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GSAPP Student Emergency Fund

Columbia GSAPP established a $250,000 Emergency Fund to assist students with unexpected expenses related to COVID-19. The fund was created by the Dean’s Office with the generous support of donors and alumni, who contributed specifically to support the student community.

Two rounds of funding in the Fall 2020 semester met 100% of requests by disbursing $91,138 in October 2020 and an additional $127,654 in December 2020. Further requests for support were met throughout the Spring 2021 semester, disbursing an additional $71,951. The School expanded the original budget to provide a total of $290,743 in emergency aid to 195 students during the 2020-2021 academic year.

GSAPP is extending this support by renewing the GSAPP Emergency Fund in the 2021-2022 academic year. The application will be available in September 2021.

The GSAPP Emergency Fund is for current GSAPP students who are enrolled full-time and have urgent financial need that cannot be addressed by any other sources. These taxable stipends may vary in amount and will not exceed $1,000 per student in each application round. Students who have already received a stipend from the fund’s prior round and continue to experience financial hardship may re-apply for an additional stipend.

Eligibility: Who Can Apply

The Emergency Fund is for current GSAPP students who are enrolled full-time in the Fall 2021 or Spring 2022 term.

  • Expenses must be directly related to the student and incurred during the current academic term.

  • The student’s need is exacerbated by unanticipated factors.

Selection: How Grantees Are Selected

The fund is intended to meet a variety of emergency needs. Applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis provided that they meet the “Eligibility” criteria above. Eligibility does not guarantee funding, and priority is given to those cases in which the applicant does not have access to additional means. Applications will be evaluated based on the criteria below.

  • Does the need arise from additional financial strain as a result new, unanticipated factors?
  • Does the need pertain directly to the student’s own circumstances (versus someone else’s such as a roommate or partner)?
  • Has the applicant exhausted all other possible resources, including personal assets, family and personal networks, and the various Columbia, government, or community resources? Links to additional resources can be found on the Office of University Life COVID-19 webpage.
Application Instructions and Deadline
The application and deadlines to request funding for the Fall 2021 semester will be available in September, 2021.
Documentation required

Please use the application form to include the following documentation:

  • Detailed description of how your circumstances have changed to created this emergency need.
  • Estimated expenses and requested amount of support. (Stipends do not exceed $1,000 per student in each application round.)
  • Other documentation as applicable to the specific nature of the application may need to be provided by request.
Please contact financialaid@arch.columbia.edu with any questions.