Division of Student Affairs (DSA)

UH Hilo Student Emergency Fund

We recognize life happens and unexpected financial situations occur. To help in these situations, there is emergency funding assistance available to those who need it most and qualify by meeting the eligibility criteria outlined below. Please remember that this funding is for significant hardships and is not meant to provide long-term or full tuition relief. Instead, this is a last resort fund for students who need it most in the immediate moment and cannot be used for future planning purposes (example—enrolling in the spring semester).

Emergency Fund Program Description

In general, students are encouraged to work with the Financial Aid Office to discuss all options available to them as a first resort. Students should also be aware of the Hawaii Basic Needs site which offers a lot of community resources that offer assistance around childcare, housing, food security, legal assistance, and much more!

Application Process

Any currently enrolled, degree-seeking UH Hilo student may apply for emergency funds and must:

  • Fill out an application
  • Demonstrate financial hardship (see examples provided)
  • Demonstrate that all other resources, including loans through Financial Aid, have been considered and are insufficient, unavailable, or not available in a timely manner
  • Complete all questions in full and submit supporting documentation as the situation allows

Completed applications will be directed and reviewed and a response will be given within 24-48 hours of receipt of application. I approved, payment will be distributed as soon as possible but could depend on several factors and may affect the student’s aid package overall. Additionally, emergency funding may create a taxable event that could require reporting to the IRS by the recipient.

Priority will be given to students whose continued enrollment at UH Hilo may be at risk because of unexpected and unforeseen events or expenses (see examples below). In general, please remember that students who are in need of support during any and all emergency situations may be referred to the UH Hilo Care Team. Please note there is no guarantee of funding once all funds are exhausted and applications will be denied on that basis if and when that occurs.

Expenses Covered

Examples of emergencies to be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Emergency medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • Technology/equipment to continue online learning
  • Food or transportation needs (including travel expenses due to personal/family illness or death)
  • Homelessness or sudden loss of housing
  • Utility bills overdue or shutoff
  • Loss of childcare
  • Costs associated with safety needs, including needs of victims of domestic violence
  • Other financial needs arising from individual and/or special circumstances to be determined on a case-by-case basis

Expenses Not Covered

Due to the nature of this fund the following expenses are not covered:

  • Tuition, fees, health insurance, and study abroad costs
  • Non-essential bills such as credit cards, cable, cell phone, utility bills, etc.
  • Alcohol, drugs (unless a prescription that is defined under the emergency request)
  • Fines or fees associated with alcohol and drug-related offenses, and/or court fees, penalties or fines
  • Parking tickets, library fines, or other expenses mistakenly incurred
  • Funds for the replacement of lost or stolen items