Access Programs University Fund (APUF)

Fund Overview

The University of Toronto is committed to ensuring that students from communities that are underrepresented in universities see and experience U of T as a place where they can thrive. Increasing access to universities by underrepresented students requires universities to provide additional services and supports through Access Programs and other initiatives in order to remove barriers that prevent some students from entering university, participating and being successful.

For purposes of this Fund, “Access Programs” is defined as: Initiatives that provide students from traditionally underrepresented groups with supports, pathways, structured programs, and/or opportunities to continue learning at the post-secondary level. Access Programs are designed to facilitate student progress and ensure that students have equal and equitable opportunities to take full advantage of their education. Access programs are innovative, use evidence-based approaches, located at particular sites, and focused on working with targeted students and communities. Examples include student outreach; transition to university programs; bridging and access programs for adults with atypical education histories and who do not meet traditional admission requirements; and programs in professional faculties to expose youths from underrepresented communities to the various career paths in all fields.

The University of Toronto has long-standing commitment to outreach and access and currently there are over 100 access programs across the institution. The University also provides a range of College-to-University pathways for students from a range of backgrounds, which include preparation to enroll in college and access to the University’s academic program. U of T is well-situated to deliver a multi-faceted approach to access that provides a unified commitment to supporting students, who without intervention, would not access or thrive in post-secondary education.

Types of Eligible Projects:

Projects must demonstrate impact on achieving the university’s goals as well as impact within the community by:

  1. Increasing the reach of an existing, program or project
  2. Replicating, expanding, or adapting a project with a track record of success
  3. Building a new access program

A secondary goal of the fund is to create greater collaboration and impact across access initiatives. Partnerships between existing programs are encouraged. Applicants are also encouraged to partner with U of T student organizations and/or involve current U of T students as part of their access project. Where possible, efforts should be made to record student involvement on the Co-curricular Record. Programs that include U of T student involvement will be given priority and would help a proposal to be funded.

Funding Streams

Access Programs University Funding (APUF) supports two levels of grant activities:

  • Seed ($5,000 – $25,000)
  • Expand/Sustain/Build ($15,000 – $100,000)

This two-tiered system is intended to provide opportunities for creating outreach opportunities and pathways to post-secondary education for underrepresented groups by either developing new project or scaling existing projects. Projects should connect to at least two of the three Presidential Priorities (Appendix B). Grants in both tiers are provided for a maximum of 2 years.


  • Developing a new initiative/program that focuses on creating intentional pathways to PSE;
  • New approaches, opportunity to learn;
  • Can be scaled;
  • Provides experiential learning for University of Toronto students through greater interaction with potential students, as well as involvement with communities;
  • Expands the university’s relationships with communities, and in particular communities where underrepresented students come from.

AMOUNT: From $5,000 to $25,000
TERM: 1-2 years
Deadline: rolling


  • Expanding, replicating, adapting or scaling an existing program, including partnering with other UofT access programs  (expanding community/school partners; increasing number of participants, etc);
  • Improving overall impact of a current program;
    Demonstrated ability of working with community partners, e.g., agencies, school boards etc.;
  • Relationship building across the university;
  • Involvement of a student group.

AMOUNT: From $15,000 to $100,000
TERM: 1-2 years
Deadline: May 30, 2022

Application Process

Applications for the two Fund streams will be accepted according to the following timelines:
• Seed grants ($5,000-$25,000 per year) are accepted on a rolling basis.
• Expand/Sustain/Build grants ($15,000-$100,000 per year) are accepted once per year. The deadline for the 2022-23 academic year has been extended to May 30, 2022.

Application Process:

The application process is conducted entirely online using the provided submission form. No hard copy or email submissions will be accepted. Please complete the following steps prior to completing the online application:

    1. Familiarize with the Access Programs University Fund (APUF) aims and goals
    2. Download the 2022 APUF Template Proposal Form;
    3. Download the 2022 APUF Budget template;
    4. Collect all of your information required by the two forms; and,
    5. Follow the link provided below in order to complete the online application process.

Complete the APUF online application by clicking here.

NOTE: Given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants should consider how in-person activities may be impacted. We recommend that you address this in your proposal and highlight how your programming might be adapted given these considerations. 


Questions regarding the forms or the application process should be directed to the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students at Applicants from multi-departmental faculties should check with their Dean’s office before applying as some may require Decanal approval before submission.