Student Emergency Funding

The Student Emergency Fund (SEF) is designed to provide one-time limited emergency financial assistance (approximately $50 – $300) to Carleton University students experiencing short-term financial hardship related to critical needs. When seeking student emergency funding, you will be connected to the Care and Support team to help assess your overall needs and they will assist you in navigating additional supports that may be useful in your situation.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the SEF you must be:

  • A current Carleton student (all domestic, international, undergraduate and graduate students are eligible)
  • Experiencing an unforeseeable situation resulting in short-term financial hardship
  • Connect with a Manager of Care and Support to explore additional supports

It is encouraged that if you are seeking student emergency funding, you should also verify your eligibility for government financial assistance.

Below are some examples of situations that may qualify and do not qualify for student emergency funding. Please note that this list is not comprehensive, and funding will be considered as part of a holistic needs assessment with the Care and Support team. Funding does not replace losses experienced but provides one-time limited monetary relief (approximately $50 – $300) to address basic and immediate needs.

Common Situations That May Qualify for Limited Funding

  • Unexpected situations such as fires, floods, theft
  • Domestic abuse situations
  • Unexpected Prescription Medication Costs not covered by CUSA or GSA health benefits
  • Unexpected homelessness
  • Temporary food insecurity

Situations that Do Not Qualify

  • Travel
  • Rent
  • Student fees/tuition
  • Debts
  • Anticipated future hardship
  • Costs related to being an academic student

Review and Qualification Process

The steps in the qualification and review process for Student Emergency Fund (SEF) funding are as follows:

  1. Email to outline your situation.
  2. The Care and Support team will review your situation and offer to meet with you to discuss your situation and offer additional support and resources in addition to limited emergency funding considerations.
  3. If you qualify for limited emergency funding, the Care and Support will outline the process with you in detail.

Faculty and staff who are concerned about a student are encouraged to submit a Care Report.


While Carleton University will continue to support students in need through the SEF, it is important to recognize the financial and operational limitations of the program. The SEF does not have the financial capacity to supplement large financial loss nor, the operational capacity to process applications for a majority of the student body. This is where government financial assistance programs play a key role. The federal and provincial governments of Canada have created several financial support mechanisms for residents and citizens of Canada – including international students, temporary foreign workers, and permanent residents. Other support options outside of funding may be provided to you as part of your request for student emergency funding.

Additional Funding Resources