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

Makie White, Student Emergency Fund

Makie working as a trackwork rider to support her studies

Makie, a Bachelor of Veterinary Bioscience student, faced a significant blow to her health and savings when she was kicked by a horse at work last October.

Airlifted to hospital Makie describes her diagnosis as “lucky” when the doctors confirmed she had received a few lacerations to her liver and kidney and would need 12 weeks off work to heal and recover. 

“A kick from a horse can shatter bones or even be fatal, so I was very lucky to sustain only a few organ lacerations. It could have been a lot worse,” Makie said. 

A self-funded student, Makie works part time as a trackwork rider with racehorses to pay her tuition fees, rent and cover daily expenses. 

“After the accident I was able to continue with my studies but I wasn’t able to work. It was a really stressful time not knowing how I would cover my rent and groceries. There was a real concern about the possibility of deferring until I received a grant from the Student Emergency Fund. 

Makie White, Student Emergency Fund
I am so grateful for the donors to the Student Emergency Fund for their kindness and generosity. Their support enabled me to take the time off work to focus on my health without putting additional pressure on my study.Makie

"If I had ignored medical advice due to financial stress, I could have risked further harm or worse. The fact that I didn't have to compromise my health to continue studying is something I deeply appreciate," Makie said. 

Elaine, Student Emergency Fund donor

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
Beth Coggins, Student Care

Beth Coggins of Student Care

Beth Coggins has been working with students since 2007 and has seen firsthand the increasing challenges faced by students studying at university. Before joining the Student Care team, she worked as a student advisor within faculty. 

“When I was working in the faculty, I saw the need for assistance from students growing exponentially,” Beth said.

“We have all seen the rise in the cost of living. This has been challenging for many two income families, but for students relying on Austudy or ABSTUDY or part time jobs to fund their studies, the increased pressure is significant. 

“Austudy and ABSTUDY doesn’t cover “surprise” costs like medical expenses, making the Student Emergency Fund a really important offering for students.

I love working in Student Care and being able to provide meaningful support. We help everyone in some way but there is currently a significant gap between the number of applications we receive each month for the Student Emergency Fund and the number of students who can receive a grant. I would love to see that gap reduced or even removed one day.Beth

“A gift to the Student Emergency Fund can have a big impact on helping a student to finish their degree and enter the workforce,” Beth said.

Student Emergency Fund Appeal

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

Gratitude amid grief

Nishadi had just moved to Australia to complete her PhD in Medicine when her father was suddenly admitted to the ICU in Sri Lanka and unexpectantly passed away at the age of 57.

Read more about Gratitude amid grief

Overcoming adversity to nurse the community to health

Last year, 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.

Read more about Overcoming adversity to nurse the community to health

Help to "shoulder the burden"

Being an international student can be exciting unless, like University of Adelaide PhD in Agriculture candidate Natalia Caliani, you are faced with a medical emergency and the extreme costs of accessing hospital care in a foreign country.

Read more about Help to "shoulder the burden"

More information

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