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Students begin receiving second round of emergency federal COVID-19 aid

February 15, 2021 By Karla Weber Wandel

UW-Madison students financially affected by the pandemic began receiving emergency grant notifications on Monday, as the university began releasing $9.89 million recently allotted from the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II).

Undergraduate students with the highest demonstrated financial need (i.e., Federal Pell Grant recipients) received an email notification this morning from the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) notifying them of an emergency grant automatically provided to them. This automatic grant is intended to expedite assistance to those most in need.

More than 4,000 students who are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant are being awarded automatic emergency grants of $1,000 each. In addition to the students receiving automatic grants, some of these funds will be reserved for any enrolled UW–Madison undergraduate or graduate student experiencing emergency financial hardship that renders them unable to meet immediate, essential expenses.  Students may submit an Emergency Support Request using the online form in their MyUW Student Center (under Student eForms and the Financial Aid folder).

“This is an important step in addressing the additional financial pressures facing students and families as a result of the pandemic,” says Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “We will continue to offer resources where we can and to advocate for future support from the federal government.”

Emergency requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and can be made with the form regardless of residency or citizenship status. Requests will be reviewed and funds will be awarded within 1-3 business days. Students are encouraged to set up eRefund (direct deposit) if they have not already done so for fastest receipt of funds, which can take up to three business days to be posted by their financial institutions.

Private funds will be used for students with emergency needs who may not meet the federal criteria for federal funding. UW Foundation is raising funds to continue to grow the UW–Madison Emergency Student Support Fund – visit to donate.

In addition to direct financial support, there are other resources for UW–Madison students to meet and navigate basic needs (e.g., internet/technology, childcare, housing and employment) and food assistance. University Health Services has also provided information on available healthy food at

The OSFA team is available to meet virtually to answer any questions students may have – students may schedule an appointment using the Starfish tool in their MyUW portal or they can reach Financial Aid staff via email ( or phone (608-262-3060) during business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The Dean of Students Office is also available to help connect students with resources , and University Health Services offers 24/7 Crisis Support.