Student Emergency Relief Fund

Help for students with financial needs outside of the expected costs of education.

The Student Emergency Relief Fund was created, as part of the Invisible Need Project, to assist WMU students who have urgent financial needs that would interfere with their path to graduation from Western Michigan University.  This fund is made possible through donor generosity, including an endowment and the sales of the official WMU Game Day t-shirt.

The Invisible Need Project defines an emergency as "a circumstance that jeopardizes a student's ability to meet their basic needs and requires action" and is intended for unexpected costs of attendance (i.e. car repair, fire/flood damage, etc.)  The SERF is not intended to support expected costs of attendance (tuition and fees, past due balances of outstanding charges, etc.).  Students who need assistance in meeting their expected costs of attendance should contact Bronco Express (domestic students), or International Admissions and Services (international students) to schedule an appointment with a representative to discuss their situation.


For the year and/or term in which assistance is sought, students must:

  • Be currently enrolled at WMU at least half-time. 
    For undergraduate students, half-time enrollment is 6 hours during Fall or Spring, and 3 hours during Summer I or II. 
    For graduate students, half-time enrollment is 3 hours during Fall or Spring and 2 hours during Summer I or II.
  • Have a current FAFSA on file (domestic students only).
  • Have remaining financial need as calculated by Student Financial Aid.
Eligible Expense ExamplesIneligible Expense Examples
Fire/Flood DamageMonthly Bills (i.e. rent)
Repair/Replace EyeglassesTuition/Textbooks
Emergency Auto Repairs (non-accident)Auto Maintenance or Accident Repair
Laptop RepairsTickets/Towing
Qualified Medical (i.e. dental)Food/Toiletries/Household Items


PLEASE NOTE: Once you have submitted an application, staff will communicate with you through the application portal. You will also receive email notifications informing you of a response. You are strongly encouraged to closely monitor your email - including the spam folder - during this time to ensure you receive all messages.


This is not a scholarship.  Applications are reviewed on an individual basis, as quickly as possible, in the order received.  Applications are reviewed by Student Financial Aid to determine if alternative sources of financial assistance are available to you and you will be notified accordingly.  Please note that if your application is approved, SERF aid may be counted toward your total financial aid package and may affect your eligibility for other forms of financial assistance.  Students may receive a maximum total SERF award of $1,000 per academic year.



Questions regarding the Student Emergency Relief Fund?

Please email or contact Donielle Easlick, Program Manager, at (269) 387-2021.


Show Support

Select this image to read more about the SERF Endowment.

The Student Emergency Relief Fund is made possible largely through the generosity of individual donors, as well as the Student Emergency Relief Fund Endowment started by an incredible donation from former Western Michigan University President, Dr. John M. Dunn, and his wife, Linda.

Make a gift now