Emergency Funding

Emergency Funding

SEF Header

**Update Spring 2020** As part of a special campaign for COVID-19 relief, and thanks to the generosity of the John Jay community and an anonymous donor, additional funds were raised to support the needs of students for emergency funds and long-term laptop loans in Spring 2020.  Students can access these funds by applying for Student Emergency grants, but some special exceptions apply in Spring 2020 as described below.  Students can secure a long-term laptop loan by emailing the DoIT helpdesk at helpdesk@jjay.cuny.edu.

John Jay provides a host of resources to help students, including a food pantry, book vouchers, and tuition assistance. You can learn about the complete array of resources available for students on our Student Resources PageThanks to the generosity of donors, including the Carroll & Milton Petrie Foundation, currently enrolled students can also apply for and receive emergency funding in the form of small, short-term emergency financial support if they are unable to meet essential expenses due to a temporary or unexpected hardship. Emergency funding applications are carefully reviewed and approved or denied on a case-by-case basis by a committee.

Emergency funds are intended to be a supplemental financial resource when students are unable to meet immediate and essential expenses or tuition because of a temporary hardship surrounding situations such as an accident, illness, death of a family member, fire or water damage, or need for temporary housing. Students may apply for funds 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. Emergency grants do not have to be repaid.

How to Apply
First, read our FAQs to see if you're eligible. Then, complete and submit the application. (PLEASE NOTE: You will need to have required documentation ready to submit in your application form.)

If you have questions, you can email emergencyfunding@jjay.cuny.edu.

**Update Spring 2020** COVID-19 emergency funds will be distributed under the same process, with some special exceptions as noted below.

FAQs About Our Student Emergency Grants

Q1:  What is the purpose of a Student Emergency grant?
A1: A Student Emergency grant – whether a Student Emergency Wellness grant or Student Emergency Tuition grant – provides funds to students who are facing emergencies that are impeding their ability to continue forward in their degree program.

Q2: Who qualifies for a Student Emergency grant?
A2: The Student Emergency grant is open to currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate degree students, including undocumented students and students with DACA.

**Update Spring 2020** Eligibility criteria have been updated in April 2020.  Students who have received grants prior to Spring 2020 are not eligible to apply UNLESS their current emergency is related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q3: What type of emergency expenses does a Student Emergency grant cover?
A3: A Student Emergency grant can cover a number of expenses and situations a student is facing. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Tuition or school fees;
  • Travel expenses due to illness/death in the family;
  • Utility bills;
  • Internet services bill for distance-learning purposes;
  • Temporary loss of student’s job or income or childcare;
  • Loss of textbooks or school supplies;
  • Loss of clothing due to a catastrophic event;
  • Homelessness (e.g. dislocation from home due to domestic violence or natural disasters);
  • Unexpected medical and/or dental expenses; and
  • Car repairs.


Q4: What type of emergency expenses cannot be covered by a Student Emergency grant?
A4: Types of expenses that are not covered by a Student Emergency grant include, but are not limited to:

  • Legal expenses (for divorce or child custody cases, civil or criminal cases, etc.);
  • Television cable bills or any other personal luxury items;
  • Fines on the student’s account;
  • Damage/repair fees to campus housing; and
  • Car insurance and/or payments.


Q5: What documentation do I need to verify an emergency?

Students will need the following:
1.     Their student photo I.D.; 
2.    Identify the student’s 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
3.    Documentation associated with the student’s current emergency. 
Some expenses and emergency situations and examples of associated documents are:
· Tuition or school supplies: outstanding bill from CUNYFirst or bursar bill;
· Living expenses: bills, past-due notifications, shut-off notices;
· Medical or dental: contact information for the medical or dental provider, information about upcoming appointment or bill for past service;
· Rent: lease agreement, eviction notice, landlord W-9 form, rent verification letter, invoice, court documents;
· Illness or death of family member: medical records, death certificate, obituary; and
· Travel related to death of family member: death certificate, details of travel, funeral home information.

Q6: I am an international student; can I apply for a Student Emergency grant?
A6: Yes.

Q7: I am a CUSP student; can I apply for a Student Emergency grant?
A7: Yes, CUSP students can apply for and receive a Student Emergency Wellness grant to cover emergency expenses, but not a Student Emergency Tuition grant to cover tuition. CUSP students who need money for tuition should contact their CUSP advisor to apply for the CUSP completion grant program.

Q8: I am a graduate degree student; can I apply for a Student Emergency grant?
A8: Yes.

Q9: Do I need to be a full-time, degree-seeking student?
A9: 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. 

Q10: How do I apply for a Student Emergency grant?
A10: You may apply for a Student Emergency grant by filling this form.

Q11: Who can I contact if I need assistance filling out the application?
A11: If you have questions, you can email emergencyfunding@jjay.cuny.edu.

Q12: Is the grant available on a first-come, first-serve basis?
A12: 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.

Q13: Is there a maximum amount for a Student Emergency grant?
A13: Yes. The award per student is generally capped at $1,500 to allow support for the greatest number of students in need.

Q14: May I receive more than one emergency grant?
A14: There is no limit on the number of times a student can apply, but in general, a student may only receive one emergency grant per academic year. In extraordinary circumstances, exceptions to this rule may be granted on a case by case basis.

**Update Spring 2020** In Spring 2020, this limit does not apply if your current emergency is related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Thus, in Spring 2020, a student may apply for a Student Emergency grant even if he or she already received one during the 2019-2020 academic year prior to April 9, 2020. 

Q15: What are the application deadlines for the Student Emergency grant?
A15: Applications are accepted at any time.   

Q16: How soon can I expect to find out if I have received a Student Emergency grant?
A16: The approval process can take up to 15 business days, unless an urgent decision is warranted. If an urgent decision is warranted, we attempt to give you a decision within 48 hours.

**Update Spring 2020** Please understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly increased the number of requests, so our processing times may be longer than normal.

Q17: Are the funds received from the emergency grant considered taxable income?
A17: 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.  You can meet with a financial advisor through a free service offered through the Wellness Center by scheduling a virtual appointment.

Q18: Do I have to pay the Student Emergency grant back?
A18: No.

Q19: What is the likelihood that my application will be approved?
A19: There are many factors that are weighed to determine if your application will be approved. First, there must be funds available. Second, you must meet the eligibility criteria and approving your application must be consistent with all applicable laws. Once qualified, you must submit accurate and complete information with your application. Additionally, a student’s degree progression (how close you are to degree completion/conferral), SAP status (Standards of Academic Progress), and financial situation will all be considered by the Emergency Funding Committee.

Q20: If I am approved for the grant, how will the money reach me?
A20: The process takes approximately 12 – 15 business days.

If the grant is awarded to cover expenses on your student account, the Business Office will submit the award to the bursar via the current scholarship awarding process. The bursar will process and list the award within your student financial aid for the specific term and it will disburse to the account following the standard disbursement policy.

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.