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School of Social Work

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Pay It Forward Emergency Fund

The School of Social Work’s Pay It Forward Emergency Fund was created to assist our social work students who encounter an unforeseen financial emergency that would otherwise prevent them from continuing their education at VCU. 

More specifically, this emergency fund provides our students with financial support when faced with an unexpected, unforeseen and unavoidable emergency expense that may be related to an accident, illness, death of a family member, fire damage or need for temporary housing. We acknowledge that students are often faced with life-altering circumstances that have the potential to derail successful progression. Our goal is to ensure our students have access to emergency resources during times of need – enabling them to stay in school and make progress toward their degree. 

Currently enrolled social work students in the B.S.W., M.S.W. and Ph.D. programs may apply for funds for emergent financial needs. This funding is not intended to reimburse expenses that have already been paid, or to replace or supplement existing financial aid.  

Emergency fund uses* 

*This is not an exhaustive list, and other circumstances may apply. 

Expenses not covered 

Eligibility requirements 

Application process 

Students who need emergency financial assistance should submit an application and supporting documentation. The Pay it Forward Committee, made up of staff members from the Office of Student Success, reviews the submitted applications and determines the appropriate funding amount.  

Funds distributed do not generally exceed $500. The committee will review applications requesting in excess of $500 for unique and unusual circumstances of emergency financial need. Applicants may be required to meet with the associate dean for academic and student affairs or the director of advising and retention to discuss their application.

If you are currently receiving financial aid, please be aware that receiving funding from the Emergency Fund may affect your future aid packages and funds received will be taxed as income. For questions related to how accepting emergency funding may impact your future financial aid, please contact financial counselor Colette Reid at or schedule an appointment with him. For information on the application, please contact the Office of Student Success at or schedule an appointment with your student success advisor. 

Award procedures 

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