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Dash Grant - Eligibility & Details

Student Emergency Financial Assistance


The Student Emergency Financial Assistance [SEFA] program is supported by the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates – Dash Emergency Grant. This program provides critical support to at-risk students needing to overcome financial obstacles in order to persist at The University of Akron.

Financial aid, grants, and scholarships aim at helping low-income students overcome financial barriers to enroll in college.  But once enrolled, unexpected financial emergencies can force these students into making tough choices – leaving college, at times, is seen as the only option.

Students who meet the eligibility criteria can receive up to $1,000 over the course of the grant period for non-tuition related emergency need. University staff will work hand-in-hand with these students to make award determinations and contact third-party entities to arrange needed payments.

Below are some answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding the SEFA program.

In short, we define "financial emergency" as an unforeseen expense that, if not resolved quickly, could lead to the student's departure from college and loss of momentum toward completion.

The goal of the Student Emergency Financial Assistance program is to assist eligible students who are experiencing temporary financial hardships and to provide assistance to students so they can focus on continuing their academic pursuits.

The program supports sudden, urgent, or unforeseen occurrences that require immediate attention and would impact a student's ability to stay enrolled at The University of Akron. Funds are not available for tuition or other regular expenses related to enrollment at the University. Additionally, financial assistance cannot be used to retroactively pay for expenses taking place prior to the first day of the semester.

This program provides assistance to students at risk of dropping out of college due to unexpected financial emergencies. This Fund is aimed at helping students stay in college and meet their educational goals, ultimately, securing a better financial future for themselves.

This program is aimed at supporting low-income undergraduate students facing unforeseen financial emergencies. Low-income is defined as an Expected Family Contribution [EFC] of $7,000 of less. In order to be considered for assistance, the student must also have a 2.0 cumulative GPA and be seen as in "good standing" with the University. The students must also be able to provide supportive documentation of the financial emergency.

The Student Emergency Financial Assistance program can provide assistance to eligible students who are experiencing temporary financial hardship for non-tuition related expenses. These are expenses that are seen as "unexpected financial emergencies" not related to enrollment at the University.

  • Childcare
  • Food/Meals
  • Gas
  • Housing/Rent
  • Medical/Dental Expenses
  • Personal Automobile Expenses
  • Utilities

If you are unsure if your financial emergency will qualify for this program, please submit a referral anyway! Even if this fund is unable to assist you, our staff will work diligently to see how we can best help you be successful.

We define "financial emergency" as an unforeseen expense that, if not resolved quickly, could lead to the student’s departure from college and loss of momentum toward completion.

  • Alcohol
  • Books
  • Entertainment Expenses
  • Fees
  • Legal Fees
  • Tobacco
  • Tuition

In order to refer a student, or refer yourself for assistance, please use the "Help-A-Zip" referral application found on this webpage. In order to best determine eligibility for the Student Emergency Financial Assistance program, please upload and attach supportive documentation to show expenses – this also helps to explain the unexpected financial emergency for the ZipAssist staff. Please include the Student ID for the student (if possible) to help expedite the process.

Funds will be directly paid to the third party vendor, as documented and provided by the student, associated with the bill or expense. By check or VISA, the University will directly work with the third party vendor for payment arrangements.

Students who meet the eligibility criteria can receive up to $1,000 over the course of the grant period (two years) for non-tuition related emergency need.

Our goal is to work with students directly in order to expedite assistance and financial relief. Once the "Help-A-Zip" submission is completed, a member of the ZipAssist team is notified and can take action on a request. After reviewing this request, and determining eligibility, the student will be asked to meet in-person with ZipAssist staff in order to complete all needed paperwork and to facilitate a payment. It is our goal to provide financial relief within a few business days for those hardships which qualify for the Student Emergency Financial Assistance program.

A team of staff within ZipAssist are trained on the various policies associated with this program and other financial support mechanisms on campus. Through the approval of this team, arrangements will be made for all granted financial emergencies that meet the guidelines of the Student Emergency Financial Assistance program. Once eligibility is determined, the student will be asked to meet in-person with ZipAssist staff in order to complete all needed paperwork and to facilitate a payment. Ideally, our team will work to ensure the financial burden, of those items which qualify, is alleviated within two business days of a referral and meeting.

Use the "Help-A-Zip" referral form found on this webpage in order to refer yourself or others to the ZipAssist team. From personal problems and academic issues to other financial concerns, our goal is to help you persist here at The University of Akron! Our team of staff members from across campus are here to work hand-in-hand with you in order to see you be successful while at The University of Akron.

For immediate assistance, please call (330) 972-7272 or after-hours reach us at (330) 972-7373. By completing the "Help-A-Zip" referral form, your request will also be generated to the ZipAssist team for review and outreach.