UWM Emergency Grant


Students may apply (see application below) for a UWM Student Emergency Grant to help cover expenses related to unforeseen emergencies only.

If a student’s situation is unrelated to an unforeseen emergency, we recommend that the student apply for scholarships instead. To apply for a scholarship, check out the UWM Panther Scholarship Portal at https://uwm.academicworks.com/users/sign_in. We encourage students to create an application even if most scholarships have already closed. 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.

UWM Student Emergency Grant Circumstances

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

  • To help with academic and technology expenses for distance learning related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • To help provide for emergency child care expenses.
  • 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 cover costs associated with a sudden loss of job or illness.
  • To help with the travel costs home because of the death of an immediate family member.

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

Eligibility Criteria

Students must have demonstrated financial need and have exhausted 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. Students who apply for multiple requests within an academic year will have an additional level of review. Priority is given to first-time applicants.

UWM Student Emergency Grant recipients must meet the following criteria:

  • Current student enrolled in 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.
  • Reasonably exhausted all other financial resources.
  • The grant will have a significant impact and improve the recipient’s circumstances.

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.


Complete the UWM Emergency Grant Application to apply. 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. 

You also may supplement these documents with a Monthly Budget Worksheet.

Processing time may take up to a few weeks.


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 campus and community resources listed in the UWM Student Handbook.

We understand that many students currently have great need for financial assistance, and we are working to help as best we can. Although we have limited funds, it is our campus-wide priority to raise money to help students in crisis. 

The UWM Student Emergency Grant is funded by several private contributions and it is available to all students who meet the above criteria. This fund includes the Chancellor’s Student Success Fund, Forward Scholars Emergency Grant, and M3 Student Emergency Grant. The M3 Emergency Grant is made possibly by a generous contribution by Herb Kohl Philanthropies for students who meet all of the above criteria and previously attended Milwaukee Public Schools or Milwaukee Area Technical College.

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

Emergency Grant for students of UW-Milwaukee at Washington County & UW-Milwaukee at Waukesha

The College of General Studies Emergency Grant (UW Colleges Emergency Grant) is available to students 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 your campus Solution Center.

The UW Colleges Emergency Grant can be used to cover unforeseen expenses such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Travel expenses for a family emergency
  • Replacement of stolen items or items damaged by fire
  • Car repairs

Please note that no more than two grants can be awarded per academic year per student. Awards cannot exceed $500 total.

The UW Colleges Emergency Grant cannot be used to cover expenses such as:

  • Tuition
  • Textbooks
  • Student fees
  • Alcohol or tobacco
  • Groceries
  • Entertainment
  • Legal fees
  • Fines or forfeitures stemming from legal violations
  • Rent
  • Credit card bills
  • Utility bills

To apply, click here. Please note that login is required.


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