other PGWP requirements,


and

  • have been enrolled in a program that was in progress in March 2020, or
  • 
have started or will start a program between spring 2020 and fall 2021, and
    • have a study permit, or 

    • have been approved for a study permit, or 

    • have applied for a study permit before starting your study program
      • your study permit must eventually be approved 


Note: If you started your online studies outside Canada before you applied for a study permit, you may still be eligible for a PGWP. Only the time you spent studying online after your application was received will count toward the length of your PGWP.

*NEW* How much of my studies count toward a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)?

You can complete 100 per cent of your studies online from outside Canada.

All your time studying online outside Canada between spring 2020 and December 31, 2021, counts toward the length of a PGWP. This applies even if you’re completing two study programs.

If you’re completing two study programs, you can finish 100 per cent of your studies online if the programs were ongoing or started between March 2020 and fall 2021, and 

  • both study programs are from an eligible DLI (designated learning institution) and are completed within two years 

  • each program meets all PGWP eligibility requirements and is at least eight months long 


The following time won’t count toward the length of a PGWP: 

  • time spent studying outside Canada after December 31, 2021 

  • time spent studying before you applied for a study permit. 


For more information, please visit canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/students.html#pgwp-eligibility.

How will remote delivery learning schedules work for students in different time zones?

Whether course delivery is synchronous (in real-time) or asynchronous (completed in student’s own time) is up to your program coordinator.

Once you’ve registered for your courses, connect with your program coordinator for details of remote delivery learning schedules.

Can I extend my post-graduation work permit due to the Covid-19 pandemic in Canada?

As part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to support international students through the pandemic, former international students who hold or held a PGWP (postgraduate work permit) will have the opportunity to apply for an open work permit. 

Foreign nationals in Canada affected by the pandemic with an expired or expiring PGWP can apply for another open work permit. These will be valid for 18 months and allow former international students to remain in Canada, continue to seek employment and build their future in this country.

Visit canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2021/01/government-of-canada-announces-new-policy-to-help-former-international-students-live-in-work-in-and-continue-contributing-to-canada.html for more information.

What are my accommodation options to quarantine when I arrive in Toronto?

George Brown College has identified certain accommodation options for students who are planning to travel to Toronto to attend their academic program of studies.

Accommodation options

Students are responsible for making their own accommodation plans by reaching out to the contacts (or arranging a private accommodation) before travelling to Canada. Students are also responsible for all fees/costs related to their accommodations. 

Will I have health insurance coverage if I arrive earlier than my semester start date?

Upon request, insurance for new George Brown students will start 30 days before the effective date stated on the application on file with the Insurance Administrator, provided the premium has been paid if the Insured Person arrives before such effective date. Early arrival covers acute conditions that require immediate assistance, hospital/ER, walk-in clinic, doctor visits, hospitalization but excluding pre-existing conditions.

Students should directly contact the Student Association Health Benefits Office at healthbenefits@sagbc.ca with any health insurance-related queries.

Is there a withdrawal/refund policy for new international students starting in the spring 2021 semester?

For most international students enrolled in the Spring 2021 semester, the standard George Brown College withdrawal/refund policy will apply. The final date to withdraw with a partial refund is May 21, 2021.*

However, George Brown College will have an exceptional withdrawal/refund policy in place for registered Spring 2021 semester international students who are studying online from outside Canada AND have applied for their study permit before the start of their program.

Students eligible under the exceptional withdrawal/refund policy can apply for a full refund of pre-paid tuition** (less $100 withdrawal fee) if:

  • Your study permit application is refused; AND
  • You have submitted the refusal document from IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) to George Brown College (intlwithdrawal@georgebrown.ca) within 2 weeks of receiving their study permit refusal from IRCC, up until August 13, 2021***.

*For students pursuing studies from within Canada (online or in-person) a study permit or implied status for a study permit is required. Therefore, the Day 10 withdrawal/refund policy applies, which is May 21, 2021.

**The tuition refund will not include some material fees and the health insurance premium. Students are not eligible for a refund for any semesters before Spring 2021. Students residing outside of Canada can opt out of health insurance coverage for the Spring 2021 term. The deadline is May 27, 2021. Please visit studentassociation.ca/health for more information.

***Students must contact the college via email (intlwithdrawal@georgebrown.ca) within 2 weeks of receiving their study permit refusal from IRCC up until August 13, 2021, with the IRCC refusal documentation to be eligible for the exceptional policy.

Is there a withdrawal/refund Policy For New International Students Starting In The Fall 2021 Semester?

For most international students enrolled in the Fall  2021 semester, the standard George Brown College withdrawal/refund policy will apply. The final date to withdraw with a partial refund is September 20, 2021*.

However, George Brown College will have an exceptional withdrawal/refund policy in place for registered Fall 2021 International students who are studying online from outside Canada AND have applied for their study permit before the start of their program.

Students eligible under the exceptional withdrawal/refund policy can apply for a full refund of pre-paid tuition** (less $100 withdrawal fee) if:

  • Your study permit application is refused; AND
  • You have submitted the refusal document from IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, & Citizenship Canada) to George Brown College (intlwithdrawal@georgebrown.ca) within 2 weeks of receiving your study permit refusal from IRCC together with your Withdrawal/Refund Form.

The Fall 2021 Exceptional Withdrawal/Refund Policy is in place until December 10, 2021*** with no extension.

*For students pursuing studies from within Canada (online or in-person) a study permit or implied status for a study permit is required. Therefore, the Day 10 withdrawal/refund policy applies, which has a deadline of September 20, 2021.

**The tuition refund will not include some material fees or the health insurance premium. Students are not eligible for a refund for any semesters before Fall 2021. Students residing outside of Canada can opt out of health insurance coverage for the Fall 2021 term. The deadline is October 7, 2021. Please visit studentassociation.ca/health for more information.

***Students must contact the college via email (intlwithdrawal@georgebrown.ca) within 2 weeks of receiving their study permit refusal from IRCC with the IRCC refusal documentation and the Withdrawal/Refund form to be eligible for the exceptional policy. This policy is in place until December 10, 2021.


Student supports and resources

Will there be a new student orientation?

Yes. Our Student Success team organizes an online orientation for new students. Find details at georgebrown.ca/current-students/orientation

How can I connect with students across the college?

While we’re off-campus students can still connect with other students in the following ways:

Online learning is new to me. Where can I find support?

Check out our Online Learning site for tips and resources on how to be a successful remote learner. It offers five modules you can complete at your own pace.

Students can also find academic support at our Tutoring and Learning Centre (TLC). The TLC offers online services including real-time chats.

And our Library Learning Commons staff are available online to help students with research questions.

I have a disability and I'm worried about online learning. Where can I find support?

Students can register with Accessible Learning Services for academic supports. Accessible Learning Services provides academic, career, and well-being support online or by phone.

Will I have to buy special software or equipment for an online program?

Students can connect with their program coordinators to confirm online technology requirements for their courses.

All full-time students have access to AppsAnywhere. You can find information at georgebrown.ca/current-students/websites-apps-and-technical-support/appsanywhere.


Student residence

Will spaces in student residence be available for the Fall 2021 semester?

To promote health standards and practices, the residence is open at a reduced capacity.  

Find information about available spaces, other updates and how to apply at georgebrown.ca/current-students/services/residence