The Student Emergency Fund was established to provide financial assistance to students who are faced with an emergency that impacts their ability to effectively continue their studies. Some examples of events that may qualify include:
- Onerous medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance
- Bereavement travel; travel for an urgent family matter
- Temporary emergency housing
- Loss due to theft or fire
Requests for funding are made through an online request form and are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the graduate deans. Sufficient documentation is required to evaluate the expense; for medical and dental reimbursements we ask for a billing statement and proof of payment and any applicable insurance applied, but we do not need a detailed disclosure of private medical information. For medical or dental expenses, we suggest students first consult with Kevin Lee, Student Benefits Specialist in HR, to discuss coverage and make sure that the insurance has been fully applied.
Our goal for non-urgent requests is to make a decision within ~2 weeks. If you require immediate assistance please contact the Graduate Office to set up an appointment with a Dean. If approved, the reimbursement will be applied to the next available payroll and applicable taxes may apply. Direct payment via P-Card is also possible for unpaid, approved costs.
1) Has the student previously applied for emergency funding and if so, how much? To ensure we can support as many requests as possible, priority is given to students who have not already accessed the emergency fund within the same academic year.
2) Review documentation of expenses (airfare, hotel, medical and dental bills, etc.). Medical bills must show evidence that insurance has been applied (The Graduate Office may verify with Kevin Lee in HR Benefits and we ask students to consult with Kevin before submitting the request).
3) To protect privacy, we do NOT require detailed medical information, just the bill showing insurance coverage and evidence of an emergency (we can work with HR Benefits or Student Wellness Services if that is more comfortable).
The Emergency Fund is supported by gifts and donations to Caltech. As it is not an endowed fund, the amount available varies year to year, and the reimbursement levels are adjusted as needed based on demand and the availability of funding.
- Students must be currently enrolled and in good academic standing to receive funding.
- Expenses for incidents that occurred earlier than 12 months from time of request are not eligible.
- Reasonable "emergencies" will be covered. This does not include legal fees/litigation expenses, elective surgery or cosmetic dental work, non-essential car repairs, etc.
- For medical expenses, priority will be given to students with Caltech health insurance coverage.
- Only students' expenses are eligible; due to limited resources we are unable to provide support for any emergencies impacting a student's partner, spouse, child, or family member.
- If deemed not eligible for consideration under the emergency fund, students may still apply for an emergency loan.
A summary follows of the utilization of the Emergency Fund for the 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22 academic years to provide an overview of the requests and funding levels.
|$ Average funded per application||$765||$1,193||$1,066|
|% Funding going to medical and dental||75%||74%||58%|
|% Funding going to family emergencies||12%||9%||16%|
|% Funding for loss due to theft/damages||NA||NA||22%|
|% Funding for other requests||NA||NA||3%|