Financial Hardship

Student Assistance Fund (SAF)

We understand that some students may face unexpected financial challenges or emergencies that affect their ability to continue their education. When funding is available, we strive to provide flexible and appropriate financial assistance in a timely manner for students’ continuous pursuit of academic success in school.

How to Request Support?

To request financial support, please follow these steps:

  1. Fill out and submit the online financial support request form. You will need to provide information about your financial situation, the type and amount of support you are requesting, and the reason for your request.
  2. The Student Care Coordinator may contact you to schedule an initial meeting with you and serve as your point of contact throughout the process. The student care coordinator will collect any additional documentation or information needed for your request.
  3. The SAF committee will meet to review your request and make a decision. The committee may approve, deny, or modify your request based on the criteria for approval and the availability of funds. The committee will also determine the type and amount of assistance given, which may differ from what you requested.
  4. The Student Care Coordinator will communicate the decision to you and explain the next steps. If your request is approved, you will receive the support as soon as possible. 

Types of Support

  • One-time grant (generally up to $3,000)
  • Recurring grant (generally up to 5% of the annual tuition)
  • Provision of resources (e.g. laptop loaner, etc.)
  • Subsidy (for campus-related costs (e.g. housing, health insurance, books etc.)
  • Study Away grant (a limited number of grants to cover incremental costs at Duke or offset other study away program costs)

Criteria for Approval

To be eligible for financial support, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be an undergraduate student enrolled in a degree program.
  • You must have a demonstrated financial need that cannot be met by other sources of funding or assistance.

In addition, the following criteria apply to specific types of support:

  • For one-time emergency support: Your need must reflect a short-term emergency, unforeseen expense, or setback that results in a temporary need for support. Examples may include medical bills, family emergencies, etc.
  • For recurring support: You must have a documented change in your financial circumstances that results in a new, unmet financial need that is not expected to improve in the near future. Examples include loss of asset, death of a parent, etc. You must also be in your second, third, or fourth year of study. First year students are not eligible for recurring support.
  • For study away: You must have a documented inability to pay the incremental cost of studying away (at Duke or another study away program) in your junior year study away term. You must also meet the academic and program requirements for overseas study. Study away grants are restricted to a limited number of students, in limited amounts, and applications will be assessed on the basis of financial need equitably in a single application process.

Please note that there are some additional restrictions and limitations on financial support:

  • You may only make one request for support per academic semester.
  • You may only request support up to the maximum amount allowed for each type of support.
  • You may not request support for costs that are already covered by your financial aid package or other sources of funding.
  • A request is not a guarantee of approval. Not all requests will be approved. Funding is limited and fluctuates over time. The availability of funding may determine the type, amount, and provision of assistance.
  • Seniority will be an important consideration for support, to enable students who are closest to graduation to finish their degree.
  • Disbursement of financial support funding: funding cannot be paid to students directly. Generally, funds should be issued as a subsidy for DKU billed items or paid towards an invoiced expense (e.g.: payment to Duke or a study away program directly) or a reimbursement of expenses paid by the student (such as flights or fees paid).

If you have any questions about financial support or the request process, please contact the student care coordinator at We are here to help you succeed in your academic journey.

Scholarship & Payment Plan

For Chinese students, please contact:

For international students, please contact: