Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for assistance from the NIU Student Emergency Fund?

Due to the large volume of applications received, the Student Emergency Fund closed on March 4, 2021. The application will reopen when additional funding is received.

Updated 3/3/21

What emergency relief funds are available for undocumented students?

Undocumented students are eligible to apply for financial relief through NIU's Student Emergency Fund

Updated 2/26/21

What emergency relief funds are available for international students?

International students are eligible to apply for financial relief through NIU's Student Emergency Fund

Updated 2/26/21

What emergency funds are available to online students?

Students who are exclusively enrolled in an online program are eligible to apply for financial relief through NIU's Student Emergency Fund

Updated 2/26/21

What is the maximum amount of assistance I can receive through the NIU Student Emergency Fund?

The maximum amount of assistance awarded through NIU's Student Emergency Fund is $500. The average award is $250. 

Updated 2/26/21

I received an NIU CARES/CRRSSA grant. Can I apply for additional assistance from NIU's Student Emergency Fund?

Yes. 

Updated 2/26/21

I am not eligible for an NIU CARES/CRRSSA grant and I already received assistance from the NIU Student Emergency Fund. Can I apply to receive more assistance from the SEF?

No. Due to limited funding, you may only receive assistance from the Student Emergency Fund one time during the spring 2021 semester.

Updated 2/26/21

Are December 2021 graduates eligible to receive assistance from the NIU Student Emergency Fund?

Unfortunately, students who have graduated and are not pursuing an additional degree at NIU are not eligible to receive assistance through the NIU Student Emergency Fund.

Updated 2/26/21

I already applied for and received assistance from the NIU Student Emergency Fund. Am I eligible for an NIU CARES/CRRSSA grant?

Maybe. You may have qualified for an NIU CARES/CRRSSA grant, even if you already received assistance from NIU's Student Emergency Fund. NIU determined eligibility and has issued automatic CRRSSA grants to students determined to have the greatest financial need and who met eligibility requirements. Please see our CARES/CRRSSA FAQ for more information. In order to help as many students as possible, students who have not already received previous assistance will be given priority consideration for emergency funds.

Updated 2/26/21

I applied for assistance through the NIU Student Emergency Fund but was denied. Can I apply again?

You will not be able to submit a second application. Please contact the Center for Student Assistance for further guidance.

Updated 2/26/21

What students are eligible to apply for support and funding?

These funds are designed to help students continue their education; therefore, they are reserved for students who are currently enrolled in courses at NIU. All degree-seeking students, including undergraduate, graduate, law, undocumented, international and full- and part-time students, are eligible for the grants and resources offered through our Student Emergency Fund. Students-at-large, those not admitted to a degree-granting program, are not eligible for the grants. The average award is $250. 

Updated 2/26/21

I was enrolled in summer or fall 2021 courses. Am I eligible for NIU Student Emergency Funding?

These funds are designed to help students continue their education; therefore, they are reserved for students who are currently enrolled in courses at NIU. If you are not enrolled in courses for the current semester or have graduated and are not pursuing an additional degree at NIU, you are not eligible to receive funding.

Updated 2/26/21

Do I need to be enrolled in spring 2021 courses in order to be eligible for NIU Student Emergency Funding?

Yes. NIU emergency funds are designed to help eligible students continue their education; therefore, they are reserved for students who are currently enrolled in courses at NIU.

Updated 2/26/21

Can anyone apply on behalf of students?

No. If you have questions or would like to refer a student, we encourage you to contact the Center for Student Assistance at studentassistance@niu.edu or 815-753-8300.

Updated 2/26/21

How will I receive the funding if my request is approved?

Any awarded grants will be directly deposited into student accounts or sent via check. If you have not signed up for direct deposit, we strongly encourage you to sign-up for direct deposit now to receive your refund within 1- 2 business days after it has been processed. Signing up is easy!

See instructions. All printed refund checks will be mailed to your local address and are not available for pickup. Checks will arrive between 7-10 business days to your local address listed in MyNIU. If there is not a local address listed in MyNIU, the award check will go to the permanent address on file. Please make sure that your local address is current in MyNIU.

Updated 2/26/21

Can I apply more than once?

No. The application will not allow you to apply more than once. In an attempt to fund as many students as possible, priority will be given to those students who have not received prior funding. The average grant award is $250, and the maximum amount of assistance is $500. As a reminder, the Center for Student Assistance is available if you have questions or need support.

Updated 2/26/21

I currently owe a balance, could I get funding to put towards that balance?

No. The grants offered through our Student Emergency Fund cannot be used to cover any tuition, fees, health insurance, study abroad costs or outstanding debt to the university. The Bursar's Office has more information on payment policies.

Examples of covered expenses include:

  • Technology needs to complete courses, including laptops, printers and scanners, software, access to WiFi, expansion of data plans, etc.
  • Books and other essential academic supplies
  • Basic personal needs such as emergency housing, food, toiletries, and transportation
  • Emergency medical, dental or mental health expenses not covered by insurance (ie. eyeglasses, medication, emergency/unexpected procedure)
  • Childcare needs
  • Costs to travel home unexpectedly, travel to and from work or for educational purposes
  • Travel related to the death or emergency of an immediate family member
  • Safety-related needs, including the needs of victims of domestic violence
  • Replacement of belongings lost in a fire or natural disaster
  • Basic Utilities

Updated 9/3/20

Why is NIU only offering up to $500?

So that we can help more students, the maximum possible grant awarded through the Student Emergency Fund will be up to $500 per student. The average amount is $250.

Updated 2/26/21

I have family members in need. Can I get funding to help them?

The needs of family members are not covered expenses in the Student Emergency Fund. Grant awards must directly benefit student applicants to help them overcome any challenges they face on their degree paths.

Added 4/13/20

Questions?

Contact the Center for Student Assistance at studentassistance@niu.edu or 815-753-8300.

Interested in donating?

Please visit the NIU Foundation’s Student Emergency Fund Donation Page.