COVID-19 applicant FAQs

Last updated Feb. 16, 2021

We know you have many questions about George Brown's COVID-19 response and how it will affect your application and learning. Below you'll find FAQs on a range of topics, including how we're delivering programs, 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 future plans on hold. We're committed to the health and safety of our students and we’ve started a slow and gradual return 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. 

Spring/SUMMER 2021 

Most of our programs for the Spring/Summer 2021 semester (starting May 10) will be delivered online.  

Spring/Summer semester program delivery

FALL 2021 

How we deliver programs for our Fall 2021 semester (starting Sept. 7) will depend on direction provided by public health officials and the government. Please check back for updates. 

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I heard some in-person classes are resuming. Does that affect me?

The Spring/Summer 2021 semester will be delivered online for most students 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.  

Small groups of students will be on campus for limited instruction that requires access to our labs and facilities.

Spring/Summer semester program delivery

How we deliver programs for our Fall 2021 semester (starting Sept. 7) will depend on direction provided by public health officials and the government. Please check back for updates.  

Can I accept my offer and change my mind later?

SPRING 2021 SEMESTER  

We encourage you to accept your offer. You have until May 21, 2021 to withdraw from a program with a partial refund.  

FALL 2021 SEMESTER  

We encourage you to accept your offer. You have until Sept. 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 for the Spring/Summer 2021 or Fall 2021 semesters 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 spring/summer semester will be delivered on campus?

Most of our programs are being delivered online for the Spring/Summer 2021 semester. How we deliver programs for our Fall 2021 semester will depend on direction provided by public health officials and the government. Please check back for updates.  

We have begun a gradual, phased return to campus, and will continue to do so as public health authorities and government indicate that it is safe. 

What can I expect for the spring/summer semester?

Most of our programs are being delivered online for the Spring/Summer 2021 semester.  

There are some full-time programs that require extensive access to campus facilities or clinical settings in order to meet learning outcomes. Unfortunately, these programs can’t be delivered in online format and are suspended for the Spring/Summer 2021 semester.  

Most 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. 

 Spring/Summer semester program delivery 
Find program contacts below if you have questions about the spring/summer semester:

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

What will the Fall 2021 semester look like?

How we deliver programs for our Fall 2021 semester (starting Sept. 7) will depend on direction provided by public health officials and the government. Please check back for updates. 

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 begun 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

Are there changes for the Spring 2021 semester tuition deposit?

In recognition of the continuing financial pressures caused by COVID-19, we have reduced the minimum tuition deposit fee for the spring semester by 50 per cent. This reduced deposit fee does not affect your tuition amount. 

New students who wish to register for the spring semester will now be expected to pay the following non-refundable deposit by Tuesday, March 9, 2021. Please refer to your Registration/Invoice Letter for specific instructions. 

  • Domestic students – $250 deposit (previously $500) 
  • Returning international students - $2,000 deposit (previously $4,000) 

New international students, please refer to your letter of acceptance for fee information and payment deadline. 

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 19, 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 is 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 successfully 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 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 for 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 about requirements for studying in Toronto by visiting our Travelling to Canada page.

Is George Brown on the list of approved Designated Learning Institutes (DLIs) for international students to travel/enter into Canada?

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

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) prior to travelling to Canada. Students are also responsible for all fees/costs related to their accommodations. 

*NEW* What new measures are there regarding Post-Graduate Work Permit Program eligibility?

On Feb. 12, 2021, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada announced new measures to assist international students by ensuring that studies completed outside Canada will count towards a future post-graduate work permit (PGWP), and by allowing international students to complete their entire program online from abroad and still be eligible for a PGWP.  

These measures apply to all international students who: 

  • are enrolled in a PGWP-eligible program 
  • began, or will begin, a program in any semester from spring 2020 to fall 2021, or whose program was already in progress in March 2020 
  • have a study permit or approval for a study permit, or applied for a study permit prior to starting their program and are eventually approved 
  • meet all other PGWP criteria 

For more information, visit: canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2021/02/government-of-canada-announces-further-measures-to-support-international-students.html 

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

As part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to support international students through this challenging time, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, recently announced that former international students who hold or held a PGWP (post graduate 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 will have a unique chance to 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.

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.

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

Upon request, insurance for new George Brown students shall commence 30 days prior to the effective date stated on the application on file with the Insurance Administrator, provided premium has been paid, if the Insured Person arrives prior to 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 Winter 2021 semester?

For most international students enrolled in the Winter 2021 semester, the standard George Brown College withdrawal/refund policy will apply. See the standard policy at  georgebrown.ca/international/accepted-students/withdrawal-and-refund-policy. The final date to withdraw with a partial refund is Jan. 22, 2021*.  

However, George Brown college will have an exceptional withdrawal/refund policy in place for new Winter 2021 International students (semester 1) who are studying online from outside Canada AND have applied for their study permit before the start of their program (Jan. 11, 2021).   

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) by April 16, 2021***

*For students pursuing studies from within Canada (online or in person) a study permit or implied status for study permit is required. Therefore, the Day 10 withdrawal/refund policy applies, which is Jan. 22, 2021.   

**The pre-paid tuition refund will not include some material fees and the health insurance premium. Students residing outside of Canada can opt-out of health insurance coverage for Winter 2021 term. The deadline is Feb. 4, 2021. Please visit studentassociation.ca/health for more information.   

***Students must contact the college via email (intlwithdrawal@georgebrown.ca) by April 16, 2021 with the IRCC refusal documentation in order to be eligible for the exceptional policy.  


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 supports 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 Spring/Summer and Fall 2021 semesters?

In order 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