Warhawk Emergency Fund

Warhawk Emergency Fund

Welcome to the Warhawk Emergency Fund

Life can be difficult. Each of us face challenges in our lives. The goal of the Warhawk Emergency Fund is to make sure that those challenges don’t lead to dropping out of college.

Whether you are here because you need help or because you want to offer help, or even if you are just looking to learn more about the program, we welcome you.

What is the Warhawk Emergency Fund?

Paying for college can be difficult. An unexpected expense, loss of supporting family member, inability to secure employment: all of these can influence a decision to stay in school or leave prematurely. UW-Whitewater's Warhawk Emergency Fund provides assistance to students at risk of dropping out of college due to unexpected financial emergencies.

The program aim is to support a student to bridge the gap, help them stay in college and meet their educational goals, and ultimately allow them to secure a better financial future.

History of the Warhawk Emergency Fund

The program originated through a two-year grant by Ascendium. The pilot grant was offered to test the success of an emergency fund at UW-W and to encourage us to find our own funding source to continue past the testing period.

Did it work? Absolutely!

During our pilot program, we have seen our already impressive student retention rates increase by nearly 8%; from near 92% to 100% (spring 2019 figure). So, we are naturally enthusiastic about continuing the program and equally pleased to have helped so many students stay in college. View success stories and videos here.

With the conclusion of the pilot program in August 2019, we are now faced with the challenge of funding this valuable resource. Learn more!


  • Need police, fire, or ambulance? Dial 911.
  • Need campus security? Dial 262-472-4660 (press 1 at menu)
  • Need a safe room? Please contact Frank Bartlett or any dormitory Resident Advisor, campus building safety coordinator, or campus security.
  • Having other emergency?

Are you experiencing an urgent financial problem? That is what the Warhawk Emergency Fund is all about. Click here to learn more about applying for assistance. The process is fast, straight forward, and confidential. We want to help you succeed.

The Warhawk Emergency Fund is currently accepting applications for the fall semester. Please visit the survey linked below in order to apply.

For other inquiries related to the Warhawk Emergency Fund, please contact Dr. Lauren Smith directly.

Who is eligible for the Warhawk Emergency Fund? 

All currently enrolled undergraduate students at UW-Whitewater’s main and Rock County campuses, including special students, international students, part- and full-time students. 


  • Second-degree-seeking students
  • Students who have not taken out any available student loans (at least up to $1000 / year)
  • Students who are not currently enrolled

Rock County students are currently eligible for Rock County emergency funding and may be asked to apply to that fund before applying for Warhawk Emergency Funds:  https://www.uww.edu/students/warhawk-emergency-fund#RockCountyGrant 

What can I receive funding for?

  • Rent
  • Car repairs and gas
  • Medical/dental
  • Childcare
  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Other
  • Tuition and Student Bill
  • Legal expenses
  • Credit cards
  • Insurance and Car Loan
  • Bills in others’ names
  • Reimbursement for bill already paid
  • Non-emergency


What do I need to fill out the application? 

  1. Fill out this Qualtrics survey: https://uwwhitewater.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_dm3gP00Mm47WWUu
  2. Attach any documentation needed depending on your funding request (repair estimate for car repair, lease contract for rent payment, utility bill for utilities, etc.).
  3. Write a statement of need that describes the nature of your emergency. Provide details about how and why you are facing an emergency. Only our deciding committee will see this.
  4. Keep an eye on your student email (_____@uww.edu) as one of our workers will reach out if there is anything preventing your application from moving forward.


What if I need food or gas?

We can help with that when your food or gas needs are the result of an emergency. Just describe the circumstances that led to you needing additional food or gas support. Providing the committee with specific details will help them make a decision. 


What if I need my car fixed? 

We can help with that.  Just get an estimate from a professional mechanic (not an alleyway mechanic) and upload it into your application.


What if I already spent the money?

We cannot help with that. The Warhawk Emergency Fund cannot reimburse anyone for money that has already been spent.


What if the bill isn’t in my name?

We cannot help with that. We cannot pay for bills that are not in your name.


Where will the money go? 

The Warhawk Emergency Fund pays your bills on your behalf.  WEF also provides food and gas cards to students in need.


How long will it take? 

Depending on when you apply and the volume of applications we receive, it may take 3-5 days for us to reach out with next steps or an update. The process goes fastest when applicants respond to follow-up calls and emails. Check your student email frequently after you apply.


How can I contact you? 

Please send questions to emergencyfund@uww.edu or come visit us on the 2nd floor of McCutchan Hall. If you do not get a quick response, please reach out to smithlb@uww.edu

Not only does the WEF program improve student retention, overcoming financial hardship improves lives. Click on the videos below to learn how.

Student Success Stories:





More about the WEF:



Since the fund's establishment in 2017, 300 students have been awarded almost $250,000 to pay for housing, auto repairs and transportation, medical/dental bills, utilities, childcare and a wide range of other emergency needs. That is 300 students who may otherwise have dropped out of college and never have had the opportunity to earn their degree and improve their future financial well-being.

What does this look like from another perspective? That is an 8% increase in retention of at-risk students in two years: from 92% to 100% by 2019.

That is two years’ worth of hard work that did not come easily. That is also two years’ worth of pilot grant funding which has now come to an end.

The Warhawk Emergency Fund (WEF) needs your help.


It’s simple and easy!

If you have any questions or need assistance with this online form, please contact the UW-Whitewater Foundation at 262-472-1105.

To sustain long-term operation assistance programs like the WEF, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater depends on the generosity of gifts from donors. The WEF program is largely supported by non-taxed donations, bequests, and memorials. We are extremely grateful for these charitable gifts.

If you would like to help keep a deserving student in college by contributing to the Warhawk Emergency Fund, donate today! Do you have questions about payroll deductions or setting up a bequest or memorial? Contact us today.

Campus Fundraising

Program gifts from generous donors are our main source of funding, but it is not our only effort. The WEF committee is committed to:

  • Collaborate with the UW-W Alumni Center to call upon UW-Whitewater graduates for support.
  • Conduct campus fund drives.
  • Host drawings at campus and local community functions.

Our source for funding is ongoing. Do you have a suggestion or would you like to become involved with our fundraising efforts? Let us know!

Contact Us

Do you have questions about anything you’ve read on this site? Would you like to offer a fundraising suggestion or become involved in our fundraising efforts? Are you a student seeking help? Please contact us.

Program Administrator

Lauren Smith (smithlb@uww.edu)

Warhawk Emergency Fund

2017A Roseman Hall, UW-Whitewater


P: 262-472-2125
F: 262-472-5027

Are you a student at UW-W Rock County?

Your first step is to apply for funds set aside for our branch campus. This fund is intended to help with unexpected financial emergencies, such as medical expenses, dental expenses, car repair, or travel for family emergency. We cannot help with on-going monthly expenses such as rent, credit card bills, groceries or utilities. We also can't pay for tuition, textbooks, student fees, legal services or fines. No more than two grants per academic year per student, not to exceed $500 in total is available. For more information, log in and complete the application. If you are turned down for UW-Rock County funding, you may still be eligible for Warhawk Emergency Funds.