Emergency Funds

students walking on campus, silhouetted against a blue sky

Unanticipated circumstances can prevent students from continuing their education and achieving academic success.  UB has two unique resources to connect students to emergency funding. 

On this page:

What are Emergency Funds?

Student emergency funds at the University at Buffalo seek to award grants to eligible students who are experiencing an unforeseen hardship that could impact their ability to remain enrolled in school. Temporary financial assistance is available for immediate and current emergency situations. Examples of qualifying emergency situations include:

  • Death in the family
  • Victim of a crime or accident
  • Loss of property or income
  • Unanticipated educational expenses (beyond tuition)

The student emergency funds are designated to off-set short-term financial need and are not intended to replace or supplement financial aid. All situations are unique and will be evaluated carefully and confidentially.

Response Time

Response time may vary depending on which option you choose.  Student Conduct and Advocacy will respond to all completed applications within 2-5 business days.

Eligible Expenses

Grants can be used for a variety of expenses that are necessary to support a student’s well-being. Examples of eligible expenses include:

  • Off-Campus Rent
  • Utilities
  • Transportation
  • Food
  • Medical care
  • Child care
Ineligible Expenses

Examples of ineligible expenses include Student Account charges (tuition, University fees, meal plan, residence hall rent, etc.) parking tickets or credit card debt.

Emergency Fund Options

There are two emergency funds available to students and each has a unique application and set of criteria.  Students may apply to one fund that best meets their need. 

1. Gerstner and Heckscher Student Emergency Fund

Gerstner and Heckscher Student Emergency Fund

The Gerstner Family Foundation and the Heckscher Foundation for Children support grants for UB students who are facing an emergency situation in the short-term, and to ultimately help them graduate from college in the long-term.

Grants are only available during the fall and spring semesters, may be no more than $2,000 and must be paid directly to a third party that is not the University at Buffalo.

Students applying must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Currently enrolled UB student pursuing a bachelor’s degree
  • Course load is the equivalent of at least half the number of credits to be fulltime
  • Minimum GPA of 2.0
  • Demonstrate/document the need for an eligible expense as noted above

2. UB Student Life Emergency Gift Fund

UB Student Life Emergency Gift Fund

The UB Student Life Emergency Gift Fund offers temporary financial assistance for immediate and current emergency situations.  The average gift size is $400.  Students applying must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled UB student
  • Demonstrate/document the need for an eligible expense as noted above


The UB Student Life Emergency Gift Fund is partially supported by the UB Fund for Student Life.

Additional Resources

Financial Planning

Some situations are not uncommon, and may not require the use of an emergency gift fund if you are proactive and able to plan accordingly.

Paycheck Gaps

When you start a job, on or off campus, it is common for your first paycheck to be delayed.  Make sure you speak with your supervisor early on to familiarize yourself with the payroll schedule.

Delayed Financial Aid

Student financial aid, including benefits for veterans, is applied to your student account on a unique, individual basis and not always at the beginning of the semester.  Work with your advisor in Financial Aid or Veteran Services to anticipate when your aid will be received.

Financial Literacy Tools

SUNY offers UB students the opportunity to use Smart Track® resources that cover the spectrum of personal financial literacy, from budgeting, responsible credit card use and avoiding identify theft to the basics of banking, borrowing and working through college.

UPC Food Pantry

The UPC Food Pantry across the street from the South Campus provides food items for students who are in need. Shelves are stocked with a variety of non-perishable food items and basic necessities.

Hours of Service:

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Location and Contact Information:

The pantry is located in the University Presbyterian Church at 3330 Main St. Buffalo, NY 14214. Contact the pantry at 716-836-7660 for more information or to arrange pantry use outside of normal hours of service.

Remember Your Student ID

Students must present a current, valid UB student ID.

Mental Health and Wellness Resources

Someone to talk to for mental health issues

University at Buffalo
120 Richmond Quadrangle, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14261

Phone: (716) 645-2720; Fax: (716) 645-2175

University at Buffalo
202 Michael Hall, South Campus
Buffalo, NY 14214

Phone: (716) 829-5800

Preventative health and wellness education

Health Promotion

Student Life

University at Buffalo
114 Student Union, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260

Phone: (716) 645-2837; Fax: (716) 645-6234

Additional Resources

Crisis Text Line

Need to talk? The Crisis Text Line provides 24-hour support for people experiencing a mental health or situational crisis. Users are connected to a trained Crisis Counselor, who will help them develop a plan to stay safe. Messages are confidential, anonymous and secure. Data usage while texting the Crisis Text Line is free and the number will not appear on a phone bill. Text: “GOT5” to 741-741

Scholarship Portal

You work hard to earn scholarships and the scholarship portal makes it easy to find them. A general application opens in early October and remains open through the spring semester. Once you complete it, you can return regularly to view new opportunities the system has matched with your academic record and responses.

Support for Crime Victims

On-campus emergencies and crime prevention, 24/7

Bissell Hall, North Campus

Phone: (716) 645-2227; Emergencies: (716) 645-2222

Additional Resources

Need Help?

University at Buffalo
9 Norton Hall, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260

Phone: (716) 645-6154; Fax: (716) 645-3376