The Emergency Retention Grant (ERG) program was established in 2012 and allows graduate students to request emergency funding. Since its inception, the committee has awarded students over $1 million in aid funding to help them progress in and complete their degree program. While funds are limited, such grants are available to all students admitted and enrolled in graduate-level courses.

This funding intends to enable recipients to continue their degree program and remain on track for graduation. Emergency retention funds are deemed for emergency use only, and financial need must be clearly demonstrated in the application.


Students can submit an application in the Grad Rebel Gateway. The application can be found under Additional Forms on the Forms tab. A full description of the emergency/hardship is required, as well as documentation that supports the application. Such documentation typically includes receipts or other affiliated files that can be submitted to the committee alongside the application.

The ERG committee conducts weekly reviews of submitted applications. The committee will take into consideration past applications and approved amounts to assess patterns and determine if funding is recommended.

During the review process, additional documentation may be requested to support the application and determine whether the requested amount can be approved. If proper documentation is not provided at the time of application, this may delay the process. Students must respond promptly to requests from the committee and submit any requested documents within one week from the date of the inquiry.

Please note that if the documentation is not received within one month from the date of the inquiry, the application will be administratively and automatically denied.

Ensuring timely submission of required documentation is crucial to maintaining the efficiency, transparency, and fairness of the ERG program, as it allows for the comprehensive and equitable evaluation of each student's financial hardship.

By adhering to these guidelines, the ERG committee can make informed decisions and efficiently assist students in need, ensuring that those who meet the eligibility criteria receive the necessary financial support during challenging times.


The ERG covers a range of unexpected and unforeseen circumstances. These may include, but are not limited to costs associated with, vehicle repairs, car accidents, medical expenses, the sudden loss of a family member, break-ins and/or robberies affecting personal property, or the need to relocate due to violence or safety concerns. The purpose of this application is to provide timely financial assistance to students facing exceptional and urgent situations that have arisen suddenly and that are beyond their control.

By adhering to these criteria, the grant's focus remains on addressing critical and extraordinary needs, ensuring that students receive support during times of genuine crisis, thus enabling them to continue their education without undue financial burden. This approach helps ensure the grant's effectiveness and targeted impact, benefiting those who require immediate financial aid.

All domestic student applicants must have a current FAFSA on record at UNLV. FAFSA-ineligible students, including international students, must have a current Alternate Need Form (ANF) on record with the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. Preference is provided to students with financial need as determined by the FAFSA or ANF. A student with a FAFSA or ANF on file, but does not have demonstrated need as shown by those documents is still eligible to receive assistance from this program. Retention funds are derived from sources that require 50% need and 50% non-need reconciliation requirements.


Emergency retention funds must be tied to an academic term in which the student is enrolled in graduate-level credits. Applications must be received within the following dates to be processed for a specific academic term:

Fall: August 1st – December 31st
Spring: January 1st – May 31st
Summer: June 1st - July 31st


Emergency retention funds are used for graduate student retention and derived from UNLV graduate fee-driven Access funds, State of Nevada funds, and financial gifts made to the UNLV Graduate College.

To be eligible for funding, students must be enrolled in graduate-level coursework during the term that they are requesting funding. Retention funds cannot be disbursed to students without enrollment.

It is essential to clarify that the grant is not intended to cover expected costs such as monthly living costs, daily prescriptions, or mortgage/rent payments. Instead, its purpose is to provide timely financial assistance to students facing exceptional and urgent situations that have arisen suddenly and are beyond their control.

If a student requests retention funds to minimize subsidized, and/or unsubsidized loan indebtedness, this alone is not a sufficient reason for the request to be approved. The committee will consider all avenues of funding sought by the student, including current work status and the amount of federal aid that the student has currently accepted. Generally, those applicants with available federal funding and/or the ability to work will not be high-priority applicants to receive emergency funding.

Please note that all NSHE and UNLV favoritism and nepotism policies apply. Employees must not engage in any activities that place them in a conflict of interest between their official activities and any other interest or obligation. Conflict of interest requires all employees and officers to disqualify themselves from participating in a decision when financial or personal interest is present (BOR 03/06).

Additional Resources

In hopes of providing additional assistance, below are some other alternatives for seeking resources:

Faculty Information

These grants should be a last choice, worst-case scenario safety net. All requests from academic colleges or schools should be internally reviewed, regulated, and limited. Please note that there is a finite amount of funds for this program.

Approving an ERG application at the unit level guarantees neither funding nor funding amounts. The Graduate College determines final decisions regarding funding approval and funding amounts.

ERG funds must be utilized with retention in mind. The recommending department and dean must be able to demonstrate that the eligible student:

  1. Is in good standing and is progressing successfully and appropriately in their program (up-to-date with all required forms, meeting degree milestones on schedule, meeting GPA requirements, etc.).
  2. Has a strong likelihood of successfully completing their graduate program with the assistance of this one-time grant.