Hardship Funds Requests

Purpose of Hardship Requests

Life happens outside of graduate and professional school and sometimes circumstances create a barrier to success in one’s academic program, particularly when unexpected expenses arise. 

The Professional Student Senate (PSS) assists graduate and professional students who have experienced hardship and have few, if any, resources to resolve the situation. The PSS looks at the following criteria when considering a hardship request:

  • Is the hardship impacting program attendance and functionality in the program?
  • Has the student exhausted all other financial resources?
  • Does the student have financial dependents (this is not required to receive funding)?
  • Is the hardship documented?
  • Does a small amount of funding from PSS help the student overcome the hardship, or is the hardship ongoing to the point that a small amount of funding does not remove the barrier to success?

Application Information

Hardship Funds are considered aid and thus students must have room in their financial aid budget to receive these funds.

If a student is unsure if they have room in their budget, or if they want to inquire about expanding their budget, they should contact the Financial Aid Office. If students are able to take out additional loans to cover their hardship costs, they may be asked to utilize those resources in order to preserve the Hardship Funds for students who do not have the ability to obtain loans and do not have other sources of financial support.

The information provided by applicants is held by the Office of Graduate and Professional Student Services. When hardship fund requests are presented to the PSS, efforts are made to hide personally identifying information. Anonymity cannot be guaranteed, as the unique qualities of a student’s situation may make it such that other students (particularly those acquainted with the applicant) will be able to determine the identity of the applicant. Deliberations are confidential and applicants are not provided with a rationalization of the outcome of the deliberation. 

Students can apply for hardship funding by filling out the application form (pdf). The application process is ongoing (i.e. there is no application deadline in a given semester). If you have questions or need further information feel free to contact Sara Pitkanen, Student Support Specialist at pitkanen@pacificu.edu or at 503-352-2109.