I imagine there are many young adults who are nervous about food and housing. U of M students are incredible, hard-working people who deserve stability in this time of uncertainty.

Madeline G., St. Paul, Minnesota, donor to the Student Emergency Fund

'So close'

Psychology major Neftali Neri was a month away from graduation when COVID-19 derailed her plans. Learn how an $800 emergency grant helped her fulfill her educational dream.

Lifeline in a time of crisis

As the coronavirus began its march through the United States, life on the University of Minnesota’s campuses shifted. Classes and work moved online. Libraries and museums closed. Businesses that employed students shut their doors.


In that time of uncertainty, fear, and financial challenges, donors and University staff stepped up in a big way. The Office of Undergraduate Education on the Twin Cities campus coordinated an effort to make emergency funding more accessible. President Joan Gabel announced a new Student Emergency Fund to help with essentials like food and rent. And donors showed extraordinary generosity in supporting students facing unexpected hardship.


To receive emergency grants, students complete an intake form, which is reviewed by One Stop Student Services. One Stop also provides information on financial aid options and community resources like food shelves, community wifi, mental health services, and laptop loaners.


Thanks to your support, students feel surrounded by a caring community who won’t let them down—or as one student put it, a "virtual hug."

  • Woman in graduation cap holding diploma
    When her U of M classes went online, Lexi Carstensen used the extra time to line up a full-time job in Chicago.
  • Woman posing in graduation cap and gown with Goldy statue and Goldy mascot
    An emergency grant helped first-generation college student Cassidy Drummond pay rent when her work hours were cut.
  • Person working at laptop
    Computer engineering major Kia Vang describes the emergency grant she received as a "virtual hug" from donors.
  • Woman hiking in snowy mountains
    Moving across the country back to her parents' house meant extra expenses for biomedical engineering major Jenae Putnam.

Give to the Student Emergency Fund to help students in need


How your gifts make a difference

As of June 1, 2020


Students assisted by this fund and other college and department emergency funds


Average amount of an emergency grant

Grants help students pay for food, rent, technology (such as Internet service), and medical expenses


Number of donors who together gave $105,444 to the Student Emergency Fund (a total of $651,000 was directed to students from all emergency funds)