How does the Student Emergency Fund work?
What does the Student Emergency Fund cover?
- The Student Emergency Fund pays for expenses like:
- Housing (security deposit, rental assistance, deposits)
- Transportation (public transportation, car repairs when necessary for attending school)
- Books and school supplies
- School fees/fines (e.g., to lift a hold preventing registration)
- Phone, internet or other utilities (the last amount needed to revolve an acute issue)
- Limited medical or dental emergencies and/or items (including eye exams and glasses)
- Child care
- Basic needs (e.g. food, hygiene supplies)
- Special clothing items for work or school (e.g. uniforms, coats, steel-toe boots, etc.)
- Special items for students affected by violence and/or abuse, such as replacement locks and/or child-care items
- Home items, such as beds, refrigerators, blankets and linens for fire and flood victims
- Important documentation, such as state identification and birth certificates
- Other expenditures that prevent or avert crisis, as approved by the Fund Manager
The Student Emergency Fund does not pay for expenses like:
- Motel or hotel stays (unless used to bridge one or two nights to long-term housing)
- Credit card bills
- Funeral costs
- Home items that are not critical to the household, such as replacements for old but usable furniture, paint, couches, TVs, and other unnecessary appliances
- Moving trucks and services provided by friends or businesses that require credit card deposits, mileage fees and add-ons for vehicle damage
- Travel expenses and special clothing for funerals, graduations or other special occasions
- Partial payments for chronic rental or utility issues that might “buy time” but do not resolve the issue
- Pet food, vet visits, or other items related to pet care
- Any medications that have not been prescribed by a physician
- Any item which does not truly prevent or avert a crisis for the student.
Can I apply for funding?
You can apply for funding if you:
- Are active at one of the following schools or organizations:
- Are experiencing a crisis or transition such as job loss, housing eviction, a family or healthcare emergency, domestic violence, or a natural disaster. Crises include any financial barriers that might keep you from maintaining existing financial aid, staying enrolled, or graduating.
- Don’t have the resources to meet the financial need.
- Show that you have a longer-term strategy or plan to handle similar financial needs in the future.
- Complete an application and provide supporting documents that provide proof of your crisis.
I think I am eligible for assistance. How should I apply?
Contact the Fund Manager at the organization or school where you are active.
Fund Manager contact information:
- Bottom Line – Margy Brill firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chicago Scholars – Dominique Davis email@example.com
- College Possible – Karen Konnsvitsky Kkoonsvitsky@CollegePossible.org
- Companies that Care/Aim High – Marci Koblenz firstname.lastname@example.org
- Embarc – January Miller email@example.com
- Genesys Works Chicago – Melinda Mcintire firstname.lastname@example.org
- OneGoal – Melissa Connelly email@example.com
- One Million Degrees – Katie Dorpinghaus firstname.lastname@example.org
- North Lawndale College Prep – Keven Stonewall email@example.com
- UIC LAS – Beth Allen firstname.lastname@example.org
- UTMOST U – Kyle Petrie email@example.com
Also, gather the supporting documents to show that you are enrolled in a college or university as well as proof of your crisis
The Fund Manager will schedule a phone or in-person meeting will to discuss the funding process, the financial emergency, and strategies currently or previously used to address the financial crisis.
Once all supporting documents are received, a decision will be made and communicated to you within 24 hours of the meeting. Supporting documents can be provided in your application or as part of the meeting. No emergency funds can be given without the supporting documents.
From start to finish, the goal of the Student Emergency Fund is to provide assistance within three to five business days or less, including payment of the funds. Depending on how complicated your financial crisis is, this timeline may sometimes take longer than five business days. The Fund Manager will make every effort to process your application as soon as possible.
Who should I reach out to if I have questions?
If you have any questions or need support, please reach out to your Fund Manager using the contact information listed above.
Is there a paper application?
Yes. The paper application will be completed during the meeting with the Fund Manager.
What happens if my application is denied?
If your application is denied, you will be notified by the Fund Manager. In situations when emergency funds cannot be provided to assist the student, the Fund Manager will make sure that you have other referrals and support.
If my application is denied, what other resources exist?
You can read our Student Resource Guide to learn about additional community resources that can help you with your financial crisis.