Panther Emergency Fund

campus - external

About the Panther Emergency Fund

The Old Westbury College Foundation has established a student emergency fund to help assist SUNY Old Westbury students facing an emergency situation that has caused unforeseen financial hardship, with the intention to support students so they can stay in college and continue their education. 

The donor-supported fund offers emergency grants of up to $500 to eligible students to help pay for urgent expenses. The Student Emergency Fund grants are designated as temporary assistance and are not intended to replace financial aid. Students are eligible for no more than one grant per academic year with a “lifetime” award totaling $2000.  Funding is limited, and we urge students to only request what is needed.  Applications will be accepted during the fall and spring semesters. Please apply for an emergency grant only after other methods of funding have been exhausted. 


To be considered eligible for funding, students applying for assistance must be pursuing a degree at SUNY Old Westbury and enrolled as full-time, matriculated, undergraduate, or graduate students. Enrollment will be verified. Only complete applications will be considered and must include support documentation at the time of submission. Additional documentation or follow-up may be required before finalizing an approved request. Note: funding can not be requested retroactively.  

Application Process 

Students who are in need of emergency financial assistance may submit an application via the application form. The Student Emergency Fund Committee will review the applications within three (3)  business days determine the appropriate funding amount and reply to the student on the 4th business day. Funds distributed do not generally exceed $500. The Committee will review applications requesting an amount in excess of $500 for unique and unusual circumstances of emergency financial need. Applicants may be required to meet with an Old Westbury staff member to discuss their application and/or provide supporting documentation. If you are currently receiving financial aid, please be aware that receiving funding from the Student Emergency Fund may affect your current aid eligibility (only if your total financial aid, including the emergency fund if approved, exceeds your cost of attendance) and funds received may be taxed as income. For information on the application please contact

Support documentation may include: 
  • Screenshots of currently dated bills and statements for upcoming or past due balances (not reimbursements). 
  • Signed and dated leases with a current statement from landlord or property manager indicating upcoming payment owed or outstanding balance. 
  • Estimates for medical or dental procedures (NY State of Health options are available for individuals who need insurance options.) 
Student Emergencies 
  • Emergencies are typically unexpected occurrences that may adversely impact a student’s ability to cover the cost of basic needs or essential living expenses. The following are examples of situations that may trigger financial distress: 
  • Support due to domestic or relationship violence 
  • Sudden loss of housing or homelessness 
  • Unanticipated change in financial aid award causing financial hardship 
  • Unexpected damaged or stolen property, e.g., fire, flood, theft, or break-in 
  • Unexpected family emergency, illness or death 
  • Unforeseen accident or medical/dental expenses 
Examples of eligible expenses: 
  • Emergency travel assistance and automobile accident expenses not covered by insurance 
  • Food (see grocery and basic needs) 
  • Medical/dental 
  • Personal automobile expenses 
  • Rent or other housing due to loss of housing, fire or emergency situation  
  • Grocery and basic needs (Old Westbury Panther Pantry is a free resource available to all SUNY Old Westbury students.) 
Expenses not covered by the Student Emergency Fund include: 
  • Anticipated academic expenses already covered through financial aid (tuition, housing, fees, health insurance, books, study abroad costs, and child care.) 
  • Parking tickets, library fines, or other expenses mistakenly incurred or preventable expenses  
  • Travel expenses for internships, student teaching or any academically related travel 
  • Parking tickets, library fines, or other expenses mistakenly incurred or preventable expenses  
  • Alcohol and drug-related offenses, fines and court fees/ Penalties, fines, tickets, legal fees, or jail bonds 
  • Conferences or meetings 
  • Credit collections or expenditures resulting from poor financial management
  • Cell Phone bills  
  • Computer replacement due to negligence  
  • Entertainment and recreation expenses  
  • Legal or legal Representation fees 
  • Non-emergency travel which includes but isn’t limited to travel during breaks, in between semesters, or other non-essential expenses
  • Non-essential utilities (e.g. cable TV), household, or furniture costs not related to damage or theft
  • Regularly anticipated fixed expenses (e.g. rent)
  • Routine car repairs  
  • Taxes 
  • Other anticipated expenses

Complete the Panther Emergency Fund Application