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College Emergency Funds

Information about college emergency funds eligibility, criteria, application process and other resources available for students in need of funds, care and advocacy.

Students may encounter different obstacles during their time at Penn State that can dramatically impact their ability to complete a semester or complete their degree. We have several scholarship funds that we can allocate specifically to students with emergency needs. These scholarships provide limited, last-resort, financial assistance. Award amounts may vary, and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.  

Important Information
•    Students may only receive emergency funding one time. Students who are experiencing additional hardships should contact to discuss additional options.
•    The maximum amount awarded is $3,000 to eligible students.
•    Information submitted may be shared with other university officials that have a need-to-know purpose for reviewing and processing requests, and/or to comply with university policy or law.

What is NOT considered an emergency
•    Tuition
•    Study abroad costs
•    Parking tickets and other university-imposed fines
•    Costs for entertainment, recreation, non-emergency travel

1. Student must be a Smeal Undergraduate student.
2. Student is currently enrolled in the semester in which they are applying for the scholarship.
3. Funding requested is for an emergency caused by extenuating circumstances.
            a. The emergency must not have been caused by the student’s own negligence.
            b. The emergency must not have been caused by the student’s lack of planning.
            c. The emergency was beyond the student’s control (e.g. a natural disaster or a non-fault accident).
4. Student will be required to provide current legitimate proof or documentation of emergency.
**Please note: The approval process for emergency funding requests will be slowed if correct documentation is not submitted. Incomplete applications and submissions will automatically be denied.
5.    Students who are using federal financial aid to pay for classes. Must have room in their financial aid budget (unmet need in their Cost of Attendance) and utilized already-awarded financial aid.

Application Process
1.    Please complete the Smeal Emergency Scholarship Fund Request Form, and make sure to include appropriate documentation.
2.    Requests will be reviewed 3-5 business days after submission. Students will receive a message via their PSU email account notifying them of the outcome.
3.    Any funds awarded will be applied to the student’s account and a refund request will be submitted to the Bursar’s office, to be refunded as part of the normal refunding schedule.

For a list of comprehensive resources offered at Penn State and the surrounding community:
Services for Students in Need
Student Care and Advocacy

International Student Emergency Loans