New SUNY Cortland donor-supported fund offers emergency grants for students

SUNY Cortland. (Photo provided by SUNY Cortland).

This is a press release from SUNY Cortland. 

SUNY Cortland students who have suffered an education-threatening financial setback because of the COVID-19 outbreak can apply for help from a new Student Emergency Fund recently established by the Cortland College Foundation.

The donor-supported fund offers emergency grants of up to $500 to eligible students with a documented need. Although the current coronavirus pandemic sparked the creation of the fund, it is intended to assist in any unexpected financial situation.

“We live in challenging times,” said Greg Sharer, SUNY Cortland’s vice president for student affairs. “We understand that unforeseen circumstances can create temporary hurdles for any individual or family. A single financial setback can often impact a student’s ability to continue their education.”

The grants were created as temporary assistance and are not intended to replace financial aid. Students may apply for an emergency grant after other methods of funding have been exhausted.

Students can apply for a grant through SUNY Cortland’s Student Emergency Fund webpage.

Review of applications will begin on April 15 and a response will be provided as quickly as possible. All situations are unique, and all applications will be reviewed carefully on a case-by-case basis.

Please know that all requests are confidential. Details are shared among administering college offices in order to process funding requests. Students should be aware that this could impact their financial aid package. A W-9 form could be required in receiving funds, as it may be considered taxable income.

Examples of what the funds may be used for include:

  • Distance learning resources such as laptops and internet services
  • Necessities including food and personal care items
  • Housing accommodations for students who have no other place to go
  • Counseling services
  • Transportation assistance
  • Non-tuition costs associated with returning to campus beyond Spring 2020
  • Other emerging needs

Expenses the funds may not be used for include:

  • Tuition
  • College Fees
  • Books
  • Credit Card Debt
  • Legal Representation



SUNY Cortland has always been, and will always be, an institution that prides itself on providing access to a world-class education for all eligible students, regardless of background or economic situation. The Student Emergency Fund is one of the many initiatives established in that spirit.