Brandeis Emergency Fund

**PLEASE NOTE: The University will be closed from noon on Wednesday, November 24th until Monday, November 29th for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Committee will review any requests received during this time period starting on Monday, November 29th.**


The Brandeis Emergency Fund is available to currently active undergraduate and graduate students experiencing some kind of unexpected financial emergency when other resources are not available. (Students who have not yet begun their studies, or students who have withdrawn, graduated, or are currently on leave, are not eligible for funds.) Brandeis is very fortunate to be one of the few universities in the country that is able to offer institutional emergency funds to its students.  

This Fund has evolved greatly over the years, starting in 2009 with a one-time donation of $300,000 from the Caroll and Milton Petrie Foundation. Over the past decade, the Petrie Emergency Fund distributed, on average, $30,000 to about 30 individual students per year. When these funds were fully expended in early 2020, the University committed $200,000 per year, a portion of which was generously provided by Robin and Perry Traquina, ’78, H’19, Brandeis Trustee Emeritus, to preserve the Emergency Fund. In March 2020, the demand for emergency funds increased dramatically as the majority of students were required to leave campus for home and transition to remote learning as a result of COVID-19 safety protocols.  Through a crowdfunding campaign led by Institutional Advancement, the Brandeis community rallied to support the urgent needs of our students; alumni, friends, faculty, staff and families gave over $700,000 to the Emergency Fund.  Thanks to these donations combined with University funds, nearly $1.2M were distributed to over 800 individual Brandeis students in need from January 2020 through June 2021.  

Unfortunately, the high level of funding that was made possible during the height of the pandemic is not representative of current available resources. As of July 1, 2021, the Brandeis Emergency Fund will be returning to a more sustainable level of support. With a maximum of $200,000 per year going forward, the Fund will be focusing its limited resources on students with high/medium demonstrated financial need (students with an EFC of approximately $35,000 or below, as determined by a financial aid application) who are experiencing unexpected financial emergencies for which no other funds are available (students are expected to apply for, and utilize, all other sources of funding before receiving emergency funds, including, if applicable, federal loan funds). Students with medium, low or no demonstrated financial need rarely receive funds.  The maximum amount of funds a student can receive in any given academic year is now $2,000.