Graduate students experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak are encouraged to apply for an Emergency Retention Award through the Graduate College. Our emergency fund is intended to provide student support when other financial resources have been exhausted and students have a documented need. Emergency retention awards can be used for anything that helps students stay enrolled and progress in their program. Need software or a WiFi hotspot? Have unexpected health bills? Need short-term funds to help meet basic needs? We're here to help. Please note that COVID-19-related requests will not count against the standard Emergency Retention Award policy of only one request per graduate student over the course of their graduate career. We will review each applicant's circumstances on a case-by-case basis and help in any way possible.
Retention funds for graduate students should be perceived as funds of last resort when all other financial avenues have been exhausted. If a student requests retention funds to minimize subsidized, unsubsidized and Perkins loan indebtedness, this alone is not a sufficient reason to approve the request. A student who does not want to work or borrow a federal student loan is not considered a special circumstance. Retention funds should not be perceived as an alternative "reward" system for students with high GPA's, Graduate Assistants, or students who did not receive another scholarship/grant.
Retention funds must be utilized with retention in mind. The recommending department and dean must be able to show that the nominated student:
- Has exhausted other avenues for financial support,
- Has met all guidelines specified herein;
- Is a student in good standing who is progressing successfully and appropriately in their program (up-to-date with all required forms, meeting degree milestones on scheduled, good GPA, etc.); and
- Has a strong likelihood of successfully completing her/his graduate program with the assistance of this one-time award.
The application is available in the Forms tab in Grad Rebel Gateway. The Graduate College Awards Committee will audit applications to ensure consistency with this policy and appropriate use of these funds. Awards may vary within reason, but should never exceed the immediate financial necessity. Funds offered to a student should generally not exceed $3,500 without approval from the Dean of the Graduate College.