COVID-19 Emergency Grant

The COVID-19 Emergency Grant at CUNY SPS provides emergency financial assistance to eligible students who are experiencing hardship that could adversely affect their educational success. The main criteria for a grant are the demonstration of a genuine need and that the capacity for continued study may be in jeopardy due to financial hardship. Applicants must be able to provide documentation supporting the need. Please note, students are eligible for only one Emergency Grant award per 12 month period.

Students who plan to submit an application for a COVID-19 Emergency Grant should contact the Office of Scholarships at prior to submitting the application for guidance on the application process. Please note that all requests for information will remain confidential. 


  • Students must be registered at the CUNY School of Professional Studies for the current semester
  • Students must be matriculated
  • Students must have a record of good conduct
  • Students must have a current emergency need
  • Students must demonstrate an ability and intention to complete their course of study
  • Students must be available for a virtual consultation and be willing to participate in post-award questionnaires and interviews
  • Only students residing in the United States are eligible to apply for the COVID-19 Emergency Grant

Examples of emergencies include, but are not limited to:

  • Homelessness due to loss of housing or threat of eviction
  • Domestic violence
  • Destruction of living quarters due to fire or natural disaster (primary residence)
  • Theft of computer, books, clothing or other essential belongings
  • Overdue bills (medical, rent, utility turn-off notice)
  • Temporary job loss
  • Unexpected expenses due to illness or death in the immediate family
  • Tuition
    • Students can submit an application for Fall 2020 Tuition Assistance.  Please be advised, awards are contingent upon sustained enrollment in the Fall 2020 semester.
    • Students must have proven documentation of loss of income or unexpected financial challenges specific to COVID-19

​***Emergency Grant Tuition Assistance Awards are subject to fund availability.

  • Other (you will be asked to provide a detailed explanation of your emergency)

The COVID-19 Emergency Grants cannot be used for:

  • Previous educational debts
  • Textbooks
  • Credit card debts or loan payments
  • Legal representation or services

Maximum Award: $1500.00 subject to supporting documentation. However, the final award amount will be based on need as described in the student’s application and as supported by the appropriate documentation.

Students should contact the Office of Scholarships before applying for a grant. Applicants will be contacted within 48 hours, 72 hours for applications submitted over the weekend. 

Emergency funds cannot be sent to a student but will be paid directly to a third party, if a grant is awarded. Given this, it is important that documentation includes the specific information needed to get the payment to the approved payee. For example, a request for emergency funds to pay for housing must include the name, mailing address, phone number, and account information of the landlord.

As the grant draws on a limited pool of funds, the School cannot always guarantee the availability of funds for assistance.

How to apply for a COVID-19 Emergency Grant

Applications are available online and include:

  • A statement explaining your emergency and how the current situation is affecting your studies.
  • A statement describing what the requested funds will be used for. You will be asked to itemize each cost and provide supporting documentation for each item.
  • A statement describing what you have done and what you are planning to do in order to resolve your crisis and stay enrolled in school
  • Documentation to demonstrate you are experiencing a financial hardship. Do note the Office of Scholarships may request additional documentation once your application is submitted.

Upon review of the student’s eligibility, complete applications will be reviewed by the Committee and a determination will be made. Committee decisions are final. If approved, the grant will be disbursed to the approved payees within 5-7 business days of the approval date.

Use your CUNYfirst/Blackboard login credentials to access the application system.