Office of the Dean of Students

Oakland Center, Suite 150
312 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-3352
[email protected]

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Student Emergency Relief Fund

Oakland University works hard to meet the unique needs of every student. If you are facing financial hardship due to an unforeseen or emergency situation, the Student Emergency Fund may be able to provide you with financial assistance. OU's Dean of Students office will review all requests but may not be able to cover all expenses. Our goal is to provide flexible financial assistance to help students achieve their educational goals. Please review the criteria and request process prior to submitting your request.

Step 1: Students must meet with a member of the Student Financial Services team prior to submitting a request for assistance (regardless of whether they use financial aid funds at the time of their request).

Step 2: Review the eligibility requirements (listed below) and gather the documentation.

Step 3: The Dean of Students office will review and process requests and if eligible will award a one-time (per calendar year) of up to $500. 

Eligibility Requirements

Funds are reserved for students who are unable to cover essential expenses due to temporary or unexpected financial hardship and who have not received emergency relief funding within one (1) calendar year prior to the request. To qualify for funds, an applicant must:

  • be a degree-seeking student currently enrolled at Oakland University,
  • provide documentation of financial hardship, and
  • demonstrate that all other resources, including Student Financial Aid, have been exhausted.

Students seeking assistance during summer sessions and are not enrolled but are registered for fall courses may qualify for alternative forms of assistance.

Types of Expenses That May Be Considered (non-exhaustive list):
  • Essential Utilities
  • Car repairs or emergency transportation (excluding vehicle purchases)
  • School-related expenses, excluding textbooks
  • Replacement of essential belongings due to theft or loss by fire, flood or natural disaster
  • Safety-related needs (e.g., lock change)
  • Emergency temporary lodging to avoid homelessness or unsafe housing
  • Temporary food insecurity
  • Emergency medical treatment/medication/prescriptions not covered by insurance
  • Travel expenses to return home after a sudden family death or emergency
Types of Expenses That Will Not Be Considered (non-exhaustive list):
  • Expenses due to student overspending
  • Outstanding debt to the university or otherwise (e.g., credit cards, past-due fees)
  • Anticipated academic expenses (e.g., tuition, university fees, health insurance, study abroad costs, textbooks, rent)
  • Penalties, fines, tickets or legal fees
  • Non-essential utilities, household or furniture costs not related to damage or theft
  • Costs of entertainment, recreation or non-emergency travel
  • Replacement of non-essential personal items due to fire, flood, theft or natural disaster

Applying for Funding

It is recommended to review the below tabs before completing the request for Student Emergency Relief funding. 

Documentation Needed

Supporting documentation needed when submitting request includes:

  • Attach documentation in the form of a bill, receipt, quote in the student’s name or,
  • Documentation supporting hardship,
  • If you do not have access or have a specific situation where documentation is challenging to obtain, explain the request in the online submission and/or email [email protected].
Award of Funds

Prior to awarding funds, Student Financial Services will determine eligibility based on whether scholarships or grants are available to cover a student's unexpected expenses.

The Dean of Students office will review all applications but may not be able to cover all expenses. Decisions regarding disbursement of funds are made on a case-by-case basis.

Typically, a student receives funding only once per calendar year from the Student Emergency Relief Fund for up to $500. These funds are not considered loans and do not require repayment. Some funds may be considered income subject to federal taxes.

Additional Resources

As mentioned, not all expenses can be covered by The Student Emergency Relief Fund. Below are additional resources at OU to assist with basic needs to succeed as a student.

OU Food Pantry The University strives to equip students with resources to overcome obstacles. To help students achieve the utmost success, the Golden Grizzlies Pantry provides assistance for students experiencing food insecurity.

Basic Needs and More For students who may need further assistance, the Golden Grizzlies Pantry maintains the Golden Grizzlies' Pantry Community Resource Guide

Tuition Assistance is not eligible for the Student Emergency Relief Fund. Contact Student Financial Services office (248) 370-2550 or [email protected] for further assistance.

Technology Resources The Student Emergency Relief Fund cannot be used to purchase a computer/laptop. However, the University does have a laptop loaner program as well as mobile Hotspots available for internet access through the Student Technology Center

Further External Resources Available Julie’s List

How to Contribute

The Student Emergency Relief Fund is made possible through the generous donations from OU faculty, staff, alumni and donors. If you or someone you know would like to contribute to the Student Emergency Relief Fund, please visit our contribution page.