What if I am a student experiencing financial hardship or having difficulty meeting basic needs due to COVID-19?

We understand that some students will experience financial hardship associated with the impact of COVID-19 as it relates to family, travel and academics. The following resources are available:

  • Office of Student Financial Aid:
    The Office of Student Financial Aid has a team of people ready to help connect you to financial and other resources. Though COVID-related emergency funding was only available through the end of the spring term, students may have other options and should reach out for help.
    1. Emergency Support: https://financialaid.wisc.edu/emergencysupport
    2. Email: finaid@finaid.wisc.edu
    3. Phone: (608) 262-3060 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. central time, Monday through Friday
    4. Schedule a virtual appointment through Starfish in your MyUW Portal
  • Deferred Tuition Payment: Students may be eligible for a deferred tuition payment date and late-fee waiver. Students should contact the Bursar’s Office for extending their tuition payment date: tuition@bussvc.wisc.edu.
  • Basic Needs: The Office of Student Financial Aid has compiled a list of basic needs resources in the Madison area. If you need resources in a different area, the United Way 211 will provide information based on your zip code. You can also call 211 and will be given information for the nearest emergency food provider.
  • The Open Seat food pantry: Beginning Tuesday, March 24, 2020 between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., students can pick up prepackaged food boxes at Union South near the hotel entrance off of Dayton Street. These boxes are intended to assist those who need to supplement their food budget.
    • Boxes are packed and distributed by Second Harvest Foodbank. They come in a 10-lb size for an individual, or a 25-lb size for a household of four. The first round of boxes will be available on March 24 at 12 p.m. After March 24, students should request a box using this link: https://forms.gle/68aLFddgX1ECCTQEA
    • We ask that you submit your order by Thursday for a pick-up the following Tuesday. Pick-ups will be every Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at Union South.
    • For questions, contact openseat@asm.wisc.edu.
  • Also for Graduate Students: Although the university is committed to continuity of pay for graduate assistants, other factors related to COVID-19 may have an impact on finances. The Dean of Students Crisis Loan ($500-$1,000), International Students Services Loans (up to $5,000), Deferred Tuition Payment, and other emergency funds may be available. Read more in the Financial Matters FAQ. The Division of Extension has compiled a list of financial resources to support some common financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Graduate students living in University Apartments who have concerns about their ability to pay are encouraged to contact University Apartments to discuss their individual situations: leasing@housing.wisc.edu. COVID-19-related updates for University Apartment residents are posted online and emailed directly to residents. For graduate students who do not live in University Apartments, community resources may be available to help them navigate individual situations with their landlords. The Tenant Resource Center is one such organization for Dane County residents.


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