Oregon State University created a dedicated hardship fund to assist graduate students, including those who hold a Graduate Employee position. OSU’s Graduate School coordinates these funds to assist graduate students experiencing unexpected financial hardship that impedes, impacts, or interferes with academic progress. This funding is being provided to help ensure that graduate students with demonstrated financial need can continue their education at OSU.

In your application, please describe the financial crisis you are experiencing and the potential impact on your ability to continue your studies. Situations that could affect your academic progress may include but are not limited to housing insecurity, employment accessibility, health emergencies, unexpected family situations, access to academic materials/resources, childcare expenses, etc. If you have questions about your eligibility and would like to discuss with someone, please reach out to [email protected].

Award details

Award amounts vary based upon hardship and need but will typically not exceed $2000 per student per academic year.

Note for applicants:

  • If you are currently eligible for Financial Aid assistance, the amount you request will be reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid to evaluate financial impact. All funding received through this award is considered a financial resource and may impact your ability to receive other forms of financial aid.
  • This award is normally applied to any outstanding student account balance you may have. If funding from your award exceeds an amount owed, the remaining amount will be issued to you directly in the form of a check or direct deposit if you have already established this process with the university.
  • You may request to have these funds provided to you in full without having it apply to your student account balance. The application provides a place to upload a statement on the intended use of funds. Release of funds is subject to Office of Financial Aid/Student Accounts review, in order to receive the full award amount via check or direct deposit.


To be eligible, students must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Student currently enrolled in a graduate degree-seeking program at OSU, i.e., master or doctoral degree
  • The student must have successfully completed either (whichever is satisfied first):
    • at least 1/3 (one-third) of the total required credits towards a graduate degree (defined as total earned hours + credit hours in progress during the term in which the application is submitted), or
    • at least 24 completed OSU credits towards a graduate degree
  • Enrolled in at least three graduate credits at OSU during (1) the term in which the application is submitted and (2) have registered or intend to register in the term immediately following the term in which the application is submitted. If an application is submitted in summer without summer term registration, the applicant must have been enrolled in at least three credits in spring and registered for at least three credits in fall for consideration.
  • Making satisfactory academic progress toward their degree and in good academic standing as defined by their program and by the Graduate School (to be confirmed by the program director/major advisor)
  • Currently experiencing unexpected and immediate economic hardship that significantly affects their academic progress in their current degree program at Oregon State University
  • Able to provide an appropriate rationale as to how this financial hardship will interrupt immediate academic progress

Fund restrictions

Students will be ineligible for the hardship grant if:

  • They are in a standalone graduate certificate program. Certificate students enrolled in a concurrent doctoral or master's degree program are eligible.
  • They are coded as an Ecampus student eligible in the same academic term for the Ecampus Financial Hardship Grant.

Request period

Requests are accepted on a rolling basis until available funds each term are exhausted. Award funding for the 2022-2023 academic year closed on Sunday, June 11, 2023. Requests will open for Summer 2023 within the 2023-2024 academic year on Tuesday, June 20, 2023.

Request process and timeline

Requests must be submitted by the student directly through the online request form. Applicants will be notified of the final award decision within 7-10 business days of receipt of the completed application and any necessary next steps. Please allow 3-4 additional business days before funds post to the student account.

In the online request form, students will be required to answer two survey prompts describing (1) the current, unexpected financial emergency experienced and (2) the immediate impact of the financial emergency on academic progress. Student can also prepare/upload a supplementary statement and/or documentation through the request form to support the responses.

Situations that could affect your academic progress may include but are not limited to housing insecurity, employment accessibility, health emergencies, unexpected family situations, access to academic materials/resources, etc.

Tips for improving the outcome of the hardship request:

  • Requests are typically limited to actual documented financial hardships. Anticipated expenses or estimates of future hardship are usually not considered. Providing receipts, bills, and/or invoices in your documentation are helpful.
  • The following requests are normally outside the scope of the award:
    • expenses tied to international travel;
    • expenses for conferences, membership fees, or professional development;
    • veterinary bills for a pet that is not a documented service or emotional support animal;
    • accumulated debt not tied to a specific financial emergency;
    • inflationary costs tied to ongoing living expenses (food and housing);
    • costs associated with dissolution of marriage or separation.
  • The financial emergency must be connected to academic progress – be sure the narrative demonstrates impact beyond the typical stress associated with being a busy graduate student.

Request Form

Submit a Request

Nomination form overview


For questions about this award, eligibility concerns, or any Graduate School administered awards please contact our Graduate Scholarships and Fellowships team.