Graduate Student Emergency Fund

Graduate Student Emergency Fund

The Graduate Student Emergency Fund (GSEF) provides financial assistance to currently enrolled graduate students experiencing an acute, emergency hardship due to an unexpected expense, usually up to $500, with proper documentary evidence.

This fund is in place to support the continued well-being of Villanova’s graduate students.

Undergraduate students seeking emergency funding should review the Office of Enrollment Management website.

Please review the entirety of this page before submitting a request to the GSEF.

  • To be eligible for the GSEF, applicants must be currently enrolled as a graduate student in one of the following colleges:
    • Charles Widger School of Law
    • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    • College of Engineering
    • M. Louise Fitzgerald College of Nursing
    • Villanova School of Business
  • International students are eligible to apply but may be subject to an approximately 16% tax unless your home country is exempt from U.S. Income Tax under tax treaties (if your country has code 16 on this tax treaty table).
  • Current NCAA Athletes are ineligible to receive GSEF funding.
  • The GSEF is a reimbursement-based program so all applicants must be able to provide documentation of actual costs such as a receipt or a paid invoice.
  • Applicants must be in good academic standing.
  • New students are not eligible to apply for the GSEF until after the add/drop deadline of their first semester as an enrolled graduate student.

Undergraduate students seeking emergency funding should review the Office of Enrollment Management website.

The Graduate Student Emergency Fund is designed to provide financial relief for sudden or temporary costs such as but not limited to:

  • Transportation or travel expenses related to unexpected crisis or bereavement
  • Need for temporary housing due to fire, flood, or other unforeseen circumstances
  • Loss of personal items due to fire, flood, or theft
  • Unexpected or emergency medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance
  • Repairing or replacing technology or equipment critical to graduate study

These funds are not designed to be a supplement to a student’s funding sources. We recognize the difficulties that some may be facing, but the Graduate Student Emergency Fund cannot provide funding for expenses such as:

  • Ongoing living expenses such as rent and utilities (students may be eligible for short-term assistance with temporary lodging accommodations depending on circumstance)
  • Credit card debt or loan repayment
  • Expenses incurred by someone other than the student and their immediate dependents
  • Health insurance premiums

Applications are reviewed by the Graduate Student Emergency Fund Committee throughout the following periods during each semester:

Fall: September 1st to Dec 15th
Spring: January 1st to May 15th
Summer: June 1st to August 15th

In your application, please provide as much detail as possible so the Committee can best understand and evaluate your situation and needs.

PLEASE NOTE: The Graduate Student Emergency Fund Committee is committed to the privacy and safety of the graduate students at Villanova and will not share information outside of the committee members unless legally obligated under mandated reporting requirements.

Once an application has been submitted, the review process may take up to 10 business days from the date of submission. Applications submitted when the campus is closed will not be reviewed until the campus reopens. The committee may reach out to an applicant if more information is needed to properly assess the request.

While the Graduate Student Emergency Fund Committee is dedicated to serving the needs of graduate students, funding awards are not guaranteed.

While exceptions may occasionally be made at the discretion of the University Committee, the guideline is that no more than two awards will be granted any student in a calendar year (June 1 - May 31).

If funding is awarded, applicants will receive an email with their funding amount and instructions on how to access their award through their student account.

If funding is not awarded, applicants will receive an email explaining why their application for funding was denied. If possible, the committee will refer applicants to additional resources, both internal and external to Villanova.

The GSEF Application is available at the bottom of this website.

The GSEF typically awards up to $500, but higher amounts will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Once an award amount has been determined, funds will be applied to the student account and will become accessible as an e-refund.

International students may be subject to an approximately 16% tax unless your home country is exempt from U.S. Income Tax under tax treaties (if your country has code 16 on this tax treaty table).

Nova Nook - The Nova Nook provides supplemental personal necessities to students in need. It is a safe and discreet space to distribute basic toiletries and food items to students in the Villanova community who may struggle to manage these costs on their own.

Located in Dougherty Hall (Room 217) with normal operating hours of 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, the Nova Nook is stocked with a wide variety of items primarily through personal donations and has essential items such as toiletries, non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies and other necessities. Additionally, the Nook has a supply of laundry detergent and small donations that can be added to your NovaBucks account for campus laundry.

Wildcat Wardrobe - The Wildcat Wardrobe is a service that provides free professional clothing to Villanova students. The University Career Center wants all students to be successful regardless of their financial circumstances. Professional attire from the Wildcat Wardrobe will help make a strong first impression when meeting with professionals and employers in networking and recruiting conversations

Grad Center Winter Closet – A collection of winter clothing including socks, jackets, and pants. Please email with questions or just stop by the Grad Center between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to visit the Winter Closet.

The Victims Compensation Assistance Program helps victims and their families through the emotional and physical aftermath of a crime by easing the financial impact placed upon them by the crime. VCAP is able to reimburse insurance co-pays, out-of-network expenses and other out-of-pocket costs.  Contact the program for more information.

List of no-cost Food Pantry and Food Banks by County:

Delaware County
Montgomery County
Philadelphia County

I am unable to afford my rent this month, can I apply for funding from the GSEF?

Unfortunately, the GSEF is not designed to support relief for reoccurring expenses such as rent.

I need to send money back home to my family, does that qualify for funding?

While we understand the need to offer financial assistance to family members, including those in other countries, the GSEF is an evidence-based reimbursement system for the enrolled student only and cannot cover the financial needs of friends or family members who are not formal dependents (for tax purposes).

I am not enrolled for any classes this semester; can I still apply for funds?

The GSEF is in place for currently enrolled graduate students. Students who have not graduated but are on a leave of absence or taking time away from the University are ineligible. Students who are not enrolled in classes during the summer but are actively involved in lab research or other work at the University may be eligible. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

I graduate this semester but my need for emergency funding is after the semester is over, do I still qualify?

No. Only currently enrolled graduate students are eligible for the GSEF. Once a student graduates from Villanova they are no longer eligible to apply to the GSEF.

My laptop broke and I am unable to pay for the repairs upfront, can the GSEF pay the bill for me?

The GSEF is a reimbursement based program. The GSEF cannot provide money to students up front to cover costs in advance of the expense. GSEF money will only be distributed with proof of payment either in the form of receipt, paid invoice, or credit card statement.



The Villanova University Center for Graduate Research and Education

St. Mary’s Hall, Suite 109
800 E. Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085