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Pokes make the difference student emergency fund

Student Emergency Fund

Through the generous donations from the University of Wyoming extended community, the UW Foundation’s Pokes Make the Difference campaign is raising funds to support those students who have been dramatically impacted by the necessary response to COVID-19 and are now facing financial hardship.

Thank You

Together, we have met our goal of a student emergency of funds of $500,000. The UW Foundation is continuing to raise funds through the end of the month.  A special thanks to Acting President Neil Theobald for his leadership in the effort and to student leaders—ASUW President Jason Wilkins, ASUW Director of Wellness and Sustainability Anna Savage, and Sustainability Coalition Co-Chairs Addison Marr and Caitlin McClennan. These students came together during a stressful time and worked with UW Administration to propose the fund, research best practices at other institutions, and develop inspirational messaging alongside the UW Foundation to help promote it—all to support their fellow students. 

A huge debt of gratitude to all the donors who gave to the Pokes Make the Difference Student Emergency Student Fund and to the UW Foundation Board who provided the match that doubled your $250,000 to $500,000!

That’s not all! The UW President’s Office is providing matching funds with discretionary dollars going forward that double all gifts over and above the $250,000. That means that it’s not too late! You can still support students who are affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Students are getting the support they need, thanks to you!

Funds will be dispersed based on the awarding criteria below and will not exceed awards of $1,000.  Applications close on Friday, April 17. Awards will be entered for funding by the end of next week, April 24th.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for funding, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled as a degree-seeking full-time or part-time undergraduate or graduate student at the University of Wyoming;

  • Experiencing unexpected financial hardship resulting from the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak


Examples of Expenses Covered by COVID-19 Emergency Funding:

  • Emergency medical expenses

  • Homelessness or sudden loss of housing

  • Overdue bills for utilities, rent or other essential services

  • Temporary assistance with food insecurity

  • Other financial needs arising from individual and/or special circumstances to be determined on a case-by-case basis


Examples of Expenses Not Typically Covered by COVID-19 Emergency Funding:

  • Legal fines or expenses

  • Non-essential personal bills or expenses

  • Parking tickets, library fines, or other expenses mistakenly incurred

  • Funds for the replacement of lost or stolen items

  • Requests made for expenses beyond the spring 2020 semester


Awarding Criteria

The applications will be reviewed The Dean of Students Office will work with a collaborator with partners within Student Affairs and Academic Affairs whose daily work connects them with students to facilitate the review process.  Many factors are taken into consideration in making a decision to approve or deny a request and in deciding amounts. These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • The number of requests received compared to the funds available.

  • The nature and urgency of the student’s emergency.

  • The specific and immediate impact the emergency may have on the student’s living and academic circumstances.

  • Other resources or support the student may have available to them.

  • The student’s current financial standing.


Additional Items to Note:

  • All emergency funding requests will be reviewed as they are received.

  • Students shall only receive funds once via this application.

  • You will be notified via your student email if you are receiving funds, and the amount you will receive.

  • If additional information is needed from you, a UW staff member will contact you via your student email or the cell number you provided.

  • Funds will be provided via direct deposit or, if you do not have a direct deposit, will be mailed to your mailing address listed with UW. You can set up your current bank account for direct deposit by logging into WyoRecords - Student Account- Student Financial Portal.

  • For all UW students with an outstanding balance of less than $500 on their student account, the funds can be dispersed directly.  For students with a balance of over $500, the dispersed emergency funds would need to be applied to lower the balance of the account to less than $500 before the remaining balance would be dispersed.

  • For federal compliance reasons, the University of Wyoming must show the amount of the emergency funding you receive in your financial aid award.   Funds will be issued directly to students to cover immediate costs. However, your “Cost of Attendance” to ensure you do not lose critical funds to continue your education at UW.

  • Funds awarded do not need to be repaid, however, they may be subject to federal taxes.



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