The University of Colorado Boulder Graduate School Emergency Fund is intended to help meet the financial needs of Boulder graduate students who encounter an emergency situation resulting in unforeseen expenses during their degree program. This program does not cover students enrolled in the Law School, the Leeds MBA program, or in certicate programs. 

Please note that this is a discretionary fund that is also dependent upon available funding. If your request for emergency funding is denied, their is no appeal process. 

Situations eligible for funding (up to $1,500.00) include events such as:

  • Medical, dental* or mental health emergencies for the student or, in some circumstances, for immediate family members (e.g. spouse, partner, child) who live with the student.
    • Dental expenses are only eligible if they are caused by an accident or injury, otherwise any necessary/required procedures that are not covered by insurance may be eligible for up to $500.
  • Major accidents and events such as fire and natural disasters.
  • Support shelter for a student in a dangerous situation due to acts of violence or other victimization.
  • To fund travel home due to immediate family (parent, sibling or child) emergency, crisis, or death.
    • Travel will only be funded on a reimbursement basis. 

The following situations are ineligible for funding:

  • Assistance with ongoing medical costs/prescriptions.
  • Assistance with recurring academic expenses.
  • Housing (i.e. rent, utilities, etc.) or food insecurity.
  • Living expenses such as car replacement or repairs, child care, taxes, insurance, pet-related expenses, and computer/laptop replacement, etc.
  • Marshall Fire related costs. 


Students must be full-time enrolled in a CU Boulder graduate degree program. Please note students may only receive assistance from this emergency fund twice during their tenure. 

Before applying for emergency funds, students are encouraged to speak to their faculty advisors and the graduate directors of their programs. These individuals may be able to help identify sources of financial assistance and/or provide useful advice.


Applications from students are reviewed on a rolling basis. If you have questions, please reach out to us at

Award Description

The value of the award will range in response to the needs of the student but does not typically exceed $1,500. Provided in the form of one-time awards, emergency funding is not intended to provide ongoing relief for recurring expenses, and these awards are not loans that students are expected to repay. For students who qualify for need-based financial aid, an Emergency Fund award may reduce original loan amounts. You may contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss how the grant may affect your other financial aid.

Please note that this is a discretionary fund that is also dependent upon available funding. If your request for emergency funding is denied, their is no appeal process. 

Student Application Procedure

Please include all required application materials alongside a completed form here:

  • A brief statement describing the emergency situation or one-time, unusual or unforeseen expense and the total dollar amount of emergency funds being requested.
  • A budget detailing the amount of emergency funding requested, a list of the specific expenses to be covered by the award, and your financial situation including sources of income and other available funding. This must include any other funds received from other university sources for the same request.
  • Please include copies of any receipts, bills, or other supporting documentation. 


CU Boulder has a responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment. If you disclose having been impacted by sexual misconduct, protected-class discrimination or harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking, or related retaliation, we are required to share that information to the CU Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) for outreach regarding support and reporting options. You are not required to respond to OIEC. If you are in need of support, here is a list of resources, including confidential assistance. If you have questions before you want to submit this type of information, please contact the confidential Office of Victim Assistance.

Additionally, please note that the university takes disclosures around threat of harm to self or others seriously and when information of this nature is received, it will be shared with the appropriate offices to offer additional support and resources.