Emergency Resources and Scholarships for Students in Need

Submitted by Michael Neininger on

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial and emotional strain on many students. We are here to help.

Find below a list of resources and an emergency scholarship for students in need. We hope this information is helpful and you are able to find resources to support you. If you do not see what you are looking for, contact Washington 211, a hotline to connect you with community resources.

Financial Support
We understand that financial stress can be particularly debilitating, and can seriously affect your ability to engage in otherwise routine activities, including the many responsibilities you're faced with as students. We encourage anyone who is experiencing financial hardship to submit an application for assistance from the UW Emergency Fund. If you're a major or minor in Germanics, we will work with the Office of Student Financial Aid to supplement support funds as needed.  If you have questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us. We're here to help!

  • Student Financial Aid has created an FAQ to support students with information related to financial aid
  • UW Emergency Aid available for undergraduate and graduate students to assist with unexpected financial hardships
  • Short-Term Loans through UW Financial Aid                                                                                                                          The Office of Student Financial Aid has short term loan funds available to students who are experiencing temporary cash flow issues. You may receive up to $2500 or $3200 for undergraduates and graduate students, respectively.
  • The Department of Germanics has set up a scholarship application for emergency aid. Please contact us at uwgerman@uw.edu for details. 

Food Resources 

Seattle Food Banks

Seattle Food Committee works with 27 food banks to serve those in need. Visit www.seattlefoodcommittee.org/food-bank-map/ to find the food bank closest to you.

Campus Food Pantry

The Campus Food Pantry is open three days a week in Poplar Hall. Anyone with a Husky ID may access the pantry. Appointments for urgent need are also available and can be set up via email or phone call.

University District Food Bank

The University District Food bank is still open and providing pre-made boxes of food.

City of Seattle Safeway Emergency Food Vouchers for Seattle Families

On March 20, the City of Seattle will start distributing a series of $20 vouchers to approximately 6,250 families who may be experiencing financial hardship during the coronavirus outbreak. Families will receive two mailers of 20 vouchers (a total of $400 a month) over the next two months. The City is exploring additional investments from private businesses and hopes to expand this program to up to 100,000 Seattle residents. Vouchers may be used to purchase items from any Washington Safeway store, with the exception of alcohol, tobacco, fuel, or lottery tickets. For more information, check out this Emergency Food Vouchers Frequently Asked Questions page.

Northwest Harvest SODO Community Market

Northwest Harvest SODO Community Market is offering pre-bagged produce, prepared foods, and shelf-stable groceries right at the door. There is no need to enter the facility. This is open to anyone of ANY AGE. SODO Community Market is located in Seattle's SODO neighborhood at 1915 4th Ave S, near the corner of 4th Ave S & S Holgate StMore location and transportation information can be found here.


Utilities and Rent Support

City of Seattle

The City of Seattle is offering low cost internet options for residents. 

The City of Seattle has free and discounted devices available. 

Residential Evictions in Seattle have been Halted During this Outbreak

Residential evictions for non-payment of rent have been temporarily halted. This is effective immediately and will last for 30 days or until Seattle's coronavirus emergency ends, pending the council's approval. For more information, you can access this FAQ. Utilities will not be Shut Off During this Outbreak

City of Seattle Utility Discount Program (UDP)

The Utility Discount Program (UDP) lowers Seattle City Light bills by 60 percent and Seattle Public Utility bills by 50 percent. To learn more about enrollment in UDP, call (206) 684-0268 or go to: seattle.gov/humanservices/services-and-programs/affordability-and-livability/utility-discount-program.

Snohomish County Energy Assistance

Snohomish County has announced that utilities will not be shut off at this time. Call 425-388-3880 or go to: snohomishcountywa.gov/552/Energy-Assistance for more information.

If you are facing financial hardship and unable to pay your utilities, you may be able to request utility bill assistance from one the following local agencies:

Technology Access

Resources for Parents

UW has a guide to help parents during school closures and with childcare options.

Seattle Public Schools is offering free lunch for students, Mon - Fri 11am - 1pm

Northshore School District is offering free meals for children. Children do not have to be enrolled in a Northshore school to receive aid.

Mental Health Resources

The CDC has released guidelines for managing stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak. People who already are managing existing mental health conditions should prioritize self-care during difficult times and should contact their clinicians if they have questions or concerns. 

University of Washington Counseling Center
The Counseling Center provides free support services that can help with the stress and emotion that comes with unexpected circumstances.

Let's Talk UW
Let’s Talk is a program that connects UW students with support from experienced counselors from the Counseling Center and Hall Health without an appointment. Counselors hold drop-in hours via video conference to provide insight, solutions and information about other resources. Let’s Talk drop-in visits are free, confidential and there is no appointment necessary. Let’s Talk offers informal consultation – it is not a substitute for regular therapy, counseling or psychiatric care.

University of Washington Health and Wellness
The Health and Wellness office offers student care, support, and education on important mental and physical well-being topics.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources. To reach the lifeline, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Crisis Connections connects people in need to access the state safety net, whether it’s for mental or emotional support services, housing assistance, or help with financial needs.

SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.

Free Testing

Free COVID-19 testing at the downtown public health center at 2124 Fourth Avenue in Seattle for people who don’t have regular access to health care, people living homeless, among other groups such as pregnant women, elderly people, and health care workers.

State Unemployment Benefits for Workers

The Washington State Employment Security Department has programs designed to help individuals and employers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. They have an easy-to-read comparison guide listing some of the most common scenarios that may occur and benefits that may apply. More information for workers and businesses here: esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-1.

WorkSource Critical Job Opportunities

"The outbreak of COVID-19 in our region has caused widespread social and economic disruption, including layoffs and changes to the business landscape. In the midst of this, critical workforce needs have emerged in response to societal changes, including hiring increases for grocery stores, cleaning companies, healthcare, social services, and others." WorkSource has highlighted opportunities here for people looking for immediate work.

Together We Will

The University of Washington is united and committed to supporting our community together. As a community, we will persist together. Please visit the web page below to see how you can get involved:


Departmental Connections

Departments are collaborating to create holistic student support. Please visit their department pages:

Department of English

Department of Scandinavian Studies

In order to better support you at this time, we are asking for your feedback as our office is actively working together with our campus partners to address your needs and issues.

Please contact us:

Stephanie Welch- Administrator snwelch@uw.edu  

Misha Neininger- Program Specialist nein@uw.edu

In the coming weeks we will update this page to address your concerns. Please reach out to the Department of Germanics if you have any further questions.