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Student Crisis Fund

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Testudo sculpture in front of McKeldin Library

About the Student Crisis Fund

Creating a culture of care is central to the values of the Dean of Students Office. In the spirit of caring for our students, the Student Crisis Fund enables us to award Economic Crisis Response Grants when a verified crisis has negatively impacted a student's health, safety, wellbeing, and their ability to continue their education. The Economic Crisis Response Grant process is managed by the Dean of Students Office, housed within the Division of Student Affairs, and is made possible thanks to the support of generous donors and their contributions to the Student Crisis Fund.

Economic Crisis Response Grants

An Economic Crisis Response Grant is a case-specific intervention to help address a student’s financial crisis. It is designed to address an immediate need, including housing, food, medical and/or mental health care, transportation, or other emergency. The grants are not intended to provide ongoing relief for recurring expenses.

  • Economic Crisis Response Grants are provided in the form of a ONCE PER ACADEMIC YEAR AWARD.
  • These grants are not loans, so students who receive funding are not expected to repay the grant. 
  • Every request for financial relief is reviewed on its individual merits.
  • The value of the award is based on a student's specific needs but typically does not exceed $500.
  • A student must have room in their financial aid package to receive this grant.

Types of verified crises that can be used to apply for an Economic Crisis Response Grant

  • To minimize immediate critical needs of students caused by acute financial stress;
  • To provide for short-term financial assistance with unusual or unforeseen medical expenses;
  • To provide assistance with unexpected medication/prescription expenses;
  • To provide assistance with mental health crisis related expenses (unexpected medication cost);
  • To provide support for temporary housing and/or other essential needs such as food, due to displacement by natural disaster or other unforeseen environmental hazards; 
  • To provide support with safety-related needs (e.g. lock change, crisis shelter, etc.);
  • To provide assistance with sudden food insecurity; 
  • To support shelter for a student in a dangerous situation due to acts of violence or other victimization;
  • To fund travel or transportation of a student or a student's belongings home due to family crisis, crisis, or death.

Types of crises that DO NOT qualify for an Economic Crisis Response Grant:

  • Loss of employment or reduction in wages due to voluntary resignation, temporary employment, or known/scheduled time off;
  • Routinely occurring bills such as electric, rent, car payment, etc. (unless in default due to a qualifying unforeseen event); 
  • Moving expenses (unless due to a crisis situation such as domestic abuse, housing insecurity, etc.); 
  • Child support payments; 
  • Expenses of family or extended family;
  • Study abroad or Spring Recess travel expenses; 
  • Routine medical expenses such as annual health check-up, dental cleanings, etc; 
  • Tuition/university fees expenses (this includes parking tickets, library fines, residence hall fees, etc…)
  • Legal fees and court cost (unless due to a crisis situation such as domestic abuse, housing insecurity, etc.); 
  • Expenses due to lack of financial planning.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be currently enrolled as a University of Maryland, College Park student to apply and at the time of award distribution; 
  • Demonstrate financial hardship due to crisis, accident, illness, or other unforeseen events; 
  • The student applicant has considered (or has exhausted) alternative funding options for assistance; 
  • Students must complete all questions on application in full, including how the monies will be spent; 
  • Students must describe other sources of funding and financial resources that have been considered (including student loans, Medicaid, personal financial accounts, community resources) and are insufficient, unavailable, or not available in a timely manner.

Important Note:

Any emergency funding a student receives is considered financial aid and will be added to the total amount of financial aid awarded to a student. If the awarding of an Economic Crisis Response Grant pushes the aid total to exceed the Cost of Attendance as determined by the Office of Student Financial Aid, your financial award package could be negatively impacted. Please check your financial aid package before applying for an Economic Crisis Response Grant.


If you need assistance, please email or call 301-314-8484. If you are interested in supporting the Student Crisis Fund, please contact us at or 301-314-4900.

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