CAS Student Emergency Fund


The CAS Student Emergency Fund is intended to help cover unavoidable expenses for CAS students undergoing an economic hardship. Funds are not to cover long-term needs or to pay tuition on a regular basis. Funds are provided on a case-by-case basis and are reviewed by a Dean’s Office committee.

Eligibility for Funding  

  • The student must be registered full-time as a declared CAS undergraduate major or enrolled in a CAS graduate or doctoral degree program.  
  • The student must not have any violations of the AU conduct code on their record. 
  • Students are expected to be in good academic standing to be eligible. Funding for students not in good academic standing (e.g., probation) will be rare and only when students have explained in writing how (a) the financial emergency contributed to their academic standing, and (b) the emergency fund helps put them in good academic standing.  
  • Each student may apply for and receive CAS emergency funds a maximum of twice during their enrollment in a degree program at American University.  
  • Financial need must be evident to be approved for emergency funds. This could be with the FAFSA, or other documentation if an international student. 
  • Student has, in good faith, considered all possible financial resources including family resources, loans through AU’s Office of Financial Aid or scholarships through internal and external resources, and have deemed them insufficient, unavailable, or not accessible within a timeframe needed. 

Funding Rules 

  • Applications must be completed before they will be considered for funding. If more information is needed to make a decision, a student will be notified of the request for more information before a decision is final. 
  • The request will be evaluated for the level of impact the emergency is having on the student’s academic progress. 
  • Funds will not cover long-term needs or pay tuition on a regular basis. 
  • Funds are approved and provided on a case by case, rolling basis, as long as emergency funding is available.  
  • The amount of emergency funds distributed per request to one student will not exceed $500. 
  • Dollar amount awarded may be less than amount requested, since it will depend on need, budget, number of requests, and other factors. 
  • Awarded emergency funding may be classified as taxable income to the recipient and require the University to make appropriate withholdings and report the payment information to the IRS. 
  • All funding decisions and fund amounts are made solely at the discretion of the Dean’s Office of the College of Arts and Sciences, and decisions are final. 

Examples of Eligible Emergency Fund Requests 

  • Academic and educational materials/supplies not incorporated in the cost of tuition. 
  • Rent support for students in immediate and imminent need of housing eviction. 
  • Unanticipated medical, vision, dental, and mental health expenses and associated medications not covered by insurance.  
  • Travel expenses in the event of serious illness or death in the student’s immediate family (parent/guardian, sibling, grandparent). 
  • Food and nutrition support for students who are food insecure or in an emergency situation. 
  • Essential utilities (i.e. electric, water) not incorporated that are in danger of being turned off. 
  • Replacement of essential personal care items due to fire, theft, or natural disaster not covered by insurance. 

Examples of NON-eligible Requests 

  • Tuition, on-campus room and board, student fees, insurance, and study abroad expenses 
  • Legal/court fines, counsel, or fees. 
  • Parking permits or tickets, library fines, or other similar expenses. 
  • Non-essential services and revolving credit line payments (including but not limited to cable, credit card, cell phone, subscriptions to streaming services or licenses, memberships, etc.). 
  • Costs of entertainment, conferences/professional development opportunities, recreation, food, or non-emergency travel. 
  • Long-term coverage of any expenses beyond one month (30 days). 

Application and Decision Process 

Application Form

  1. There is no deadline date for applications. The submission process is rolling across the academic year. 
  2. An AU email address must be used to access the form. 
  3. Applications will be reviewed by Dean’s Office review committee. 
  4. Student will receive notification of decision within 10 business days. Students may be contacted during the processing of their application, to ask for more information. 
  5. All applications and information shared by students are kept confidential and only shared with personnel necessary to process applications and administer funding. No information will be shared with a third party unless the student explicitly gives permission or reporting is required by law in instances of Title IX violations or crimes covered under the Clery Act. 
  6. Actual disbursement of payments may take up to 21 days. Finance may need to contact you for banking information or other financial system information for purposes of payments. 

Questions? Please email