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.

Please read the following information before visiting the link below to apply. For questions regarding the application process or a student’s application status, reach out to the Warhawk Emergency Fund office at emergencyfund@uww.edu or 262-472-2125. For other inquiries related to the Warhawk Emergency Fund, please contact Dr. Lauren Smith directly at smithlb@uww.edu or 262-472-6237.


Eligibility requirements for the Warhawk Emergency Fund:

  • Currently enrolled undergraduate students at UW-Whitewater’s main and Rock County campuses, including international, full- and part-time students
  • Have filled out FAFSA and taken out at least $1000 in student loans


  • Graduate, second-degree seeking, or certificate seeking students
  • Students who have not completed FAFSA or do not have room in their student budget
  • Students who are not currently enrolled

 What can I receive funding for?

    ELIGIBLE EXPENSES (must be urgent):
    • Rent
    • Car Repairs
    • Metered Utilities (gas, water, and electric)
    • Child Care
    • Medical/Dental Bills
    • Food and Gas
    • Misc.
    • Costs relating to UW-Whitewater (tuition, books, parking, student bill, etc.)
    • Legal Expenses (including traffic tickets)
    • Credit cards
    • Car Insurance and Car Loans
    • Internet and Phone Bills
    • Reimbursement for Paid Bills
    • Bills not in Your Name
    • Non-Emergency Expenses


    Frequently Asked Questions:

    When are you accepting applications?

    The Warhawk Emergency Fund operates during the spring and falls semesters. Spring applications can be submitted from the first day of spring classes to the last week in April, and fall applications can be submitted from the first day of fall classes until the last week of November. For the most up to date information, send us an email or follow our Instagram.

    What do I need to apply?

    We ask students have a narrative ready before they apply. A narrative is meant to give our deciding committee an idea of your current situation, why you need the funding you are requesting and what steps you plan on taking to support yourself in the future. Certain funding requests like rent, car repairs, utilities and medical bills require you submit documentation like a lease, repair quote or most recent bill. If you have further questions regarding specific documentation, please email us.

    How will I get the money?

    The Warhawk Emergency Fund is not permitted to give money directly to students under any circumstances. Instead, we pay the source of the expense like a landlord, utility company or mechanic. Once awarded funding, you will receive an email going over how funding will be distributed in detail, but if you have any questions before that point, please send us an email.

    Can you cover ______?

    If the expense you need help with is not mentioned above, please include it on your application along with any helpful documentation or send us an email to ask. We work with students to cover what we can, when we can.

    What if the bill is in my roommate’s name?

    Unfortunately, we are only permitted to fund bills and expenses directly linked to the student who is applying and can only cover bills in the applicant’s name.

    How long will it take to process my application?

    The Warhawk Emergency Fund is run by a very small team, and while we work hard to process applications as quickly as possible, it is difficult for us to provide an accurate estimate. Applications are processed as quickly as we receive them, so please keep an eye on your student email once you apply. Failure to reply to our emails may create delays in processing your application. If you have not received an update within 3 to 5 days after applying, please reach out to us via phone or email.

    Can I apply multiple times?

    While students can apply multiple times, we require students visit the Financial Literacy Center before applying again. Students can only receive a maximum of $1000 in total from the Warhawk Emergency Fund, so previous funding awards may impact your ability to receive funding later on.

    How can I contact you?

    Please come visit us on the 2nd floor of McCutchan Hall. If we are available, we will be more than happy to speak with you and answer any questions you have. Otherwise, you can reach out to the Warhawk Emergency Fund via email, emergencyfund@uww.edu, or via phone, 262-472-2125.

    If you do not receive a prompt response from the Warhawk Emergency Fund office, please reach out to our director, Dr. Smith via email smithlb@uww.edu, or via phone 262-472-6237.

    If you are a Rock County Campus student you may be eligible for the Rock County Grant and may be asked to apply for this grant prior to applying to the Warhawk Emergency Fund. Find the Rock County Grant here.

    How to apply:

    1. Prepare your documentation as word documents, photos or pdfs (your narrative and any funding documentation)
    2. Fill out our Qualtrics application.
    3. Keep an eye on your student email for updates, follow up questions or any further action you may need to take in order to progress your application

    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.