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Economic Crisis Response Grants

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 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 unforeseen, short-term financial crisis or catastrophic life event that requires financial resources to solve and, if not addressed, could prohibit a student from remaining enrolled and persisting toward graduation at UMD. 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 and are not a long-term solution to fund a student’s education.

  • Economic Crisis Response Grants are provided in the form of a ONCE PER ACADEMIC YEAR award. Students who have already received an award for the current academic year are ineligible for additional funds.
  • Award amount will vary based on a student's specific need and availability of funds. The lifetime maximum for economic crisis response grant funding is $2,500.
  • A student must have room in their financial aid package to receive this grant. See "Important Note" below.

Please read all information below before proceeding to the application site.

Types of expenses covered by an Economic Crisis Response Grant include, but are not limited to:

  • Emergency medical, dental, and mental health expenses, including prescriptions, not covered by insurance;
  • Emergency or temporary housing and/or food assistance; 
  • Temporary support costs for a student in a dangerous situation due to threats or acts of violence;
  • Transportation issues (e.g., emergency car repair not covered by insurance); 
  • Replacement of essential personal belongings due to burglary, fire, flood, or other disaster;
  • Emergency dependent care (must be legal dependent);
  • Cost for travel or transportation of a student or a student's belongings home due to family emergency (death, illness, disaster, etc.).

Types of expenses that do not qualify for an Economic Crisis Response Grant:

  • Personal choices that result in lack of funding;
  • Home country monetary deflations or changes in the exchange rate;
  • Academic expenses, including tuition, university fees, room and board, study abroad;
  • Parking tickets or other fines;
  • Personal debt and/or routinely occurring bills such as credit cards, car payment, insurance, utilities, rent, etc. (unless at risk of eviction due to qualifying unforeseen event);
  • Loss of employment or reduction in wages due to voluntary resignation, temporary employment, or known/scheduled time off;
  • Child support payments; 
  • Expenses of family or extended family;
  • Routine medical expenses such as annual health check-up, dental cleanings, etc; 
  • Legal fees and court cost (unless due to a crisis situation such as domestic abuse, housing insecurity, etc.).
  • Must be a degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate student enrolled at least half-time at the University of Maryland, College Park when applying and at the time of award distribution.
  • International students: Must be enrolled full-time while maintaining F-1 or J-1 status and in full compliance with all visa regulations.
  • Must demonstrate financial hardship due to crisis, accident, illness, or other unforeseen events (and be able to document upon request).
  • Must have exhausted all other possible financial aid and/or financial resources before applying for a grant (e.g., student loans, Medicaid, personal financial accounts, and community resources). International students: this includes seeking a private loan.

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.

International students: Awards may be considered taxable income and international student taxes may apply. Students may need to file a U.S. and state tax return. Visit this website for more information. Any questions or concerns should be directed to a certified tax preparer or a local IRS field office.

How to apply

  1. Review all information outlined above to ensure you qualify.
  2. Complete the Economic Crisis Response Grant application in full, providing a thorough explanation of the emergency, a budget for how funds will be used, and other financial resources that have been pursued.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis twice per week during the regular academic year, excluding breaks. Each request is evaluated individually on its own merits, and many factors are considered in making a decision to approve or deny a request. These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • The nature and urgency of the emergency;
  • The specific and immediate impacts the emergency may be having on the student’s living and academic circumstances, including the degree to which the emergency affects the student’s ability to continue at UMD;
  • Other funding support that may or may not be available to the student;
  • Availability of funds.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please allow 7 - 10 business days for processing. If you have any questions or need assistance with the application, please email or call 301.314.8484.

The Economic Crisis Response Grant application process is closed for the summer. The application will reopen on Wednesday, August 29, 2024 for the fall semester.

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