The Student Emergency Fund assists Montana State University students by providing limited emergency financial assistance to students who were enrolled in Spring 2020 or who are currently enrolled. Students must have qualifying expenses that they are unable to meet due to an unexpected emergency related to disruptions from Spring 2020 or forward. Examples of qualifying expenses include but are not limited to food, housing, course materials, childcare, transportation, healthcare and a personal or family illness. Priority will be given to students whose tenure at the university may be at risk because of said expenses.

Funding is limited. MSU will review requests based on the criteria below and strive to award as many students as possible as long as funding is available. Most awards will be less than $500.

Possible expenses covered by the Student Emergency Fund: (this list is not exhaustive)

  • Temporary housing
  • Rent
  • Safety needs
  • Groceries
  • Replacement of essential belongings, due to fire, theft, or natural disaster
  • Travel costs related to the death or illness of an immediate family member

Expenses NOT covered: (this list is not exhaustive)

  • Tuition, fees, health insurance, and study abroad costs
  • Non-essential utilities (i.e. cable), household, or furniture costs not related to damage or theft
  • Regularly anticipated fixed expenses
  • Parking tickets
  • Costs for entertainment, recreation, non-emergency travel, or other non-essential expenses
  • Expenditures resulting from poor financial management 

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must 

  • have an immediate financial hardship resulting from a pandemic, emergency, accident, or other unexpected critical incident; 
  • be currently enrolled at least part times (Spring 2020 graduates are ineligable); 
  • have not previously received Student Emergency Funds; and,
  • have a 2.0 cumulative GPA and be in good academic standing.

The fund is designated to off-set a short-term financial need and is not intended to replace or supplement financial aid. 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. 

Applications will be promptly reviewed by a committee and limited funds will be awarded to assist students to stay safe and attending MSU while overcoming unanticipated hardships. The committee will also support students to identify resources and services that may provide critical assistance.

Funds are distributed through the Office of Financial Aid and Student Accounts. If you are currently receiving financial aid, please be aware that receiving funding from the Student Emergency Fund may affect your financial aid package. We are working with Financial Aid to minimize that impact as much as we can in this situation. Any unpaid balance on the students university account will be deducted from any monies awarded through the Student Emergency Fund program. A meeting with Financial Aid is strongly encouraged as there may be the option to work through an appeal.

Students in need of emergency financial assistance may submit an application to the Vice President for Student Success. Staff members representing the Division of Student Success will review submitted applications to determine if funding is appropriate, and if so, the appropriate amount. Funds distributed do not generally exceed $500.00Applicants may be required to meet with a member of the committee to discuss their application. 

Please use the Student Emergency Fund application to submit your request. 


The review committee will meet twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays to review applicaitons. Award notifications will be sent with in a week from the date of review. 


The number of students who can be served by the Student Emergency Fund is subject to the availability of funding. The fund must be sustained by continual contributions from alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends of the University. A big thank you goes to those who have given during this time of crisis, your help has helped so many students over the last few weeks. Please follow visit the MSUAF website to make a donation.