Association on American Indian Affairs

Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarships

David Risling Emergency Aid Scholarships


We are not accepting emergency aid applications at this time. We anticipate funding will be replenished in the middle of the 2013 fall semester.





Emergency aid is very limited in funding as well as eligible emergencies. Please call our office to discuss whether funding is available and whether your situation qualifies.

The Association on American Indian Affairs offers David Risling Emergency Aid Scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students from federally recognized and non-recognized tribes in amounts ranging from $100-400 for acute, temporary emergencies. Absent extenuating circumstance, only eviction, daycare dismissal, utility disconnections, or significant car repairs for commuting students will be covered. Tuition, books, computers, gas and expected expenses are not considered emergencies.

Note the application process for emergency aid is not the same as for our regular scholarships. Please call to verify that funding is available, that your situation qualifies, and to get a list of the required documentation.

Applications for this scholarship are not accepted during the regular scholarship season. Students may not apply for funding due to circumstances which occurred during the summer (i.e., your electricity is getting disconnected at the end of September because you didn't pay the bill all summer.)

Students may receive only one emergency aid scholarship per academic year. If you are a recipient of one of our other scholarships, you are not eligible for emergency aid.

Emergency aid funding is extremely limited and funding is not guaranteed. Scholarship disbursement is based on availability of funds. If awarded, turn around time is approximately 2 weeks.

Contact Lisa Wyzlic at or 240-314-7155.

Other possible sources of funding for emergency situations:

Students often overlook additional sources of funding that may prevent an emergency or help during an emergency. According to SAY Magazine's University and College Guide several colleges and universities offer emergency aid. After checking with your tribe, this should be the first place you check.

Look for funding through local civic organizations (Rotary Club, Kiwanis, Lion's Club), local churches, and businesses in your field that may be willing to do a work payback program. If you are not 100% Native, look for organizations in your other heritage that may have scholarship programs or may be able to assist with emergency situations. There are many ethnic organizations - German-American, Polish-American, Latin-American...

If you run into a situation with your rent, talk to your landlord and try to negotiate a partial payment or payment arrangement - maybe pay twice per month instead of 1 larger payment.

If you run into a situation with your utilities, call them and negotiate a partial payment or payment date. Utility companies often have budget plans where you can pay the same amount throughout the year to avoid the high payments during the cold of winter or heat of summer. They also often have programs for low income households and there are federal programs that they can refer you to. Some states may also have programs that prohibit utilities being turned off if a temperature reaches a specific high or low.

If you are disabled, check with your state rehabilitation services office to see if there are any programs you qualify for such as vocational rehabilitation if you were working and can't go back to your previous job due to illness or injury.

If you are unemployed due to a lay off, check to see if your state has a workforce development program in place with possible funding for re-training or other services.

If you are low income, check with social services to see if you are eligible for TANF or food stamps. Locate local food pantries.

If you have car problems check with your local community college to see if they have an automotive technology program which includes a community program where they will work on your car for a significantly reduced price or for free.

If you don't get your dental through IHS and you need dental work, check with your/nearby university dental school. They often provide dental work at a significantly reduced price.

If you are a veteran there may be help available through the many veterans organizations other than the Veteran's Administration such as the Disabled Veterans of America (DAV), Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Blue Star Mothers, USO, etc.

If you need help saving for a monthly bill, you might want to check out bi-weekly payment programs similar to US Equity Advantage or Equity Plus.
Not an endorsement,
but there are programs to help you split up your payments and make the monthly payment for you for a fee.




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