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UT News

Hurricane Harvey Resources

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Student Emergency Services/Student Emergency Fund Information:

Student Emergency Services in the Office of the Dean of Students continues to support our students in need through distributions from the Student Emergency Fund. This fund was created to help ensure that unforeseen circumstances do not prevent enrolled students from continuing their education at UT Austin. Resources from the Student Emergency Fund are not loans and do not need to be repaid.

The Student Emergency Fund provides financial support to help students with the immediate financial needs after or during an emergency or disaster. These financial resources help students replace prescription medications that may have been left behind in the storm, replace textbooks and other school supplies, fund new housing after the flood, buy groceries, and more.

Students can get help by calling Student Emergency Services in the Office of the Dean of Students at 512-471-5017, or find out more about the Student Emergency Fund online at http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/emergency/studentemergencyfund.php.

  • So far more than 1,400 current students have reported disaster-caused absences to Student Emergency Services. Among some of the hardest hit were graduate students working at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, all of whom have been displaced by the storm.
  • Student Emergency Services has already assigned over $30,000 from the Student Emergency Fund, an amount that the fund usually spends over an entire year.
  • The Student Emergency Fund is entirely donation based, and 100% of donations go directly to students.



Academic Q&A:

Q: What do I do if I have a concern about an academic issue related to my absences due to the storm?
A: UT Austin has extended the deadline for students to add a course and to pay their tuition and is working with departments to avoid dropping students for non-attendance. Details can be found here. The Graduation Help Desk will work with students to examine their options, communicate with faculty and navigate with departments. Students are encouraged to reach out to us to understand their options.

Graduation Help Desk: Call 512-475-7378 or email graduationhelpdesk@utexas.edu



Financial Aid Q&As:

Hurricane Harvey Special Circumstances Appeal Form is now live.

Q: Who should complete the Hurricane Harvey Special Circumstance Appeal?
A: Any student currently enrolled in fall 2017 whose family, due to Hurricane Harvey, is experiencing financial hardship such as loss of income or additional expenses due to loss or damage to property from the storm should complete the Harvey Special Circumstance Appeal form. The Hurricane Harvey Special Circumstance Appeal can be found on the Office of Financial Aid site.

Q: What do I need to complete an appeal?
A: If you have not filed a 2017-18 FAFSA, you must do that first. The FAFSA requires financial data from your and your parents’ 2015 tax returns. If tax returns are lost or no longer legible, please contact the IRS for assistance at https://www.irs.gov/. The US Department of Education may require the school to obtain copies of your and your parents’ 2015 tax returns to verify the income reported on the FAFSA.

Once the FAFSA is filed or if it is already filed, complete the appeal and attach available documentation for expenses. Examples of expenses might be out-of-pocket home repairs, medical, and/or travel expenses for household family members not covered by insurance or reimbursed by a third party that have been or will be incurred over next 9-month period.

Q: What assistance is available?
A: Based on the appeal, your eligibility may change for programs administered by OFA including the UT Austin Harvey Relief Fund recently announced by President Fenves. Each appeal is reviewed on a case-by-case basis to provide the aid for which you now qualify. OFA will let you know of all aid as soon as the appeal review process is completed.

Q: Do I qualify for the UT Austin Harvey Relief Fund?
A: Funds are available to students whose families are affected by Hurricane Harvey and where need is demonstrated based on the FAFSA and appeal information.

Q: When will funding be available?
A: For students completing an appeal, you should expect to receive an update within 10 business days from the Office of Financial Aid confirming that your appeal is complete and ready for next steps or if additional information is needed. You may contact the Office of Financial Aid at ask@finaid.utexas.edu with any questions.

Q: How will I receive my funds?
A: Once you have received and accepted awards, monies will be applied to your student account. These funds will be applied first to owing balances with the University. Any remaining balance will be released to the students. If you have direct deposit established with the University it can take3-5 days for funds to show in your bank account. If you do not have direct deposit set up with the University, a paper check will be mailed to your local address as indicated on your student record.

Please note that because of this, it is very important to keep your contact information current with the University.

Q: What if I need money right now and cannot wait for an appeal?
A: Student Emergency Services (SES) can assess immediate needs and provide emergency assistance to qualifying students. OFA can work with students to provide University cash loans to those who qualify. Please contact OFA for further details.



Emergency Loans Information:

The university offers emergency institutional cash loans at a rate of 4% APR. You may access the cash loan website through a link on UT Direct.

  • Each student is eligible for one emergency cash loan for a maximum of $500.
  • An emergency cash loan is always due 30 days from the day you signed the promissory note.
  • A student can have only one Web cash loan in a 30-day period. If a Web cash loan has been received, paid in full, and a student needs additional funds before the 30-day period for the Web cash loan is complete, the student can contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance. OFA is authorized to make exceptions to this policy and can choose to provide additional cash loan funds to a student with extraordinary circumstances and a clear means by which the individual can repay the cash loans.
  • Payment for Emergency Loans may be made through What I Owe. This allows you to pay with an eCheck, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), or credit card.



Veteran Education Benefits Information:

Benefit-Specific Information
If you are using Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill) or Chapter 35 (Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program): As long as your enrollment was submitted by your school, no further action is necessary to receive continued payment.

If you are using Chapters 30 or 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill) or the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP): Continue to verify your attendance until further notice as if your school did not close. This ensures continuation of your payments. Students may verify attendance using the WAVE website or by calling 1-877-VACERT.

If your school is open but you are unable to attend due to this event (e.g., displaced from your home), please contact your School Certifying Official as soon as possible to prevent possible overpayments.

Please contact our Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 (Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. CST) for any questions about your GI Bill benefits. If you are unable to contact us by phone, you can send us a secure inquiry on our website using the “Submit a Question” button.



Financial Support for Students and Staff

Student Emergency Fund
The Student Emergency Fund provides limited emergency financial support to currently enrolled students who are unable to meet essential expenses due to a temporary or unexpected hardship.

Student Emergency Application form: http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/secure/emergency/fundrequestform.php 

Staff Emergency Fund Application
The Staff Emergency Fund provides limited financial assistance to staff members who are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses because of a temporary hardship related to an emergency situation.

Staff Emergency Fund Application form:  http://www.utexas.edu/hr/forms/staff_emergency_fund.pdf



Messages from the UT President on Hurricane Harvey:



Counseling Resources for Students and Staff

Natural disasters can take an emotional toll.
The Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC) provides counseling, psychiatric, consultation and prevention services for students. The CMHC is available for in-person or telephone support every day.

  • CMHC is providing a drop-in group for students affected by the hurricane every day this week from 3 to 4 p.m. No appointment needed; just show up to CMHC on the fifth floor of the Student Services Building before the group begins.
  • Students affected by the hurricane might be experiencing a range of emotions. We are here to support you. Call us at 512-471-3515 or walk in if you’d like to talk about counseling and support options.
  • The CMHC Crisis Line is available 24/7 at 512-471-2255. 
  • CMHC website: cmhc.utexas.edu  

Faculty and Staff
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides licensed clinical counselors for employees (and covered dependents) needing both emotional support and assistance with navigating the Staff Emergency Fund.  




Hurricane Harvey is still affecting Texans and its aftermath will be felt for years to come. Our hearts and our thoughts are with all those who have been impacted by the storm – especially our fellow Longhorns. Students from the affected areas are in need of help.  Faculty and staff at our extended campuses like the Marine Science Institute, in Port Aransas, need our help as well.
Join us in raising funds for our students, faculty and staff in need by going here to donate:



Marine Science Institute Update

Visit this site to see all MSI-related updates: