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Student Emergency Funding Guidelines

The Student Emergency Fund was created to help students with financial assistance in a serious time of need. This fund is intended to be a supplemental financial resource when students are unable to meet immediate and essential expenses because of a temporary hardship surrounding situations such as accidents, illness, death of a family member, fire damage or need for temporary housing. Students may apply for funds when they have exhausted all other resources. All other resources, including loans through the Office of Financial Aid, have been considered and are insufficient, unavailable, or not available in a timely manner. This funding is not intended to replace or supplement existing financial aid and does not have to be repaid.  

The spirit of this funding is primarily to support emergency circumstances and priority is given to students in the highest financial need tiers. Funding is usually limited to under $500 and most grants are under $300.  Please note the Dean's Office may not be able to fulfill all requests. 


Examples of qualifying needs include, but are not limited to:

To minimize immediate critical needs of students caused by acute financial stress
To provide for short-term financial assistance due to unusual or unforeseen medical expenses
Support for temporary housing, and/or other essential needs such as food, due to displacement by fire or other unforeseen environmental hazard
Support shelter for a student in a dangerous situation due to acts of violence or other victimization
To fund travel or transportation of a student or a student's belongings home due to family emergency, crisis, or death. Typically we do not cover flights home for Winter Break or Summer Break. This expense is covered in a student’s financial aid package. 

Students may also access an emergency grant for computer purchases - we recommend that students check with the Financial Aid Office with regard to possible loan options. Please note that students may borrow a computer through ITS and the library. ITS also offer some repair services. You should take your computer in for repair before applying for funds to cover computer costs. Students are only eligible for one computer from the college throughout their time at Swarthmore.

Examples of eligible non-academic requests include, but are not limited to, expenses associated with emergency medical, dental, vision procedures, unanticipated trips home due to a family emergency, and various fees related to postgraduate opportunities.

Expenses not covered by the Student Emergency Fund

  • Parking tickets, library fines, or other expenses mistakenly incurred or preventable expenses 
  • Alcohol and drug related offenses, fines and court fees/ Penalties, fines, tickets, legal fees, or jail bonds
  • Car repairs 
  • Normal and anticipated academic expenses already covered through financial aid (tuition, housing, fees, health insurance, and books)
  • Costs for entertainment, recreation, or non-emergency travel/ travel over breaks (Fall, Thanksgiving, Winter or Spring)
  • Student conferences 
  • Credit collections or expenditures resulting from poor financial management.
  • Phones
  • Computer replacement due to negligence