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International Student Emergency Fund

This page is for international students. Domestic students must refer to the domestic student emergency fund page.

The International Student Emergency Fund offers a one-time financial award to support students encountering an unforeseen emergency situation. The funding is limited to currently enrolled international students with valid immigration status. This funding is intended to offer one-time financial assistance during unexpected circumstances that impact a student’s ability to continue their studies. This award is not a long-term solution to fund a student’s education.

A committee evaluates each application on a case-by-case basis, considering the need, circumstance, and any other funding support received. This decision is final, and second applications will not be considered. Please allow 10-14 business days for processing after all documentation has been submitted.

Please note, prior to moving forward you must have exhausted all other forms of external support. Explore the Financial Resource page.

Eligibility requirements

  • Enrolled full-time in a degree-seeking program
  • Must be in good academic standing with 67% completion rate and minimum 2.0 GPA for undergraduate or 3.0 GPA for graduate students
  • Studying while maintaining F-1 or J-1 status and in full compliance with all visa regulations
  • Physically present in the United States, attending CMU’s main campus
  • Experiencing an unforeseen emergency (must be able to document)
  • Must have exhausted all other forms of support including seeking a private loan

What is considered an emergency?

  • Emergency medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • A personal injury or accident
  • Costs to travel home unexpectedly for a family emergency (death, illness, disaster, etc.)
  • Replacement of belongings lost due to burglary, fire, flood, or other disaster

Please note: This fund cannot be used for tuition, fees, or health insurance.

What is not considered an emergency?

  • Personal choices that result in a shortage of funding
  • Home country monetary deflations or changes in the exchange rate
  • Taking excessive credits or summer enrollment that is beyond your budget
  • Buying a car

Fund amounts

Awards will vary based on the need, funding availability, and supporting documentation for the requested financial amount. Awards are allowable up to $3,000. Awards may be considered taxable income and international student taxes may apply, please refer to your Sprintax profile for additional information regarding taxes. Students may need to file a U.S. and state tax return.

The ability to award is based upon the availability of funds.

How to apply

1. Please note, you must have reviewed each step listed above as well as exhausted all other forms of external support. Explore the Financial Resource page.

2. Complete the Student Emergency Fund application.

3. Submit the application, a detailed letter of explanation, and supporting documentation* to show emergency expenses. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

  • Provide documentation for the indicated emergency.
  • Provide documentation for the financial impact due to the emergency.
  • Submit all documentation online in your Financial Aid Portal or in person at OneCentral.
*Supporting documentation is proof of the statements made in the detailed letter. Examples could include (but are not limited to) bank statements, police reports, insurance claims, a medical professional letter, expense invoices, etc.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and awards are based on the availability of funds. Please allow 10-14 business days for processing.

If you would like to make a gift to the International Student Emergency Fund, please click the following link to be directed to CMU’s giving page.