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

The Student Assistance Fund (SAF) provides financial assistance to students to help prevent emergency situations or unexpected financial needs from impacting a student’s ability to fully participate in their experience at the University of Denver (DU). The fund is designed to offset a short-term financial need and is not intended to replace or supplement financial aid or other sources of income. Students can explore how to address long-term needs by meeting with a Student Outreach & Support (SOS) Case Manager to determine available options. DU makes awards from the SAF as grants, and unlike a loan, students do not need to be repay the amount of the award. However, awards from the SAF may count as income and may be subject to federal and/or state taxes.

  • Eligibility Guidelines
    • Applicants must be currently enrolled in classes at DU for the term in which they are requesting SAF support.
    • The award of SAF funds must not result in the student's financial aid package exceeding their maximum Cost of Attendance (COA) as determined by the Financial Aid Office.
    • Normally, applicants are only be approved for funds once per term. SOS may consider multiple requests in a single term on a case-by-case basis.
  • What You CAN Use Funds For

    Applicant must demonstrate financial need for immediate and essential support. Immediate and essential support may include, but is not limited to:

    Emergency Needs

    • Replacement of essential personal belongings due to fire, flood, theft, or natural disaster,
    • Temporary or emergency housing assistance,
    • Emergency transportation costs related to a family death or illness,
    • Medications or costs related to emergency medical care that are not covered by insurance and/or not able to be covered by a payment plan,

    Essential Needs

    • Safety-related needs (i.e. changing a lock, repairing a door or window),
    • Off-campus housing or utilities costs that have been impacted due to an unexpected event,
    • Food and household essentials that cannot be addressed through other DU programs such as Swipe Out Hunger or the on-campus food pantry,
    • Necessary testing to provide documentation to support requests for academic accommodations.


    Student Outreach and Support has the discretion to review and approve requests from the SAF for scenarios not set forth above, provided that the issue presents a clear barrier to the student’s ability to access their education.

  • What you CANNOT Use Funds For

    The Student Assistance Fund may not be used for the following purposes. This list is not exhaustive and it is suggested to always work with SOS to work through options. 

    • 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
  • Application Process

    Students must submit an application and related documentation via the Student Assistance Fund Form to the Office of Student Outreach & Support. A Case Manager will review the application and, if the student’s request satisfies the eligibility criteria, will contact the student to discuss the application, and then will determine a recommended award amount. If the request is approved, SOS will notify students of the amount and the money will be distributed. Typically, award amounts range from $50-$1000 per student depending on the circumstances. Students may continue to work with their assigned Case Manager to submit receipts and further coordinate support, as needed.


  • Documentation Guidelines
    • Documentation, whenever possible, should include the name of the applicant, name of the organization funds are being used for (i.e., landlord/leasing office, vehicle repair shop, healthcare provider), the cost of the item(s) or service(s), date that the funds are due.
    • The SOS Case Manager collects documentation prior to approval of the application and fund disbursement, except for special circumstances where there is no exact cost of the item(s) or service(s) such as household essentials support.
    • Following fund disbursement, an applicant must provide receipts, bank statements, or some other verification that demonstrates the funds were used for the originally intended purpose. The student must submit this documentation prior to the end of the quarter or within 60 days, whichever comes later). Failure to submit necessary receipt(s) may result in the student being ineligible to receive funds in the future and/or a hold being placed on their account.
      • SOS recognizes that there may be extenuating circumstances that may impact a student’s capacity to gather necessary documentation. In such case, the student must communicate this with the SOS Case Manager who can work with the student to resolve that concern.   
    • Falsified Documentation: If DU discovers or is informed that a student has submitted falsified documentation, SOS will refer the matter to Student Rights and Responsibilities for review of possible policy violations.

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

background image of DU student studying in front of old brick wall

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