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Student Emergency Retention Fund

Life happens. One of MSU Denver’s core values is access—all students should have access to resources they need to succeed in college and finish their education.


Created as a way to help support student success at MSU Denver, the Student Emergency Retention Fund is an emergency stipend for MSU Denver students who are dealing with unanticipated and/or catastrophic life events that might otherwise cause the student to stop or pause their educational goals. The fund is managed by a campus committee and is currently accepting applications. Applications will be reviewed as funds last. Once funds are exhausted, additional applications will not be reviewed.  All decisions are final.


Students are eligible to receive funding once an academic year. Awards are generally capped at $500. The committee will consider requests over $500 on a case-by-case basis. The MSU Denver Student Emergency Fund may affect future financial aid award packages for students and may be considered taxable income. 


This award will only be granted after a student has submitted an online application, provided supporting documentation of their emergency situation, and submitted a personal statement. Please note, every situation is considered on a case-by-case basis. The Committee will take into account the nature and urgency of each situation. Generally, in order to access the fund, a student must have exhausted all other available financial options. However, this looks different for every student. The Committee encourages all students experiencing an emergency to apply so options can be explored.


The Student CARE Center wants to support you. If you are unsure if your unanticipated life event qualifies, feel free to call 303-615-0006 to have a conversation with us.


Please see below for a general list of eligible and ineligible expenses.

The MSU Denver Student Emergency Retention Fund is a resource available for students dealing with an unanticipated and/or catastrophic life event.

In order to be considered for review, students must submit the following:

  • Online Application
  • Personal Statement—include the following:
    • Tell us what happened;
    • Explain why this was unanticipated;
    • Specify amount and purpose of funds requested; and
    • Tell us how this affects your education.
  • Documentation of Financial Need


  • For example, include a copy of a bill, quote for medical procedure, demand for rent, etc.



Once all submission requirements are met, a representative from the Student CARE Center will contact you as quickly as possible to set up a time to speak. Thoroughly review the requirements listed below before submitting an application.


Eligibility Requirements:

  • Student must be matriculated and be in good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 2.0 or showing forward progress
  • Student must have a record of good conduct (considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • Student must be currently taking classes at MSU Denver
    • During summer semester, student must be registered for fall semester if not enrolled in summer classes
  • Student must submit a completed online application, a personal statement, and supplementary documents showing financial need
  • Students are only eligible to receive this fund once per academic year
  • Students must have exhausted all other financial options (considered on a case-by-case basis)

Expenses covered include, but are not limited to:

  • Fees for exams or certifications required for degree completion but not covered by tuition or financial aid
  • Personal medical, dental, or mental health emergencies
  • Emergency family medical or death expenses
  • Safety and health related needs
  • Rent and Utilities, in case of emergency
    • For example: If you are hospitalized and unable to work, therefore you cannot pay your rent
  • Care for dependents
  • Costs related to major accidents or loss due to fire, theft, or natural disaster

Expenses NOT covered include, but are not limited to:

  • Tuition & fees
  • Books and supplies
  • Legal fees
  • Student travel/conference
  • Non-essential utilities (determined by Emergency Fund Committee)
  • Costs of entertainment, recreation, personal, or non-emergency travel expenses
  • Outstanding personal debt, including credit card debt

The Emergency Fund Committee reserves the right to request documentation and receipts.

Apply now


  • Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP): Helps eligible families afford child care for children up to age 13 and for youth with special needs through age 18. This program does have income requirements; please refer to website for list of guidelines.
  • United Way 2-1-1: Call 2-1-1 and speak with a Childcare Resources & Referrals (CCR&R) Specialist or refer to their list of resources sorted by location.

Victim Assistance:

  • Victim Compensation: May help cover expenses related to funeral costs, mental health expenses, medical expenses, lost wages, locks and doors, residential property damage, and loss of support to dependents.
  • Center for Trauma and Resilience: May provide limited financial assistance for emergency needs related to a trauma resulting from crime.
  • United Way 2-1-1: Call 2-1-1 to discuss additional options depending on the circumstances.  

Housing and Utility Assistance:

  • Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance Program (TRUA): This program is through the City and County of Denver offers resources to help mitigate displacement and help avoid eviction. Program is for Denver residents only and does have income restrictions. The city also has other information on housing opportunities.  
  • Denver Human Services: Provides rental, deposit, and eviction assistance to low-income families.
  • Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP): Applications are accepted each year. There are guidelines around income. Please refer to website for more information.
  • United Way 2-1-1: They evaluate all housing and utility options at the end of every month to determine what agencies have funding. Dial 2-1-1 for assistance. They also have an online database with a list of options by county.

Medical Expenses:

  • Medicaid: Health insurance that covers low-income families. Individuals can apply through Colorado Peak.
  • Colorado Coalition for the Homeless: Provides integrated health care for those experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. They also offer vision care/eye glasses to those experiencing homelessness regardless of insurance.
  • Basic Needs Assistance (Saint John’s Episcopal Church) Bridge House in Boulder: Can provide limited dental assistance, eyeglass prescription, health insurance enrollment, bus fare, clothing vouches, rental assistance, and ID and birth certificate assistance and access to nutritious meals.
  • University of Colorado at Anschutz Medical Campus: Provides free dental screenings and x-rays at various times throughout the year.
  • United Way 2-1-1: Has an extensive database of resources for health services and medical issues such as assistance with getting hearing aids, immunizations, wheelchairs. Please dial 2-1-1 or refer to their online database for assistance.


  • Denver Inner City Parish: Can provide discounted prepaid bus passes, emergency meals, mail and phone services.
  • Jubilee Center: Can provide gas vouchers from Safeway for Denver residents, available once per lifetime.
  • United Way 2-1-1: Please dial 2-1-1 or search their online database.

Food and Personal:

  • For information on the nearest food bank near you please call the Hunger Free Hotline at 1-855-855-4626.
  • Please refer to the Roadrunner Food Pantry in Tivoli 262 to assist with food and personal items.
  • The Gathering Place: Offers a number of different services. They are a day shelter than can assist with emergency food, clothing, and hygiene supplies.
  • United Way 2-1-1: Please dial 2-1-1 or refer to their online database.

Emergency Shelters:


  • Individuals who receive certain public benefits may be eligible for a free cell phone.  Income guidelines apply.

The MSU Denver Student Emergency Fund was created to assist students with unanticipated life events. To support students who encounter unexpected hardships and financial emergencies while pursuing degrees at MSU Denver, you can donate to the fund.

Donate today

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