Student Emergency Fund

The Student Emergency Fund (SEF), which is overseen by Student Assistance and Support Services (SASS), assists UNC Charlotte students by providing financial support when they need assistance with unexpected, immediate, and unavoidable life emergencies that cause unforeseen expenses within the current semester for which the request is made. SEF is designed to provide needed financial relief for situations such as accidents, illness, death of a family member, fire damage, need for temporary housing, or natural disaster. SEF is not intended to reimburse for expenses that have already been paid. SEF do not have to be repaid.

Read the Student Emergency Fund Impact Report

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must have an immediate or time-sensitive financial hardship resulting from an emergency, accident, or other critical incidents. The expense must be unexpected, unforeseen, of an urgent nature that is unavoidable and occur within the semester of the SEF request. Applicant must be an enrolled undergraduate or graduate student, and taking at least one credit hour in the current semester. All other resources, including short-term loans through Financial Aid, must have been considered and are either insufficient, unavailable, or not available in a timely manner. For consideration of other financial resources, please review the information here

Possible Expenses Covered

  • Assistance with travel related-costs associated with the death or illness of an immediate family member
  • Books and other essential academic expenses
  • Emergency housing due to an unexpected or unforeseen emergency (fire, natural disaster, or victim of a crime) and assistance with the replacement of essential personal belongings
  • One-time/non-recurring medical emergency or medication expenses
  • Food insecurity due to the loss of a job or other demonstrated financial hardship
  • Rent due to the loss of a job or other demonstrated financial hardship

Expenses Not Covered

  • Health insurance, and study abroad costs, including loans to cover these educational costs
  • Non-essential utilities (i.e. cable)
  • University-related fines (i.e. parking, library, etc.)
  • Cost related to entertainment, recreation, or non-emergency travel
  • Cost and fees related to legal expenses
  • Outstanding personal debt, including credit card debt


Students are eligible for a one-time funding award of up to $500. Should an unusual circumstance arise, exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Applicants must complete the Student Emergency Fund application in its entirety and submit official supporting documentation that speaks directly to your unexpected and unavoidable life emergency. Applications that are not complete and do not have an accurate student ID number provided will not be processed.  It is the expectation that all statements, information, and documentation provided are truthful and accurate at the time of application. Applications that are submitted without supporting documentation will be denied. 

Examples of Supporting Documentation

  • For Utilities: Current utility statements and a utility payment history (both should include the name of the student on the paperwork).
  • For Food: A written statement explaining why the Jamil Niner Food Pantry or Swipe Out Hunger Program is not meeting the student's needs or a letter from the employer demonstrating a change in employment status (laid off, furloughed, loss of work hours, etc.).
  • For Loss of Income: Letter from employer explaining employee's status (as laid off, furloughed, loss of work hours, etc.) and pay stub history showing previous and current earnings. The student must provide documentation of how the loss of income has impacted their financial status (i.e. bills that cannot be paid, with documented bills attached to the application).
  • For Loss of Items: Police report indicating what items were stolen/damaged and estimated costs of replacement items. 
  • For Prescriptions: Bill/quote from pharmacy, showing the student's name on paperwork, time and date, and the prescription cost. 
  • For Car Repairs: Bill/quote from repair shop, showing the student's name on paperwork, time and date of service and the repair cost.
  • For Illness: Bill/quote from a medical facility, showing the student's name on paperwork, time and date and the medical cost.


SASS will review all applications for the Student Emergency Fund, when funds are available for distribution. Eligibility requirements (noted above) will be reviewed, along with the level of need and availability of funds. SASS will make a determination on whether the applicant qualifies and the appropriate funding amount to be awarded. Applicants will receive an official email to their UNC Charlotte email address with the determination and relevant information. Applicants may be asked to meet with a SASS staff member to further discuss their application, if necessary. Please note that SASS may not be able to fulfill all requests due to the availability of funds.

Disbursement of Funds

Any monies awarded through the Student Emergency Fund will not be applied to a student’s University account. Funding will be disbursed via direct deposit. It is important that applicants log into their account to verify that their direct deposit information is accurate and/or to enroll in direct deposit. Directions can be found herePlease note that if a student does not have a bank account, the funds can be disbursed via check, although the turnaround time for disbursement will be longer. You are strongly encouraged to verify and/or enroll in direct deposit prior to submitting an application to the Student Emergency Fund. 

Tax Implication

Please note that Student Emergency Fund payments are potentially considered taxable income to the recipient, as per federal law. Some international students may see a 14% federal tax deducted from their disbursement. If a federal tax deduction is required, it will be reported to the recipient on a Form 1042-S, which will be mailed by March 15 of the next calendar year. 

Application Process

Please review all information shared on this page prior to submission of an application and remember to complete the application in its entirety. Applications that are submitted without supporting documentaiton will be denied. When ready, please complete your application to the UNC Charlotte Student Emergency Fund. Questions related to applications for the Student Emergency Fund can be directed to Student Assistance and Support Services via phone (704-687-0289) or email ( Please note, SASS will communicate any updates on individual applications when such an update is available. 

Interested in donating directly to the UNC Charlotte Student Emergency Fund? Donations can be made here. We appreciate any support provided to our students.