Office of the Dean of Students

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

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

Student Emergency Relief Fund

Oakland University is working hard to meet the unique needs of students on an individual basis. If you are facing a financial hardship related to an unforeseen or emergency situation, we encourage you to apply for the Student Emergency Relief Fund. 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 assistance to help students continue moving forward with their education. 

The Student Emergency Relief Fund is made possible through the generous donations of OU faculty, staff, alumni and donors.

Student Emergency Relief Fund Criteria
Funds are for limited emergency financial support to currently enrolled degree-seeking students who are unable to meet essential expenses due to a temporary or unexpected hardship.

The maximum amount awarded generally does not exceed $500 and is typically only awarded once. Decisions regarding disbursement of funds are made on a case-by-case basis. Awards are not considered loans and do not require repayment. Some funds may be considered income and are therefore subject to federal taxes.

Types of Expenses That May Be Considered
Examples of expenses that may be considered for funding include:

  • Utilities
  • Car repairs or emergency transportation
  • School-related expenses, excluding textbooks
  • Replacement of essential belongings due to theft or lost in a fire, flood or natural disaster
  • Safety-related needs (i.e., lock change)
  • Emergency temporary lodging if you find yourself homeless or in an unsafe situation
  • Temporary food insecurity
  • Emergency medical treatment/medication/prescriptions when you do not have the ability to pay and the costs cannot be covered by insurance
  • Travel expenses to return home in the case of a sudden family death or other emergency

Types of Expenses That Will Not Be Considered
Examples of expenses that will not be covered by this fund (please note this list is not exhaustive):

  • Expenses due to a lack of financial planning or overspending
  • Outstanding debt to the university or otherwise (i.e., credit cards, fees past due, etc.)
  • Normal and anticipated academic expenses (tuition, university fees, health insurance, study abroad, books, 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

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be degree-seeking students at Oakland University
  • Applicants must be able to provide documentation of their financial hardship.
  • Students seeking assistance during summer sessions and are not enrolled but are registered for fall courses may qualify for alternative forms of assistance.
  • All other resources, including Student Financial Aid, must have been considered and are insufficient or unavailable.

Applying for Funding
Emergency funding through the Dean of Students Office or Student Financial Services is reserved for students who have exhausted all other available options. Prior to granting funding, OU staff will determine if scholarships or grants are available.

To apply for funding, you must have a conversation with a Dean of Students Office or Student Financial Services staff member to discuss your needs, and then complete the Student
Emergency Relief Fund Form. You will be asked to provide supporting documentation to verify your need.

University Contacts
Dean of Students: (248) 370-3352 or
Student Financial Services: (248) 370-2550 or

If you know someone who would like to contribute to the Student Emergency Relief Fund, please have them visit our contribution page.