Applications for Urgent Student Relief are now open and being accepted for students of UH Mānoa, UH Hilo, UH West Oʻahu, Kapiʻolani CC, Leeward CC and Maui College. 

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the University of Hawaiʻi and The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation are humbled to announce this special opportunity for our students.

The purpose of the Urgent Student Relief Fund is to assist University of Hawaiʻi students with unexpected financial hardships incurred while enrolled at any UH campus to ensure students are afforded the ability to continue their education. Requests for support must be for an unplanned emergency expense that has or is currently impacting a student’s ability to be successful at UH. The Urgent Student Relief Fund is not a replacement for financial aid. Examples of unexpected financial hardships considered include (but are not limited to):

  • costs encountered due to an unanticipated situation or emergency
  • loss of employment or housing
  • family emergencies
  • natural disasters or pandemic
  • food insecurity
  • medical/dental expenses
  • changes to childcare or transportation needs

The Urgent Student Relief Fund is assistance that does not need to be repaid; however, the funds may be subject to federal taxes.

Approved awards are generally between $100-$500 and amounts are based on the type of request and urgency of the hardship. Exceptions for amounts greater than $500 may be approved on a case-by-case basis. Submission of an application does not guarantee that an award will be granted and is dependent on the individual situation and available funding. Students may only receive one award within an academic year.

All awarded applications will be reviewed by a financial aid representative.  Financial aid recipients will be notified regarding any changes to their total award. All students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA to apply for other types of financial aid if they have not done so already, especially if a student’s or parent’s financial situation has changed.

For fastest processing, we strongly recommend setting up eRefund so that your award will be deposited directly to your bank account.  If you have not set up eRefund a check will be cut and sent to your mailing address which may take longer.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Students currently enrolled at one or more of the UH campuses in a credit-based certificate or degree program during the Fall 2020 semester.
  • Students have a documentable temporary financial need resulting from an unexpected emergency event. Urgent Student Relief funding would, in turn, support their ability to be successful and make academic progress.
  • Preference will be given to students graduating in summer and/or including their intention to return to UH in the Fall semester.

Timeline

Every attempt will be made to review and process your application as quickly as possible and as funding permits. Applicants will be notified via email of funding decisions from their campus committee shortly following their application review. UH anticipates an extraordinary number of applications for Urgent Student Relief due to COVID-19 and communication may be delayed.

Process

  1. Gather all supporting documentation such as receipts and/or estimates of anticipated costs. Please black out any account or social security numbers from supporting documentation.  Remember, this for an urgent need that would impact your ability to finish the term. Attachments can be in any format (.pdf, .jpg, .png, .doc)
  2. Log into the Urgent Student Relief Fund Application portal using your UH username and password.
  3. Complete the application. You must answer all of the questions and list at least one expense.
  4. Attach at least 1 and up to 4 supporting documents by clicking on the “Choose File” button(s). Types of appropriate documentation include: copies of bill or account statements, a screenshot of employment layoff notice, or quotes of needed items. Remember to pleaseblack out any account or social security numbers from supporting documentation.**If you are unable to produce a supporting document, please create a word document to further explain the cause for your request and attach it to your application. Your campus may ask additional questions when reviewing.
  5. Certify your application by typing your name in the student’s signature box.
  6. Click “Submit”.
  7. You will receive a confirmation message upon the successful submission of your application. There is no email generated, so if you want a copy of the confirmation notice, we recommend taking a screenshot.
  8. While waiting for your application to be reviewed, we strongly recommend setting up eRefund. Any award granted will then be electronically deposited to your bank account. If you have not set up eRefund a check will be cut and sent to your mailing address which may take longer. Make sure your mailing address is current in your MyUH account.
  9. Review the Community Support Services and Resources webpage to find additional supports.
  10. You will be informed of the decision by your home campus soon after via email.
  11. Please direct application or award related questions to your listed campus contact.

Campus Contacts

Mānoa
Lori M. Ideta, Interim Vice Chancellor for Students
   (808) 956-3290
 uhmfund@hawaii.edu

Hilo
Farrah-Marie Gomes, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
(808) 932-7445
 uhhfund@hawaii.edu

West Oʻahu
Jan Javinar, Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
(808) 689-2671
uhwofund@hawaii.edu

Hawaiʻi CC
Dorinna Cortez, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
   (808) 934-2510
   hawfund@hawaii.edu

Honolulu CC
Lara Sugimoto, Dean of Student Services
   (808) 845-9236
   honfund@hawaii.edu

Kapiʻolani CC
Noʻeau Keopuhiwa, Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
   (808) 734-9522
   kapfund@hawaii.edu

Kauaʻi CC
Margaret Sanchez, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs
   (808) 245-8274
   kaufund@hawaii.edu

Leeward CC
Lexer Chou, Coordinator Student Life
(808) 455-0248
   leefund@hawaii.edu

Maui College
Marilyn Fornwall, Development Assistant
   (808) 984-3261
   mauifund@hawaii.edu

Windward CC
Robert Yamashita, HI-Net Coordinator
  (808) 235-7386

   robertty@hawaii.edu

Additional Community Support Services, Resources & Information

We understand that this aid may not cover all of the need. UH HI-Net coordinators have collated other services, resources and information available for students in the identified areas below.

  1. Nutritional & Financial Assistance
  2. Emergency Food Assistance
  3. Childcare
  4. Medical & Unemployment
  5. Housing Financial Assistance (Utilities & Shelter)
  6. Other Resources & Information

Frequently Asked Questions

I applied but have not heard back. Who do I contact?

If you have applied and have not yet heard back, please contact your appropriate campus listing above for status updates. UH Mānoa applicants can expect longer delays due to the volume of applications. We appreciate your patience.

How much money has been donated to the USRF?

As of April 2020, over $1 million has been pledged through donations to the Urgent Student Relief Fund. Each week the balance of the fund is updated with donations that have been deposited and processed so that this funding can be awarded to students. The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation is working diligently to secure more funding to match the need.

Has the fund run out of money?

While we are actively awarding as many requests as possible, this is a live account with incoming donations being still being received. We will continue to award students as long as there are funds available. The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation is working diligently to secure more funding to match the need.

What kind of requests are being funded?

Requests vary. The awards have been prioritized to assist with unexpected emergency financial hardships incurred while enrolled at any UH campus to ensure students are afforded the ability to continue their education. Requests for support must be for an unplanned emergency expense that has or is currently impacting a student’s ability to be successful at UH. Overall, most requests have been to assist with housing, food, childcare, transportation, and technology. Complete applications with clear descriptions of situations are being prioritized.

How much money are individual students getting from the USRF?

Approved awards are generally between $100-$500 and amounts are based on the type of request and urgency of the hardship. Exceptions for amounts greater than $500 are very rare but may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

Is this the CARES money I keep hearing about?

No, the USRF consists of donations from raised locally by the University of Hawaii Foundation and is separate from the Federal CARES money. This application is now also being used for students whose home campus is at UH Mānoa.

What other resources can students access?

The University of Hawaiʻi has compiled a list of resources for Students that includes: Nutritional and Financial Assistance, Emergency Food Assistance, Childcare, Medical and Unemployment, Housing Financial Assistance, and Other Resources and Information.

Additionally, all students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA to apply for other types of financial aid if they have not done so already, especially if a student’s or parent’s financial situation has changed.

Can I print and mail my application?

The Urgent Student Relief Application has now moved exclusively online. If you do not have access to a device or the internet, then please contact your campus to notify them of this and they can assist you.

Questions?

For program-related questions, e.g., Do I qualify for this program?, What is a qualifying expense? etc., contact your campus contact above.

For technical issues, e.g, login problems, website error messages, contact Web Support at web-support-l@lists.hawaii.edu.

Are you interested in donating to the Urgent Student Relief Fund? Visit the donation page. 

Last modified: September 2, 2020