Bison Aid Fund

Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of our students and for many students, the pandemic has exacerbated existing challenges and even created new ones, the Bison Aid Fund has been established through the generosity of alumni, friends of the University, and both the Student Body Government and Graduate Student Association. The goal of the Bison Aid fund is to provide currently enrolled Gallaudet University students with limited supplemental emergency financial assistance to meet immediate, essential expenses because of hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is expected that the student needing financial assistance will have first exhausted their immediate support network (i.e., family, friends) prior to requesting financial assistance.


Any financial assistance given are not considered loans and do not require repayment, although they may be subject to taxes and may need to be reported in your financial aid award.


Requests for financial assistance are being considered primarily for COVID-19 related expenses incurred during the Spring 2020 semester. If there are funds remaining, we will continue to accept requests through the Summer 2020 or until funds run out, whichever occurs first.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for financial assistance, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled as a degree-seeking full-time or part-time undergraduate or graduate student or as an English Language Institute student at Gallaudet University; and
  • Experiencing unexpected financial hardship resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Considerations in Granting Financial Assistance

  • For the most part, students may only receive financial assistance once via this application;
  • Financial assistance awarded could be disbursed in one of the following ways: direct deposit or mailed check, made payable to the student.
  • While not guaranteed to be approved, each request will be considered on a case by case basis. Financial assistance is usually limited to under $500.00 per student and most financial assistance awarded are under $300.00; however, the amount of financial assistance will vary depending on the nature of the request, the individual circumstances, and the actual needs of the student. The list below is not exhaustive and other needs may be eligible to receive financial assistance; and
  • Additional documentation may be requested to verify the nature of the request (e.g. utility shut-off notice if payment is not received).

Examples of Expenses that may be considered by the Bison Aid Fund:

  • Car repairs or emergency transportation home;
  • Storage of personal property (for those who had to check out of the residence halls);
  • Safety-related needs, such as paying for a change of locks or temporary shelter to escape violence;
  • Overdue essential utility bills (e.g. electricity, gas, water) reaching a turn-off notice;
  • Temporary assistance with food insecurity;
  • Unexpected prescription and other costs related to medical or mental health care not covered by insurance; and/or
  • Unplanned or additional childcare costs necessary to complete classwork or other unexpected expenses related to transportation, food or lodging needed to support the care, hospitalization, or passing of an immediate family member stricken by COVID-19.

Examples of Expenses Not Covered by the Bison Aid Fund:

  • Anticipated expenses beyond the Spring 2020;
  • Continuous fixed expenses (e.g. rent);
  • Non-essential personal bills and expenses, such as credit card debts;
  • Parking tickets, library fines, or other expenses mistakenly incurred and/or preventable expenses;
  • Replacement for lost or stolen items;
  • Cost of entertainment, recreation, or non-emergency travel;
  • Reimbursement for non-refundable expenses paid towards Spring Break travel/plans that were cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic and/or Gallaudet University’s decision to require students to return home as a part of the transition to remote learning; and
  • Tuition and other associated costs/fees.

Bison Aid Fund | Request Form