Student Emergency Fund

Our students need your support to continue their studies and safeguard their future.

Unexpected events that cause significant financial difficulty, such as personal hardship (e.g. illness or injury), natural disaster (e.g. drought or bushfire) or a global crisis are experienced by many of our students. 

Each year, the University and the Adelaide University Union receive countless enquiries and applications for financial aid from students who do not know how they are going to continue to study during times of crisis. 

Support students in crisis

With so many students experiencing financial stress each year, we need the help of our community today.

Give now

Student Emergency Fund recipient, Georgia

In 2021, against all odds, Bachelor of Nursing student Georgia celebrated with her peers as they finished the final class of their degree. Only months earlier, Georgia was experiencing extreme financial hardship, questioning how she could keep her finances afloat while studying. Having relocated from Port Victoria to attend University, Georgia’s support network in Adelaide was limited. The combined toll of the pandemic, poor health and a demanding work schedule was overwhelming for Georgia, who is a type 1 diabetic.

“Before I could finish my degree, I needed to complete a six-week clinical placement. Because of the pandemic, the placement was delayed, and I was faced with a situation where I needed to take time off work to undertake it. Without regular income from my part-time job as a nursing assistant, I couldn’t meet my basic needs such as food, rent and medicine. At $200 a month for insulin and medical supplies, normally I would work as much as possible to pay for these necessities.”

When Georgia received a Student Emergency Fund grant in March, it was a lifeline during an extremely challenging time. 

“Before the emergency grant, there were times where I had to ration insulin doses just to be able to afford transport. Because of the grant, I could pay for life-sustaining medicine and undertake a placement where I learnt clinical skills, which are essential to be an effective Registered Nurse.Georgia

Give now

Georgia and Elaine standing in front of Elder Hall

Elaine and grant recipient Georgia met this October; a touching reminder that every donor has an extraordinary impact on a student.

Through her own personal experience, Elaine recognised the challenges facing students and the incredible benefit a student grant can have, and wanted to help. As a self-funded student completing her Diploma of Occupational Therapy (London School of Occupational Therapy) in the UK in the 1970s, expenses that seemed insignificant to some, like the cost of student fees, textbooks, and daily travelling costs, were overwhelming. Faced with financial hardship, a student grant made an enormous difference to Elaine, who went on to have a successful and fulfilling career in occupational therapy. When Elaine read about the Student Emergency Fund, she didn’t hesitate to pay forward the kindness she had received as a student. Her generosity is helping to ensure our students can continue to pursue tertiary education, even when hardship seems beyond measure.

“You never know what life will bring, including unexpected challenges that can weigh heavily on young people as they start out at university. Donations, big and small, help somebody when they need it most.” Elaine

To ensure our students are supported during challenging times, the University has established a Student Emergency Fund.

Our program of hardship grants will ensure University of Adelaide students are safely housed, fed and well-equipped.

Your gift, no matter how big or small, will be delivered to our students in need, helping them to continue their studies knowing they are supported to achieve their best, in every way.

 Give now (within Australia)  Give now (international gifts)

The Student Emergency Fund provides students with the opportunity to apply for assistance to cover their critical needs (e.g. rent, food, medications, textbooks) during their time of hardship. 

If you are able to make a gift, your generosity, no matter how big or small, will have a direct impact on the lives of our students. Make your gift online today.

$200 gift

Can help a student with utility expenses for a month.

$400 gift

Can help a student with groceries for a month.

$1000 gift

Can help a student with rent for a month.

Please note that costings are approximate and have been provided by Study Adelaide.

Give now (within Australia)  Give now (international gifts)

University of Adelaide staff delivering teaching, research and support at the coal-face know first-hand the financial hardships our students face, and they are deeply invested in their welfare.

Professor Peter Høj AC, Vice-Chancellor and President

While our staff make a difference every day, many also choose to extend this impact by supporting students in crisis or donating to another area of the University they are passionate about, such as scholarships or research. 

“I am deeply grateful for our staff, who demonstrate the value they place in students and our University support networks by giving to the Student Emergency Fund.”Professor Peter Høj AC, Vice-Chancellor and President

Give now (within Australia)  Give now (international gifts)

Students who are eligible for the Student Emergency Fund Grant can apply now.

More Student Emergency Fund recipients

PhD candidate receives emergency grant

When the COVID-19 pandemic burdened Natalie* and her young family with extreme and unexpected financial stress, a Student Emergency grant was a lifeline during their time of need.

Read more about PhD candidate receives emergency grant

Brittany's story: Inner strength leads to dreams pursued

Brittany's family background was a driving force behind why she wanted to study Psychology. With a deep understanding and empathy for people who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, she now wants to help as many people as she can through being a clinical psychologist.

Read more about Inner strength leads to dreams pursued

Jake's story: A journey from homelessness to studying medicine

When Jake* was 17, he found himself homeless because of domestic violence. He struggled through his first year of university, concentrating on how to survive, not how to learn. 

Read more about A journey from homelessness to studying medicine

More information

For a discussion about how your gift can make a difference at the University, please contact the External Relations Branch on +61 8 8313 5800 or