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Basic Needs "Persistence" Grant

Group photo of first generation UHS students

The Basic Needs Persistence Grant addresses insecurities related to food, housing, transportation, mental and physical health, childcare and technology. With existing academic support structures, strategic community partnerships, and direct financial assistance, this grant will promote persistence and degree completion for students experiencing a hardship adversely affecting their basic needs.

Students may request grant funding for a recent unforeseen basic need hardship, that if not resolved by end of semester, will result in the student's separation from the university or difficulty in successfully completing the semester.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Actively enrolled for the current semester at the time of application. Undergraduate degree-seeking student actively enrolled in 9+ credit hours or graduate degree-seeking students actively enrolled in 6+ credit hours for the current semester.
  • U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident.
  • Experiencing or experienced a recent unforeseen hardship, which created a financial loss that threatens the student's continued enrollment or academic success.  An "unforeseen hardship" is defined as an unplanned event within the last 30 days, beyond the student's control and not caused by the student's own negligence, lack of planning, and/or money mismanagement. A "financial loss" is defined as an adverse change in financial circumstances or significant decrease in income.
  • Exhausted all other financial resources, including financial aid/loans and personal resources.
  • Must not have records of any disciplinary misconduct within a year up to applying for the grant. Students must disclose any of their violations of the Student Code of Conduct as outlined in the Student Policy Handbook of UHCL.
  • Must submit online Basic Needs Grant Application and provide adequate documentation regarding the nature of the financial hardship and documentation of expenses(s).

Required Documentation

  • Copy of UHCL tuition fee statement for the current semester
  • Adequate and official documentation to verify the basic needs hardship request, listing student's name:
    • Explanation and date of recent unforeseen hardship event. 
    • Documentation to verify each expense (itemized):
      • Utility disconnection notice, rental eviction letter,  phone service/wi-fi disconnection notice.
      • Invoice, estimate, quote or letter listing the cost for essential healthcare or repair/expense related to a basic need. 
    • Documentation to verify the hardship affecting basic needs:
      • Loss of employment, change in financial circumstances or loss/decrease in income.
      • Official report from police or a campus department regarding loss, theft or safety concern.
      • Notice or verification of support from social services, homeless shelter, community agency or a letter/success plan from a UHCL campus department.

Examples of Basic Needs Hardship Requests

Requests Covered

  • Basic Needs – Housing/displacement, food, utilities, transportation issues, safety needs, childcare assistance.
  • Health/Medical Needs – Physical and mental health, medical procedures and services, prescription medication. 
  • Technology Needs – Laptop, computer accessories essential to keep up with academic work.

Requests Not Covered

  • Tuition, textbooks, course materials/software, school fees and fines, items listed on the budgeted cost of attendance.
  • Study abroad expenses, exam/certification fees, unemployment financial support due to internship, practicum, etc.
  • Debt, credit card/loan payments or balances, legal fees, civil/municipal or government fees and fines, etc.
  • Downpayment/purchase of a vehicle.
  • Reimbursements for paid expenses.
  • Expenses for anyone other than the student.
  • Non-essential personal expenses (i.e., cable, vacation travel, pet expenses, etc.).

Program Administration & Evaluation

The Basic Needs Persistence Grant is administered by the program committee. The point of origin for application will be the Center for Student Advocacy and Community. The Basic Needs Grant committee is responsible for reviewing, evaluating, and issuing the final decision of approval or denial of the application. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, based on the documentation submitted. If denied, the student will receive an email stating the reason(s). If approved, the committee will determine the amount of the grant award and send an email notice to the student. Awards will be vetted first through the Financial Aid Office to determine all aid available to the student. Appeals may be addressed to the Director for the Center for Student Advocacy and Community, Dr. LaToya Mills-Thomas ( 

Prior to receiving basic needs funding, applicants may be encouraged or required to complete one or more of the following to develop self-advocacy and/or financial literacy skills:

  • Contact one or more UHCL support services departments or community agencies for academic or personal resources (i.e., Student Success Center, Career Services, Parenting Resources, etc.).
  • Schedule an appointment or service related to the basic needs request (i.e., Health/Mental Health Services, SNAP-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program application assistance, etc.).
  • Complete a self-advocacy session or workshop (i.e., financial literacy/coaching, professional/personal development, career advising or career exploration workshop, etc.).

Evaluation is based on eligibility criteria. Priority is given to: 

    • Students with demonstrated financial need based upon the FAFSA or TASFA.
    • Students in good disciplinary standing.
    • First-time applicants.

Distribution of Aid

Students will be notified of the approval decision through their UHCL email. Funds will be credited to the student's account and sent directly to the student via the refund method selected via BankMobile (Vibe card, direct deposit or check by mail if no refund method selected). Once approved to receive the Basic Needs Grant, the typical distribution process may take 2-5 business days (based on BankMobile refund selection).

Important Information

  • Basic Needs Persistence Grants are awarded according to the availability of funds per year. Students may apply for the Persistence Grant more than once. Cumulative grant awards may not exceed $1,000 per student, per academic career. Persistence Grant aid does not need to be repaid.
  • Rental assistance is a one-time award of up to 50% of monthly rent (not to exceed $1,000), and will be factored into a student's cumulative award. 
  • Approved requests for the current semester will be processed after the census date.  
  • The processing of funds will be canceled if the student drops below part-time enrollment status or withdraws from UHCL.
  • International students and undocumented students are not eligible for the Basic Needs Persistence Grant, due to U.S. Department of Education guidelines. All students may apply for the Hawk Emergency Fund
  • Once a completed application is received, it will be sent to the UHCL Office of Financial Aid for their review. Financial Aid will review all information provided by the student and award any available aid the student is eligible to receive. The Office of Financial Aid will communicate such aid (if eligible) directly to the student through their UHCL email. The Basic Needs Grant may be factored into a student's overall financial aid offer. If awarding of the Grant will result in a dollar-for-dollar reduction to other aid, the grant will not be awarded. In these cases, students will be informed of the outcome and of any alternative options for assistance.
  • Applications will be evaluated and processed in 5-10 business days, based on the documentation provided. Missing and incomplete documentation will further delay processing.
  • Funds can be available to students within 2-5 business days, from the date of the approval. During peak periods, response and award time may be delayed. 
  • Grant funding is not guaranteed and is not meant to provide long-term relief to students. Students will be referred to campus or community resources for long-term success plans. 

Basic Needs "Persistence" Grant Application


  • Center for Student Advocacy and Community

    Phone: 281-283-2575

    SSCB 1.203
    2700 Bay Area Blvd
    Houston, TX 77058-1002

    Office hours:
    Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    Please call ahead during holidays and semester breaks.

    CSAC Request Form