Eligibility requirements for the Student Emergency Fund have changed effective Jan. 26, 2021. Please read this information carefully.


The Student Emergency Fund was created to provide support for CU Boulder students who are experiencing a crisis that could adversely affect their semester. The intent of the funding is to support students experiencing a temporary financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. The funding is a combination of:

  • Funds provided by the campus or federal government.

The funds are limited and not intended to provide ongoing relief for recurring expenses. Not all applications will be approved, even if a student meets the eligibility criteria.

Emergency funding is provided in the form of a grant that does not need to be repaid. Applications will be reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid.

Students should be aware that emergency funding may be taxable and counted as estimated financial aid for future terms.

Award Amount

The value of the grant will vary according to the needs of the student, but is limited to $2,000. 

What expenses can be covered through the Student Emergency Fund?

  • Technology costs such as a laptop, internet, router, or software.
  • Assistance with tuition, books and supplies.
  • Assistance with housing or food insecurity.
  • Mental health or counseling costs that exceed campus services.
  • Child care costs necessary to complete classwork.

What expenses are not covered by the Student Emergency Fund?

  • Credit card debts
  • Penalties, fines, parking or other tickets
  • Nonessential expenses
  • Expenses due to a lack of planning or overspending

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be currently experiencing an emergency as a result of COVID-19.
  • Current Federal Pell Grant recipients will be given priority as well as students with exceptional financial need.
  • International students and students with ASSET/DACA status are eligible to apply and will be considered for university or campus funds.
  • You must be an enrolled, degree-seeking, continuing undergraduate, graduate or professional student at CU Boulder.
  • You must be enrolled in at least one credit hour during Spring 2021.
  • You must not be on academic suspension, behavioral probation or suspension.

You are strongly encouraged to complete the 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

How to Apply

  • Complete the Student Emergency Fund application.
  • Indicate the expense assistance is requested for, explain how the expense constitutes an emergency and how it exceeds what is already covered by financial aid offered for the term, if applicable.
  • Students will be notified of the status of their application generally within seven business days.

Apply for Funds


Many factors are taken into consideration when reviewing applications and determining grant amounts. These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Availability of funding. 
  • The nature and urgency of the student’s emergency and if they have previously received emergency grant funding.

How the Award is Paid

Emergency grants are paid through the student billing process directly to the student. The grant cannot pay any charges on the tuition and fee bill or be held on the student account for future charges. Direct deposit is the fastest and easiest way for students to receive their emergency funds. Set up direct deposit in Buff Portal (see instructions) if you have not already done so or verify that your banking information is still correct so that you get the funds as soon as possible. Without direct deposit, a paper check will be mailed to the student, which may take several weeks. 

If you are a faculty or staff member employed by CU Boulder, and your primary reason for being at CU Boulder is for work, you should apply through the Faculty Staff Emergency Fund

All applicants should note references pertaining to discrimination; harassment; sexual misconduct or intimate partner abuse and stalking, disclosed in this application or accompanying documentation may be required to be disclosed to the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC), Title IX Coordinator or designee. Confidential assistance for those experiencing these is available through the Office of Victim’s Assistance (OVA) or Counseling & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) or Ombuds Office.