Financial Support Resources

If you or someone you know is experiencing a temporary financial emergency, please submit an SOS referral, and we'll reach out to determine the best way to help. Financial assistance is available from the DU Student Assistance Fund, the Federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, as well as emergency loans.

The number of students who can be served by the Student Assistance Fund is subject to available resources. The fund must be sustained by contributions from alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends of the University. Head over to the donation page to make a contribution.

Student Outreach and Support does not handle the Federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. However, DU does participate.

Learn More about HEERF

Are you or someone you know experiencing a financial emergency?

If you or a student you know is experiencing a temporary financial emergency, there are resources available to help. Between the HEERF, Financial Assistance Fund, and emergency loans, the University of Denver is prepared to help those going through a difficult time.

Please keep in mind that these recourses are not a replacement for long-term financial aid, scholarships, or other funding opportunities.


Emergency Loans

If you're experiencing a temporary financial hardship, the office of the bursar can help out. Short-term emergency loans are available to students who are experiencing temporary financial distress or that are in need of necessities. Find out more about the short-term emergency loans process and eligibility here.

Bursar Emergency Loans


Student Assistance Fund

If you're a currently enrolled DU student and find yourself in an unexpected situation where you're unable to meet immediate essential expenses, the Student Assistance Fund may be able to provide you with limited financial assistance. The fund is designated to offset short-term financial needs and is not intended to replace or supplement financial aid. If you need help managing a long-term financial challenge, you can meet with a SOS Case Manager to determine available options. These funds are awarded as grants, so unlike with a loan, you do not need to repay them. However, these funds may count as income, so you may need to factor them into your federal and/or state taxes.

  • What You CAN Use Funds For

    The following includes typical expenses that may be covered by this fund. This list is not exhaustive:

    • Replacement of essential personal belongings due to fire, flood, theft, or natural disaster
    • Medications or costs related to emergency medical care that are not covered by insurance or able to be covered by a payment plan, and that are impacting the applicant's ability to pay for other essential expenses or basic needs. It is encouraged for applicants to demonstrate that they have talked to a financial counselor at the hospital or treatment center where they received treatment. If applicant is insured, insurance adjustments must first be factored the bill.
    • Temporary or emergency housing assistance, or assistance with housing due to an emergency situation. Including but not limited to rent, utility costs, or an on-campus option.
    • Emergency transportation costs related to a family death or illness
    • Safety related needs (i.e. changing a lock)
    • Other emergency situations that impact a student's ability to fully participate in their academic career at DU
  • What you CANNOT Use Funds For
    • Penalties, fines, tickets, legal fees or jail bonds
    • Normal and anticipated academic expenses (tuition, fees, health insurance, books, rent, etc.)
    • Non-essential utilities, household or furniture costs not related to damage or theft
    • Costs for entertainment, recreation, health insurance or non-emergency travel
    • Replacement of non-essential personal items due to fire, flood, theft or natural disaster
    • Medical bills for ongoing or non-emergency reasons including but not limited to routine lab work, primary care visits, physical therapy or mental health counseling appointments
    • Laptop replacement when the applicant is eligible for the Laptop Loan Program through Information Technology
  • Eligibility Guidelines
    • Applicant must be a currently enrolled student at the University of Denver
    • Applicant must have financial hardship resulting from an emergency, accident, or other critical incident
    • Other possible resources have been considered and are either unavailable or insufficient
    • Priority will be given to students who have not applied for this fund within the past year
    • Generally, a maximum of one award will be given within a term to any one student. However, extenuating circumstances will be considered for students who may require additional assistance.

    Documentation Guidelines:

    Applicant must be able to provide appropriate documentation to verify the circumstances for the funding request. The application is considered incomplete without the appropriate documentation. Documentation must be submitted both at the time application is submitted (when possible) and after funding is received to document appropriate usage of funding. Receipts submitted after approval can be submitted directly to Examples of documentation include, but are not limited to:

    • Travel related documentation
    • Medical bills
    • Essential utility bills
    • Police reports or court records
    • Receipts or invoices pertaining to covered expenses listed above

    Documentation must include:

    • Cost of item or service student is requesting coverage for through the Student Assistance Fund
    • Name or title of item or service for which student is requesting coverage.
    • Name of student somewhere in the documentation to confirm student's documentation belongs to the student.
      • For example: documentation for medications must include cost of medication, any reduction by insurance or price after insurance coverage if applicable, name of student receiving prescription, and demonstration that cost is related to prescription (though the exact prescription and medication name does not have to be included).
    • If documentation is perceived to be falsified student will be submitted to Student Rights & Responsibilities to determine if student violated University of Denver's Honor Code.
  • Application Process

    Students must submit an application and related documentation via the linked form to the Office of Student Outreach & Support. A committee will review the application and determine the funding amount. If approved, students will be notified of the amount and the money will be distributed. Typically, award amounts range from $50-$700 per student depending on the situation. Students receiving assistance from this fund must submit receipts for how funds are used. Failure to do so could result in the loss of access to this fund in the future or the placement of holds on student accounts. Receipts can be submitted to the student’s assigned SOS Case Manager.


Things to Consider Before You Apply

If the fund won't fully meet your emergency needs, Student Outreach and Support can provide information that can help you seek assistance from different offices on campus (ie. Financial Aid, Student Financial Services, etc.)

Your request may not be fully funded. Long-term needs will be directed to Financial Aid for further funding options. (NOTE: Financial Aid options could include self-help aid such as loans or work study.)

Receiving this grant could affect your existing financial aid package. If your receiving the student assistance grant will impact your financial aid package, you will be notified via email prior to the final award so that you can make an informed decision.


Temporary Financial Assistance for the LGBTQ+ Community

There are several non-DU-related funds for members of the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado. The Community Assistance Grant, The Rocky Mountaineers Motorcycle Club Catastrophic Assistance Fund, and the Holiday Letter Assistance program are all exclusively available to members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Community Funding Options

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Help Us Keep the Student Assistance Fund Going!

Donations help us support students in need.

Donate to the Student Assistance Fund

Financial Assistance for Transformative Experiences

A generous donation from the James and Lisa Lillie Charitable Foundation offers engagement grants to qualified recipients. If you are hoping to participate in a unique academic, co-curricular, or pre-professional experience, the grant may help you achieve your goals through strong student advising and financial support.

Apply Now


Steps to Financial Wellness

Many students do not have the opportunity to learn financial skills in school or at home. DU is committed to providing resources for our students on how to manage money and create financial freedom, which is why we've partnered with the National Endowment for Financial Education to bring DU students a FREE online financial literacy resource called CashCourse.

Financial Wellness Resources