Student Emergency Fund applications are closed at this time. Please check back for updates.


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:

  • Federal assistance provided through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which includes emergency financial aid grants created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) act.
  • Funds provided by the University of Colorado System, or donated by alumni, parents and friends of CU. 

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. Students experiencing hardship must be enrolled to apply. 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. 

The maximum amount a student may receive in total across all semesters from the Student Emergency Fund is $6,000.

What expenses can be covered through the Student Emergency Fund?

  • Costs of additional equipment, laptop, books and supplies, software or technology to complete educational requirements via remote learning.
  • Assistance with housing insecurity, which could include rent, security deposit, or short-term hotel costs incurred to quarantine or isolate, for personal safety, etc.
  • Assistance with food insecurity.
  • Additional mental health or counseling costs that exceed campus services.
  • Unplanned or additional 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 an enrolled, degree-seeking, continuing undergraduate, graduate or professional student at CU Boulder. International and students with ASSET/DACA status are eligible.
  • You must be enrolled in at least one credit hour during Fall 2020.
  • You must have experienced an education-related expense as a result of COVID-19.
  • You must not be on academic suspension, behavioral probation or suspension.

*Additional Requirements for HEERF Federal Emergency Grants

  • You must complete the 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be eligible for federal financial aid.
  • You must have financial need as determined by the FAFSA. Students with an EFC of 30,000 or lower given priority consideration.
  • You must be meeting the requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Students enrolled exclusively in an online program are not eligible.
  • Students who are ineligible for a federal grant will be considered for a CU Boulder-funded grant.

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 five business days. 


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.
  • Financial need as demonstrated by the FAFSA.

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 changes. 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.