Student Emergency Relief Fund

Effective Friday, March 20, 2020:

The Invisible Need Project’s view of “unexpected & emergency” expenses has broadened in light of COVID-19.  SERF is currently available to help students with any basic/urgent expenses, even those which haven’t typically qualified for SERF (i.e. rent and utilities).

SERF funding continues to not able to be used for any University expense (i.e. tuition, on-campus housing, fees).  All requests still need to be submitted through the application (below), including documentation.  Financial Aid eligibility is still part of the review process, and direct deposit of funds is being used when possible.  SERF is separate from CARES Act funding.

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 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 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.


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.


Show Support

The Student Emergency Relief Fund is made possible largely through the generosity of individual donors.

Make a gift now

Official Game Day T-Shirt

The Student Emergency Relief Fund is also supported through a partnership with University Athletics and the WMU Bookstore.  The annual official Game Day T-Shirt is sold in the WMU Bookstore and online. Shirts are available in sizes small through 3X for only $18, and $5 of every shirt purchased goes to the SERF. Support Broncos on game days and support Broncos in need!

Purchase Your Game Day T-Shirt