Emergency Funding

GW recognizes that there are times during which a student will need emergency support ...

 ...whether for personal expenses, textbooks or additional Colonial Cash for meals. The University offers a number of funds, in the form of loans and grants, to help address emergencies that arise.

Where to Apply

University Student Emergency Loan Fund (USELF) is available to any student who is registered at least half time and who is not covered under another emergency loan program, such as Nursing, Allied Health, Public Health and Health Services, Law, or the Medical School. Full time employees are NOT eligible.

Maximum $600 per semester. The USELF Loan Fund is open the first day of classes of a term until the last business day of exams for that term. 

Students may submit applications hereIf you have questions, please contact [email protected]. Funds are disbursed via direct deposit or paper check. 

Repayment:  Funds are charged to the applicant’s student account and will increase the balance owed to the University. Any balance owed to Student Accounts in excess of $1000 may result in a hold placed on the student’s records. Interest of 12% simple annual is charged on student account balances.


Nursing, Allied Health, Public Health and Health Services, Law, and Medical School emergency loan funds are handled through the Dean’s Office of each school. The amount and repayment terms of the loan are determined at the time of application. Repayment cannot exceed 90 days. 

Funds are disbursed via direct deposit. For repayment, funds are charged to the applicant’s student account and will increase the balance owed to the University. Any balance owed to Student Accounts in excess of $1000 may result in a hold placed on the student’s records. Interest of 12% simple annual is charged on outstanding balances.  

  • Nursing:  Please contact the School of Nursing Office of Student Services at [email protected]
  • Allied Health Programs:  Please contact the GW Health Sciences Program at [email protected]
  • Milken Institute School of Public Health: Please contact the Milken Institute School of Public Health Student Affairs office at 202-994-0822
  • Law School:  Please contact the Law School Financial Aid Office at [email protected]
  • School of Medicine and Health Sciences MD Program:  Please contact the School of Medicine and Health Sciences Financial Aid Office at [email protected]

The University has three emergency loan funds which can be used to reduce a student’s account balance by up to $1000. This will enable a student to have a hold lifted so that he or she may register for the next semester.  They are:

Jessie B. Martin Emergency Loan Fund
Peter and Doris Firsht Student Loan Fund
Barney Plotnick, MD, Student Loan Fund

Students may submit applications here. If you have questions, please contact [email protected]. Once the student completes the application, the monies are applied directly to the student accounts bill. This does not reduce the debt that the student owes to the University, but redistributes it, giving the student the ability to register.

For repayment, funds are charged to the applicant’s student account once the student has registered for the desired semester or after 30 days, whichever comes first. Charging the funds back increases the balance to the original amount owed. This loan fund does give the student some extra time to come up with the funds to pay the student account balance down to zero.

The GW CARES and Ronald W. Howard Student Assistance Funds are managed through the Division for Student Affairs. The GW CARES Student Assistance fund was created to support students who are in immediate need of temporary, short-term, financial assistance to cover essential expenses created by (or: arising out of, due to, related to, resulting from, etc…) an emergency. These funds can provide grants to students who are faced with an emergency and are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses. Funds are designated to off-set a short-term financial need and is not intended to replace and supplement financial aid. Students may submit applications hereIf you have questions, please email [email protected].

Funding is available to students who meet the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled as a degree-seeking full-time or part-time undergraduate or graduate student at the George Washington University, in any undergraduate or graduate program
  • Experiencing unexpected financial hardship resulting from an unforeseen emergency

Examples of expenses that may be covered (non-exhaustive):

  • Emergency medical and dental expenses
  • Technology/equipment needed to ensure continuity of education
  • Academic/Educational essentials
  • Essential personal belongings/medications
  • Travel expenses due to emergency
  • Safety needs
  • Temporary food assistance
  • Temporary housing (outside of existing housing expenses prior to emergency)

Examples of expenses not covered (non-exhaustive):

  • Expenses incurred prior to the emergency
  • Non-essential utilities
  • Expenses not related to status as a GW Student
  • Tuition (tuition need is administered by the Office of Student Financial Assistance)
  • Health insurance

Awards typically range between $500 and $1,000.

The GW Cares Student Assistance Fund is awarded at the discretion of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.  The award process outlined above is facilitated by staff designated by the Vice President and Dean.  Each application is reviewed individually by designated staff with urgency toward time-sensitive student needs.  The Office of Student Financial Assistance is consulted to verify prioritization of greatest student need. 

The Abrahms Family Fund is a grant designed to provide Colonial Cash on an emergency basis to full-time undergraduate students who have expended their allotment of food money for the semester. A student may request funding to increase or add Colonial Cash. This fund may only be used once in a student’s career at GW. Award amounts are based on the student’s remaining calculated unmet need (if the student has financial aid) and the number of weeks remaining in the semester. The award cannot exceed $1000.00. Funding is limited. Students may submit applications here. If you have questions, please contact [email protected].