UWM Emergency Grant


The Emergency Grant will reopen June 3rd, 2024.

The UWM Emergency Grant helps currently enrolled students who have financial hardship cover expenses related to unforeseen emergencies that significantly impact their ability to be successful during the semester. If a student’s situation is unrelated to an unforeseen emergency or if they seek funding to cover tuition, we recommend that the student apply for scholarships instead.

We encourage all students to also apply for scholarships via the UWM Panther Scholarship Portal in addition to the UWM Emergency Grant. We encourage students to create a scholarship application even if scholarship deadlines have passed. Opportunities may become available at any time. Students who experience unforeseen emergencies may apply for both a UWM Student Emergency Grant (see below for application) and scholarships.

Additionally, please check out our Financial Resources page for other resources in the community and at UWM.

UWM Emergency Grant

What circumstances qualify for a UWM Emergency Grant?

Examples of qualifying circumstances for which a student may apply for an emergency grant include but are not limited to:

  • To replace books and supplies that have been stolen or destroyed in a fire.
  • To provide food and personal items related to unanticipated changes to finances.
  • To provide temporary housing for students who leave unsafe living environments.
  • To help pay for non-routine car repairs or medical expenses.
  • To cover short term expenses associated with a sudden unexpected job loss or illness.
  • To help with the travel costs home because of the death of an immediate family member.

Unfortunately, being short on funds does not meet the eligibility criteria for an emergency grant.

Who is eligible for an UWM Emergency Grant?

Students must have demonstrated financial need and have exhausted all other funding options before consideration. This grant is intended for one-time emergency situations that occur during the semester. This grant is not intended to support pre-existing, ongoing, or recurring expenses. The maximum Emergency Grant award is $1,000.

UWM Student Emergency Grant recipients must meet the following criteria:

  • Have previously not been granted an emergency grant. Students who have already received 1 grant may apply; however, they will be asked to first work with a case manager. Students who have already received 2 emergency grants will not be granted an emergency grant but will be given the option to work with a case manager to help find financial resources.
  • Current student enrolled at least half time.
  • Enrolled in the term in which an emergency grant is requested.
  • No disciplinary holds and good standing with the University.
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA for undergraduates; 3.0 GPA for graduate students.
  • Enrolled in a degree-seeking or certificate program.
  • Demonstrated emergency financial need that hinders continued enrollment and success at UWM.
  • Exhausted all other financial resources (e.g., student loans, savings, friends and family, etc.)
  • The grant will have a significant impact and improve the recipient’s circumstances.

Note: Some funding sources have additional eligibility criteria (undergrad versus graduate, in-state versus out of state, etc.). When students apply for an emergency grant, we consider all funding sources for which the student may be eligible. If we run out of funds for which the student would be eligible, we will notify the applicant. The student may be asked to reapply at a later date.

If you are unsure if you meet the eligibility criteria, apply or contact the Dean of Students Office at dos@uwm.edu to discuss your situation.

How do I apply?

Complete the UWM Emergency Grant Application.

Students are asked to describe their financial emergency and what has changed since the beginning of the semester. Requests with inadequate information will not be awarded.

Students must submit supporting documentation for expenses in which they seek funding. You can attach pdfs., photos, or screenshots to your application.

Here are a few examples of what students have submitted in the past:

  • copy of a lease
  • bill
  • quote for a repair
  • screen shot from a retailer with the price and item (e.g., textbook) you need to purchase

Documents must have the student’s name (if it’s a roommate’s name, please explain), the amount, a recent date, and the expense. We cannot accept credit card statements or notes/letters from family members. Documentation is not needed for food and personal care item expenses. 

Students may supplement these documents by filling out and submitting a Monthly Budget Worksheet.

Processing time may take up to a few weeks.  Awards are contingent on available funding.


If you are a student and you would like to talk to a Case Manager about budgeting, finances, and community resources, you may complete a Student Support Request. Please note that we will not be able to award any grants or funds through this process.

What happens after I submit my application?

Review Process

Staff review the student’s application, supporting documentation, and PAWS record to help determine eligibility. Staff may also review the student’s financial aid status to help ensure that the awarding of a grant will not require financial aid funds to be returned.

Eligible applicants will be contacted via email to schedule a time to discuss their circumstances and help identify potential campus and community resources to support them in their continued success at UWM. In most cases, students who are awarded a grant will receive funds within one week of approval. Students who are awarded may be asked to engage in follow up conversations to help address ongoing needs.

Award Decisions

Awards are contingent on available funding. Applicants may be placed on a waitlist, but we encourage students to apply as we will issue awards as funds become available. Knowing your needs will also encourage donors to support the UWM Student Emergency Fund.

Award decisions are determined by the Dean of Students Office and trained emergency grant reviewers. In cases where students are not eligible, the Dean of Students Office may work with students to identify other possible support resources. Additionally, we encourage students to review our Financial Resources page. Specifically, many students are eligible for Food Share and the Federal Technology Assistance Program.

How is the UWM Emergency Grant funded?

The UWM Student Emergency Grant is funded by several private contributions who have contributed to the Chancellor’s Student Success Fund and it is available to all students who meet the above criteria. Additionally, the UWM Student Emergency Grant is also funded by by a private donor who has generously given to the Moon Shot Emergency Grant Fund. These funds are available to undergraduate students.

To support UWM students who face financial emergencies stay in college, please consider making a gift to the Chancellor’s Student Success Fund.

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

If you have questions, please contact the Dean of Students Office at dos@uwm.edu.

What other emergency grants are available?

Emergency Grant for students of UWM at Washington County & Waukesha

The College of General Studies Emergency Grant (UW Colleges Emergency Grant) is available to students at the UWM-Washington County or Waukesha campuses who experience an unexpected financial crisis that would cause them to be unable to complete the term. If you have questions about the UW Colleges Emergency Grant, or your eligibility to receive Emergency Grant funding, please contact the Dean of Students Office at dos@uwm.edu or at 414-229-4632.

How do I give to the UWM Emergency Grant?

The UWM Student Emergency Grant is funded by generous contributions from private donors to the Chancellor’s Student Success Fund, MoonShot Emergency Grant Fund, and the Forward Scholars Emergency Grant Fund.  Since March 2020, We have granted over 1.1 million in emergency assistance to over 1,000 students.

Awards are contingent on available funding. To support UWM students who face financial emergencies stay in college, please consider making a gift to the Chancellor’s Student Success Fund.