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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. 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, and submitted a personal statement. Please note, every situation is considered on a case-by-case basis. The Committee will consider 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. 

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 applying.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Student must be currently taking classes at MSU Denver
    • During summer semester, student must be registered for at least 6 credits 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)

*All students are welcome to apply, independent of immigration status*

Expenses covered include, but are not limited to:

  • 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
  • Can cover costs related to one’s immigration case or court hearing

Expenses NOT covered include, but are not limited to:

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

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

Apply now

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.

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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