Emergency Financial Aid

Need Some Help?

If you have some type of financial or family emergency while you’re in school, your college education could suddenly be in jeopardy. But it does not need to be. Consider this information, and then make an informed and levelheaded decision.

Emergency Loans and Scholarships 

Emergency financial aid can come in the form of short-term loans or as scholarship or grant money, which you would not be required to repay.

Emergency Aid Is Closer Than You Think  

Emergency financial aid sources are available on most college campuses. Virtually all colleges and universities have an established plan for making emergency loans or scholarships available to students that need them. Look on your school’s financial aid webpage for information on emergency student aid. Some schools feature online applications you fill out and file online for express service.  If you do not find information on emergency financial assistance readily available on your campus website, contact your financial aid office immediately.

 Anticipate the requirement that you will be expected to document your situation. These funds truly are emergency funds, and they are available only because they are secure and dispensed exclusively for legitimate reasons. Your college is going to need verification of your emergency in order to responsibly administer the program.

Good examples of a legitimate situation that could lead a student to be in danger of losing his or her funding  include: re-allocation of family college funds for a sudden health emergency, loss of a job that was key in providing tuition funds, or loss of college housing.

Here are some common criteria you may have to adhere to when applying for emergency financial aid:

  • · Most college financial aid offices require you to have filed the FAFSA.
  • · You may be expected to have a minimum GPA.
  • · There will often be a limit on your loan or scholarship, usually under $1,000.
  • · Most colleges will require you to be a full-time student.
  • · You may be asked to provide copies of bills or invoices if your money was used to cover necessary bills or costs.

Because these are emergency situations, expect a very quick turnaround on funds if you are qualified. Even in college financial aid offices, your application for emergency aid is typically handled immediately.  A few colleges and universities maintain separate funds for emergency textbook loans. If you are very short of money for a good reason, ask if your college has a program like this.