Graduate Student Assistance Fund

About the Graduate Student Assistance Fund

The purpose of the Graduate Student Assistance Fund program is to support the wellbeing of graduate students facing financial hardship due to a qualifying event.

Maximum award amounts are capped and are determined by the nature of the qualifying event.

Availability and size of awards is contingent upon the amount of available funds and the applicants’ eligibility.

Qualifying Events

As of January 26, 2024, the qualifying events for which graduate students may apply to this fund include:

  • Pregnancy: For prenatal care related to a graduate student’s pregnancy or pregnancy-related disability. Maximum award $300.
  • New Child: For the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a new child. Maximum award $700 per child, even if both parents are graduate students.
  • Care for a Medical Condition: For the care of a spouse (or equivalent under Oregon law), registered domestic partner, child, or parent who is experiencing a serious medical condition -or- care for the graduate student’s own serious health condition. Maximum award $300.
  • Loss of a Dependent: For the death of a spouse (or equivalent under Oregon law), registered domestic partner, child, or parent. Maximum award $500.
  • Unexpected Housing Displacement (GEs only): For a student with a graduate employment appointment who experiences the loss of housing more than 60 days prior to the end of a lease agreement (or similar) and requires a GE to vacate the premises within 30 days. This does not apply if GEs are removed from their housing due to a violation of a lease agreement or if they voluntarily terminate a lease agreement. Maximum award $700.
  • Childcare Expenses (GEs only): As of September 16, 2023, for a graduate student who incurs expenses during a graduate employment appointment for care of a child during the first thirteen (13) years of the child's life. Maximum award $1,000 per academic year per child, even if both parents have a graduate employment appointment. This qualifying event does not count toward the maximum cap on accessing the fund.
  • International Summer Bridge Support (International GEs only): For an international student with a graduate employment appointment during the academic year as part of a multi-year funding offer commitment in their original admissions offer who does not have a graduate employment appointment in the subsequent summer between funded years. Maximum award $700. **The window to apply for this qualifying event is only open during summer terms. 

Award Eligibility

To be eligible to receive a Graduate Student Assistance Fund award, a graduate student must:

  1. Be admitted to and currently enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program at the University of Oregon. Certificate-only or non-degree seeking students are not eligible for this award.
  2. Be enrolled for at least three (3) graduate credits during the term in which the qualifying event occurs -and- in the term in which the student applies for access to the Fund. This means a graduate student must not be on academic leave unless the academic leave is a direct result of the qualifying event.
  3. Be experiencing one of the qualifying events.
  4. Be making satisfactory academic progress with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 -or- petition satisfactory academic progress with a signature from the graduate student’s program director, department head, or advisor.
  5. Be able to provide all required supporting documentation as described on the application and submit their application no later than 90 days after the qualifying event.

Award Limitations

Childcare Expenses, Unexpected Housing Displacement, and International Summer Bridge Support qualifying events are only available for graduate students during a current graduate employment appointment as a Graduate Employee (GE). 

Master’s students are eligible to receive up to 2 awards from this fund during their academic career. Doctoral students are eligible to receive up to 5 awards from this fund during their academic career. Graduate students who have met these limits may petition the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies in writing for an exception due to extraordinary circumstances. The Vice Provost's decision is final and binding. 

How to Apply

Graduate students must document their qualifying event via the appropriate certification form to be eligible to receive support. Please collate supporting documents with the appropriate certification form into a single pdf.

Prepare Your Application and Certify Your Qualifying Event

Applications must be made no later than 90 days after the qualifying event.

To submit your application: 

  • Click on the Apply Now button
  • Enter your UO email address and password
  • Complete all required fields and submit

Apply Now 

Review and Decision

The Vice Provost for Graduate Studies or their designee will review the application and determine whether the information submitted is sufficient to prove eligibility up to the requested amount.

Graduate students will be informed of the decision within fifteen (15) business days of their application’s receipt by the Division of Graduate Studies.

If the information presented is not sufficient to prove that the graduate student is eligible for the requested amount, they may be granted a partial award or the award may be fully denied.

As long as the certification proves eligibility and there are sufficient monies in the fund, requests shall not be unreasonably denied.

Appeals Process

Any graduate student whose application is denied in full or in part may appeal the decision within ten (10) business days by submitting a written request to the Division of Graduate Studies by emailing and requesting that their application and the decision be reviewed.

The graduate student will be asked to complete a waiver, allowing the Graduate Assistance Fund Committee and the Provost to access information related to their application and appeal.

The appeal will be reviewed by the Graduate Assistance Fund Committee, and the committee's recommendation shall be forwarded to the Provost within ten (10) business days for a decision. The Provost’s decision is final and binding, and the Provost shall inform all parties of the final decision in writing within ten (10) business days of receiving the committee’s recommendation. 

Disbursement of Award Funds

Approximately 1–2 weeks after approval notification, the approved award amount will be disbursed to the UO student's billing account (visible in DuckWeb).

The amount will be transferred to the graduate student's bank account if the student has direct deposit set up on the student account or mailed as a check to the address on file.

Fund Advisory Committee

The Fund Advisory Committee, convened by the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, meets once per term to review the fund and its operations and provides an annual report with recommendations to the President.

The committee may also review appeals at the request of a student whose award has been denied.

Members of the 2023-24 Fund Advisory Committee

Frida Heitland
GE Representative, Chair
Appointed by GTFF

Holly Jones
GE Representative, Vice Chair
Appointed by GTFF

Non-GE Representative

Non-GE Representative



Jim Brooks
Associate Vice President, Director of Financial Aid
Advisory Committee Designee of the President

Maile Hutterer
Associate Professor
Advisory Committee Faculty Member 
Appointed by the Graduate Council

tia north (non-voting)
Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Division of Graduate Studies Staff Member 
Appointed by the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies