Graduate Studies


Graduate students provide intellect, industry, and inspiration for the cutting-edge research that’s at the heart of the University of Kansas. They are teachers and mentors for undergraduates. They serve our University in leadership roles and are members of our local communities. They are also people with lives that sometimes have bumps in the road. 


Emergencies can result in devastating expenses, especially for those on a student budget. KU’s Graduate Student Emergency Fund recognizes this fact and offers answering relief by providing one-time, need-based $500 awards to graduate students facing unexpected financial strain due to illness, the death of a family member, accident, theft, fire, flooding, or other causes of similar nature. The awards are not loans, and they do not need to be repaid.  

In the past year alone, the Graduate Student Emergency Fund distributed funding to over 100 KU students experiencing financial hardship due to emergency. In many instances, this aid was a critical factor in allowing a student to continue their studies when confronted with otherwise insurmountable expenses. Of urgent note, however, is that student need is currently outpacing the availability of funds; we aim to help every KU student in times of crisis, yet deserving students have previously had their needs go unmet due to the exhaustion of the Graduate Student Emergency Fund.


At present, the only source of income for the Graduate Student Emergency Fund is donations received as part of the One Day. One KU. campaign. Every penny raised for Graduate Studies during this campaign will be distributed back to KU graduate students in need. Every donation received helps our reach go that much further. Your generosity will help us ensure that no deserving KU student is left without financial relief when emergencies arise.

Previous beneficiaries of the Graduate Student Emergency Fund have articulated the profound impact of financial support in times of challenge:

  • “I am writing this letter to formally thank the Office of Graduate Studies and the KU Endowment Association for providing me with financial support through the Graduate Student Emergency Fund. The monetary award that I received allowed me to substantially decrease the burden of my recurring medical expenses. It has been difficult academic year for me due to my health issues and I am very grateful to you all and [my department] for supporting me and other graduate students beyond academics. If there is anything that I can do to be of assistance to the Office of Graduate Studies, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would love to pay it forward."​​

  • “Thank you so much for the support provided through this funding! As an international student, having to deal with the news of the loss of my father while being away was hard enough. I knew that I just had to get back home to say that final good bye and be with my family, even when I didn’t know how I was going to pay for that plane ticket. I am so thankful to have received the financial support from the Graduate Student Emergency Fund to help alleviate that debt!”

  • “I deeply appreciate your and the school's support for me and my family. This means more than just financial support. I hope I am able to give back soon as an alumna to KU and the community. Thank you so much again.”

Life happens, but no KU student should have to face an emergency alone. Relief aid distributed through the Graduate Student Emergency Fund helps ensure that unforeseen financial strain doesn’t unravel an academic career. Help us support KU students in need by giving today, in any amount. The Graduate Student Emergency Fund will be capable of meeting student's needs only with the thoughtful generosity of donors such as yourself. Thank you!

Vice Provost’s Challenge for Graduate Studies
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