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Driscoll Student Center

Student Outreach and Support

Funding Opportunities

The office of Student Outreach & Support is not involved in the distribution of CARES Act funding or the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). For more information regarding these funds please visit this page

Emergency Loans

Short term emergency loans are available to students who are experiencing temporary financial hardship.  Find out more about this process here.

Financial Wellness and Planning

The office of Student Outreach & Support is collaborating with the office of Financial Aid to promote financial wellness. Through a self-directed web based program, CashCourse, students are presented with realistic content that relates to everyday college experiences.

Student Assistance Fund (Formerly the Student Emergency Fund)

The Student Assistance Fund provides limited financial assistance to currently enrolled University of Denver students who are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses because of temporary hardship related to an unexpected situation. The fund is designated to off-set a short-term financial need and is not intended to replace or supplement financial aid. Therefore, long term needs can be addressed by meeting with a SOS Case Manager to determine available options. Funds are awarded as a grant, and unlike a loan, do not need to be repaid. Funds may count as income and may be subject to federal and/or state taxes. 

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Types of Expenses that may be covered

The following includes typical expenses that may be covered by this fund. This list is not exhaustive:

  • Replacement of essential personal belongings due to fire, flood, theft, or natural disaster
  • Medications or costs related to emergency medical care (not covered by insurance) that are not able to be covered by a payment plan, and that are impacting the applicant's ability to pay for other essential expenses or basic need items.
    • It is encouraged for applicants to demonstrate that they have talked to a financial counselor at the hospital or treatment center at which they received treatment.
    • If applicant is insured, insurance adjustments must have already taken place and be evident on the bill
  • Temporary or emergency housing assistance, or assistance with housing due to an emergency situation. Including but not limited to rent, utility costs, or an on campus option.
  • Emergency transportation costs related to a family death or illness
  • Safety related needs (i.e. changing a lock)
  • Other emergency situation that will impact a student's ability to fully participate in their academic career at DU

The following includes examples of items that will NOT be covered by this fund. This list is not exhaustive:

  • Penalties, fines, tickets, legal fees, or jail bonds
  • Normal and anticipated academic expenses (tuition, fees, health insurance, books, rent)
  • 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.

Eligibility Guidelines (all of the following must apply)

  • Applicant must be a currently enrolled student at the University of Denver
  • Applicant must have financial hardship resulting from an emergency, accident, or other critical incident
  • Other possible resources have been considered and are either unavailable or insufficient
  • Priority will be given to students who have not applied for this fund within the past year
  • Generally, a maximum of one award will be given within a term to any one student. However, extenuating circumstances will be considered for students who may require additional assistance.

Documentation Guidelines:

Applicant must be able to provide appropriate documentation to verify the circumstances for the funding request. The application is considered incomplete without the appropriate documentation. Documentation must be submitted both at the time application is submitted (when possible) and after funding is received to document appropriate usage of funding. Receipts submitted after approval can be submitted directly to Examples of documentation include, but are not limited to:

  • Travel related documentation
  • Medical bills
  • Essential utility bills
  • Police reports or court records
  • Receipts or invoices pertaining to covered expenses listed above

Documentation must include:

  • Cost of item or service student is requesting coverage for through the Student Assistance Fund
  • Name or title of item or service for which student is requesting coverage.
  • Name of student somewhere in the documentation to confirm student's documentation belongs to the student.
    • For example: documentation for medications must include cost of medication, any reduction by insurance or price after insurance coverage if applicable, name of student receiving prescription, and demonstration that cost is related to prescription (though the exact prescription and medication name does not have to be included).
  • If documentation is perceived to be falsified student will be submitted to Student Rights & Responsibilities to determine if student violated University of Denver's Honor Code.

Things to note regarding the assistance fund

If the fund will not meet the students’ needs, more information can be provided which could involve different offices (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 the student’s financial aid package. If the student’s financial aid package will be impacted by the grant the student will be notified via email prior to awarding so they are able to make an informed decision.

Application Process

Students must submit an application and related documentation via the linked form to the Office of Student Outreach & Support. A committee will review the application and determine the funding amount. If approved, students will be notified of the amount and the money will be distributed. Typically, award amounts range from $50-$500 per student depending on the situation. Students receiving assistance from this fund must submit receipts within 10 business days. Failure to do so could prohibit use of this fund in the future. Receipts can be submitted to the student’s assigned SOS Case Manager.

Giving to the Fund

The number of students who can be served by the fund is subject to available resources. The fund must be sustained by contributions from alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends of the University. To donate to the fund,

  • Visit
  • Click on "Give Now" button in the upper right hand corner
  • Under Designations, select "Click Here for More Options"
  • Under current initiatives, select "Student Emergency Fund" or type "Student Emergency Fund" into the search bar
  • Make a donation of any amount to support the SAF

Lillie Family Undergraduate Student Engagement Grant

Through a generous donation from the James and Lisa Lillie Charitable Foundation, the University of Denver proudly offers engagement grants to qualified recipients. This program is designed to create student learning and extra-curricular opportunities for students by increasing students’ access to transformative academic, co-curricular, and pre-professional experiences through strong student advising and financial support.

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Because this grant is designed to increase access for students to engagement opportunities, need is an important consideration. Students with financial need will receive priority grant funding. SOS will use several methods to help determine need including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Financial Aid information
  • Whether the Student has paid for the activity already and is seeking reimbursement
  • Information provided by the student
  • Previous requests and information held by Student outreach & Support.

Funding Criteria

Examples of activities that the Grant may support included but are not limited to:

Academic Enrichment:

  • Fees associated with studying abroad (visas, passports, stipends, other pre-departure preparatory materials).
  • Tutoring and academic support costs (such as the Learning Effectiveness Program)
  • Books and supplies for courses (science and art studio courses tend to cost significantly more than others, often impacting a student’s choice of courses to take).

Co-Curricular Experiences

  • Club sports (equipment, gear, additional associated fees not covered by student activities fee).
  • Traditional large-scale student events (such as Homecoming, Winter Carnival, and May days; these are heavily subsidized but the total cost to attend is not fully covered).
  • College sponsored co-curricular events not covered by student activities fees (e.g. Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management wine tasting event, leadership development programs, Founders Formal).
  • Sporting Events (especially for national championships).

Pre-Professional Preparation:

  • Professional attire and tailoring for job interviews. Please also review the Career Closet Resource offered through Career & Professional Development.
  • Travel or other expenses required to participate in an unpaid internship (please also review fund limitations).
  • Professional development funds (academic and leadership conferences).


  • Student must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at the University of Denver
  • One grant may be awarded per academic year (July 1 to June 30).
  • The student must be in good academic standing with the University
  • Students who have applied previously are still welcome to apply but note that preference will be given to students who have not received funding in the past academic year.

Application Process

  1. Complete an online application
  2. Applications must be submitted for funding during the same academic year (July 1 to June 30).
  3. Applications must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event date.

Fund limitations & expectations

The Office of Student Outreach & Support will carefully review all funding requests based on the information provided in the application. Here is some additional information:

  • Funding must be used solely for the purpose outlined in the submitted application;
  • Funding must be used for purposes consistent with University of Denver policies;
  • Funding is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis;
  • Submission of an application does not guarantee funding will be awarded;
  • The fund criteria does not allow for stipends or any other forms of pay for unpaid internships or other work experiences
  • Appropriate documentation (e.g., receipts or copies of paid invoices) must be submitted to the Office of Student Outreach & Support no later than two weeks after the event. Failure to do so could impact future funding opportunities

Please email with any questions

Community Funding Opportunities

Alexander Foundation: includes COVID-19 LGBTQ+ Coloradan Assistance Program