Emergency Funding

Emergency Funding

SEF Header

John Jay provides a host of resources to help students.  The full range of available resources is listed on our Student Resources Page.  Thanks to the generosity of donors, we also have special supports available to help our currently enrolled students who are facing emergency financial hardships, including:

  • our food pantry with nutritious food available for you and your household,
  • long-term laptop loans to make sure you can stay on track in class,
  • scholarship support to help you pay for tuition,
  • book vouchers to help you get textbooks,
  • emergency grant funding to help you pay for essential expenses or tuition due to a temporary or unexpected hardship.


How to Apply for Emergency Grants
If you are facing a temporary hardship surrounding situations such as an accident, illness, death of a family member, fire or water damage, or need for temporary housing, you can apply for an emergency grant. Emergency grants are a last resort to help you meet immediate and essential expenses or tuition. Emergency grants do not have to be repaid.  Here’s how to apply:

  1. First, read our FAQs to see if you're eligible.
  2. For Housing, Utilities, Transportation, and Book Voucher Assistance, Apply Here.
    For Student Emergency Tuition Assistance and other, Apply here.

    (PLEASE NOTE: See Question 13 in the FAQs for the required documentation to submit your application.)


SPRING 2022 Application Deadline: May 27, 2022

Emergency funding applications are carefully reviewed and approved or denied on a case-by-case basis by a committee. The committee will contact you if they have questions or need more information about your application. If you have questions, you can email emergencyfunding@jjay.cuny.edu.

FAQs About Our Student Emergency Grants


Q1:  What is the purpose of a Student Emergency grant?
A1: A Student Emergency grant is intended to provide a supplemental financial resource to students who are unable to meet immediate and essential expenses or tuition because of a temporary hardship surrounding situations such as an accident, fire or water damage, or need for temporary housing. The Student Emergency grant is not a replacement for Financial Aid, Loan Options, Scholarship and/or Stipend. Students may apply for emergency grants as a last resort after other options have been considered such as savings, family contributions, or loans. Emergency grants are not intended to replace existing financial aid.

Q2: What type of emergency expenses does a Student Emergency grant cover?
A2: A Student Emergency grant can cover a number of expenses and situations a student might face. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Tuition
  • Utility bills (water, heat, gas, or electricity)
  • Rent arrears
  • Loss of clothing due to a catastrophic event
  • Internet services bill for distance-learning purposes;
  • Unexpected medical and/or dental expenses that impacts academic progress
  • Homelessness (e.g. dislocation or rehousing from home due to domestic violence or natural disasters)
  • Loss of textbooks (Please apply to the Emergency Book Voucher program)


Q3: What type of emergency expenses CANNOT be covered by a Student Emergency grant?
A3: Types of expenses that are not covered by a Student Emergency grant include, but are not limited to:

  • IRS tax bill
  • Storage units
  • House repairs
  • Cell phone bill
  • Credit card bills
  • Moving expenses
  • Furniture expenses
  • Pet related expenses
  • Personal luxury items
  • Laptops/ laptop repairs
  • Family funeral expenses
  • Household/laundry items
  • Fines on student’s account
  • Campus residential housing
  • Student loans/personal loans
  • Reimbursements of bills already paid
  • Cleaning expenses related to natural disasters
  • Travel expenses due to illness/ death in the family
  • Car repairs, insurance and/or car note/lease payments
  • Medical/Dental (cosmetics,co-payment bills, past due bills)
  • Legal expenses (for divorce or child custody cases, civil or criminal cases, etc.);
  • Food cost (Please apply to the John Jay Food Pantry)


Q4: Is there a maximum amount for a Student Emergency grant?
A4: Yes. Maximum award is $2,000.00. 


Q5: Who is eligible for a Student Emergency grant?
A5:  You are eligible to apply for a Student Emergency grant if you are currently enrolled at John Jay as either a full-time or part-time undergraduate or graduate degree student, including if you are an undocumented student, student with DACA, or international student.

Q6: Once I am eligible to apply, what other factors are considered in deciding whether my application will be approved?
A6: Once you are eligible to apply, there are additional factors that are weighed to determine if your application will be approved. First, there must be funds available and approving your application must be consistent with all applicable laws. Second, you must submit accurate and complete information with your application. Finally, your degree progression (how close you are to degree completion/conferral), SAP status (Standards of Academic Progress (GPA)), and financial situation (including, as appropriate, financial aid) will all be considered by the Emergency Funding Committee.

Q7: I am an international student; can I apply for a Student Emergency grant?
A7: Yes.

Q8: I am a CUSP student; can I apply for a Student Emergency grant?
A8: CUSP students can receive a Student Emergency grant to cover emergency expenses, but not to cover tuition. CUSP students who need money for tuition should contact their CUSP advisor to apply for the CUSP completion grant program.

Q9: I am a graduate degree student; can I apply for a Student Emergency grant?
A9: Yes.

Q10: Do I need to be a full-time, degree-seeking student?
A10: No. You must be currently enrolled as a degree-seeking student, but full-time enrollment is not required. On a case-by-case basis, the number of credits enrolled can be a factor in whether a Student Emergency grant application is approved.

Q11: May I receive more than one emergency grant?
A11: A student may only receive up to $2,000.00 per John Jay academic lifetime. In extraordinary circumstances, an appeal may be submitted to request an exception to this rule on a case by case basis. If you need to submit an appeal, please complete the emergency grant application and submit information explaining the extraordinary circumstances as part of the appeal section in the application.


Q12: How do I apply for a Student Emergency grant?
A12: You may apply for a Student Emergency grant by filling out this form and attaching the required documents as described in Question and Answer 13.

Q13: What documentation do I need to verify an emergency?
A13: You will need the following:

  • Your student photo I.D.;
  • Documentation showing your efforts, if any, to obtain funding from other sources. For example, indicate if you have filed a FAFSA, or applied for other scholarship or funding opportunities; and
  • Documentation associated with your current emergency.
    When you fill out the emergency grant application, it will ask you to attach the required documents for your situation. Some expenses and emergency situations and examples of the types of required associated documents are:
    • Tuition: bursar bill
    • Utility expenses (water, heat, gas, or electricity): bills, past-due notifications, shut-off notices;( Submit a letter written and signed by the account holder which includes the student’s name, address of service, account number and the address the bill is payable too for bills that are not in the student’s name.)
    • Medical or dental: contact information for the medical or dental provider and information about upcoming appointment or a copy of a quote, invoice, or bill for past service in your name, W-9 form, CUNY Payee form, and voided check completed by the provider;
    • Rent: Active lease agreement, eviction notice, rent verification letter (written and signed by the primary tenant of the apartment, the letter must include the student’s name, address, the amount the student is responsible to pay for rent each month), invoice, court documents, W-9 form, CUNY Payee form, and voided check completed by the building management office;

Q14: Who can I contact if I need assistance filling out the application?
A14: If you have questions, you can email emergencyfunding@jjay.cuny.edu.


Q15: What are the application deadlines for the Student Emergency grant?
A15: Yes, applications are accepted until the last day of classes for each semester(Fall/Spring) All supporting documents must be provided within 30 days of application submission.

Q16: Is the grant available on a first-come, first-serve basis?
A16: Applications are processed in the order they are received, but you are not guaranteed a grant simply because you apply before someone else—instead, you must meet all the criteria described here, and the committee must approve your application. Approval of applications is based on the availability of funds raised.

Q17: How soon can I expect to find out if I have received a Student Emergency grant?
A17: Once a completed application is received (including all required documents), the approval process can take up to 15 business days. When there is a high volume of applications, however, it can take up to 30 days.


Q18: If I am approved for the grant, how will the money reach me?
A18: If your grant is for tuition, the money will be deposited directly into your CUNY First account. For all other funds, payments will be provided to third parties only (for example, a landlord for rent, or a doctor/hospital for a medical bill).

Q19: Are the funds received from the emergency grant considered taxable income?
A19: Possibly. Depending on the expense(s) the grant is used for, it may be considered taxable income. For more information about how receiving an emergency grant could impact your taxes, please be sure to speak to your financial advisor or tax preparer..

Q20: Do I have to pay the Student Emergency grant back?
A20: No.

Click Here for Emergency Funding Application

Melquain Jatelle Anderson Student Emergency Assistance Fund

Melquain Jatelle AndersonMelquain Jatelle Anderson was a Brooklyn Knight born and raised in Brooklyn.  He lived in Sheepshead Bay but often traveled to Vinegar Hill (Farragut Houses) where his grandmother lived, his mother was raised, and he had a host of friends. At 17 years old, he started helping other young men study and pass their GED.  Melquain's aspirations were to give back to the community because he had seen so many young men give up on school.  After obtaining his Associate of Science degree from Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3), he became even more committed to making a change. Melquain transferred to John Jay College where he hoped to obtain his Bachelor’s Degree and then law school. Melquain's plan was to start a community center helping young men obtain their GEDs and attend college. Although Melquain's life was cut short before he could fulfill his dreams of giving back to the community, his family wants his dream to live on.

Named for Melquain Anderson who transferred to John Jay after he completed his associate degree and lost his life before he could fulfill his dream of helping young men go to college, the MASE grant provides emergency funding so students can stay in school.

Maximum award: $500


  • Loss of housing or dislocation from home
  • Medical expense
  • Temporary loss of income
  • Loss of clothing or school supplies due to a catastrophic event
  • Emergency tuition assistance


Current students with GPA under 2.0.

Students may apply for a MASE in the Wellness Center or visit the Emergency Funding webpage.

Wellness Center: Malaine Clarke, 212-621-4101, maclarke@jjay.cuny.edu, NB, L.68.00

Book Voucher Program

With funding from the Petrie Foundation, the College provides book vouchers to current students who need help with obtaining books for their courses

Maximum award: $100–$500


  • Books

Current students who have paid tuition to the College.

Students may apply for a Book Voucher in the Wellness Center or visit the Emergency Funding webpage.

Wellness Center: Malaine Clarke, 212-621-4101, maclarke@jjay.cuny.edu, NB, L.68.00 

FAQs About Book Vouchers

Q1: Who can apply?
A1: Students must be currently registered for courses and have paid tuition to the College

Q2: How can I apply?
A2: Email the emergency funding mailbox at emergencyfunding@jjay.cuny.edu and include a a copy of your course syllabus and a link to your book cart including shipping and handling from the John Jay College Bookstore (only).

Q3: When can a Book Voucher be requested?
A3: Students are encouraged to secure their textbooks early in the semester to ensure their academic success.  Therefore, priority is given to applications submitted within the first two weeks of classes.

Q4: How does it work?
A4: A student can receive a Book Voucher once per semester in order to purchase up to $500.00 worth of textbooks and/or textbook codes. Because of this limit, before requesting a Book Voucher students are encouraged to check that all the textbooks and/or class codes they need to order with the Book Voucher are available at the John Jay College Bookstore.

Q5: Do I have to pay the Book Voucher back?
A5: No

Q6: Can I buy class codes with my Book Voucher?
A6: Yes. You can purchase only books and/or class codes listed on your class schedule.

Q7: Can I get a cash refund on my purchases?
A7: No. The Book Voucher has NO CASH VALUE.

APPLY HERE for the book voucher application.