Student Emergency Assistance Fund

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The Student Emergency Assistance Fund is a joint venture led by the Office of Philanthropic and Alumni Engagement, Student Government Board, and the Division of Student Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. The health and safety of our Pitt community, particularly our students, is paramount. The Fund, to be administered at the direction of the Provost, will be used to provide financial support for University of Pittsburgh students with unanticipated and insurmountable expenses related to emergency situations that may result in students facing financial hardship. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students may apply for funds when they experience a financial barrier based around an emergency situation, and when they have exhausted all other available resources.

Expenses Covered by the Fund:

  • Medical Necessities
  • Homelessness, sudden loss of housing, or imminent eviction
  • Food Insecurity
  • Unexpected transportation and travel expenses
  • Overdue utility bills reaching a turn-off notice
  • Loss of childcare
  • Academic supplies and technology repair or support
  • Expenses NOT Covered by the Fund:

  • Tuition, fees, health insurance, and study abroad costs
  • Non-essential personal bills such as: current utility, credit card, cable, cell phone, etc.
  • Parking tickets, library fines, or other expenses mistakenly incurred
  • Funds for the replacement of lost or stolen items
  • More than one emergency request per year
  • Eligibility Requirements

    Any Pitt student may apply for emergency funds. Each applicant must meet the following criteria:
  • Demonstrate financial hardship
  • Experience an emergency, accident, illness, or other unforeseen event among the "covered" examples above
  • Be currently enrolled as a full-time, degree-seeking student
  • Applicants must complete all questions in full and submit a justification and supporting documentation as the situation allows. Students with non-emergent financial hardships that do not qualify for the Student Emergency Assistance Fund, including student account balances, are encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid directly to discuss their situation and talk about possible aid options.

    Application Process

    Students in need of emergency financial assistance are encouraged to submit an application. Questions may be directed to Completed applications are reviewed by members of the Student Emergency Assistance Fund Advisory Committee that includes representatives from Student Affairs and the Office of Financial Aid. A member of the committee will respond to emergency application submissions within 72 hours of receipt. The maximum emergency aid allocation to a student will be $600. Payment will be distributed as soon as possible consistent with University policies and procedures. Each application is carefully reviewed to ensure all other financial aid resources are maximized first.

    How to Sign Up for Direct Deposit (eRefunds)

    Students receiving funds should set up direct deposit in PittPay.
  • Log into PittPAY from the Student PittPay Login at
  • Select the eRefund tab.
  • Enter your bank routing and account information.
  • Once you save the information, you will get a confirmation email from PittPAY.
  • Students should be aware that emergency funding may create a taxable event that could require reporting to the IRS by the recipient.

    Giving to the Emergency Fund

    Students who would benefit from the Emergency Assistance Fund are experiencing a uniquely difficult time in their lives. The number of students benefiting from the Emergency Assistance Fund is limited to the availability of funds. Seeded by funding from alumni donors, Student Affairs, and the Student Government Board, the fund must be sustained by contributions from alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends of the University to ensure success.
    To contribute, please visit the Student Emergency Assistance Fund Giving Form.