Skip to content

CIRCLE Emergency Aid

Purpose: The purpose of the CIRCLE Emergency Aid Program is to support UW international students address sudden financial emergencies due to circumstances out of their control. The program will provide a one-time grant to partially cover expenses such as tuition, housing, medical expenses, or other educational expenses so that students can persist at the University. Because the program only offers a partial award, it is important that CIRCLE staff collaborates with other academic or other student life units to provide the greatest amount of aid possible. If the student is seeking support for tuition, then a payment plan through Student Fiscal Services should be set up. 

Eligibility: Any currently enrolled, degree-seeking international student is eligible to petition emergency aid. When a student is seeking aid, the expense must be currently owed as the program is not able to provide help for future expenses (e.g. next quarter’s tuition). Students do not need to provide proof of financial hardship, but they do need to specify the amount they need. 

Awards: Students will be eligible for a maximum award of $1500 to help cover tuition or medical expenses based on funding available. Housing would be eligible for a maximum award of  $750. Conference or other educational expenses would be a maximum of $500. Depending on the specific need, the award can be posted to the student’s tuition account or deposited to the student’s bank account via a check or direct deposit. If other funding is secured, the CIRCLE award may be reduced to allow for more students to be supported. Expenditure must occur before the administrative graduation of the student from the university.  

Funding Source: CIRCLE will allocate $15,000 from its gift budget to fund the Emergency Aid Program. Total funds may vary per year and total amount must be divided evenly among all four quarters: summer ($1500), autumn ($4500), winter ($4500), spring ($4500) to ensure students have equal opportunity to secure funds. Any money left over at the end of the year can be added to the following year’s emergency aid fund at the discretion of the CIRCLE Executive Director (ED).

Process: To be considered for the award, students need to contact CIRCLE ED (Dr. Dan Zhu, to inquire about the availability of funds. The CIRCLE ED is the administrator for the program and as such, they will contact the student to start the process if funds are available. As part of the allocation process, the CIRCLE ED and the student will set up a meeting to discuss needs. The CIRCLE ED will triage with other UW units to coordinate the allocation of additional UW funds if available.