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Opportunity Fund

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ATTENTION: The Opportunity Fund application is closed for annual maintenance and updates and will reopen on September 1. If you have any requests for family emergency travel, medical emergencies, or citizenship fees during this planned downtime, please reach out to OpportunityFund@stanford.edu for assistance. Otherwise, please submit requests for purchases that occur during this downtime on or after September 1.

 

The Stanford FLI Office Opportunity Fund is designed to financially assist undergraduate students who are experiencing an unexpected financial challenge or seeking funds for an opportunity related to their academic and/or professional development. The FLI Office completes a thorough, holistic review of each application.

Graduate and Co-Term Students should apply for support through Grant in Aid.

Emergency Grant-in-Aid Funds assist graduate students who experience a financial emergency or unanticipated expenses, causing financial hardship. This program is designed to assist in situations where the emergency may impede academic progress, and for those who cannot reasonably resolve their financial difficulty through fellowships, loans, or personal resources.

Emergency Grant-in-Aid awards are grants that reimburse actual expenses. These awards are not a loan and do not need to be repaid. Emergency Grant-in-Aid awards are taxable income.

Students are Opp Fund eligible when both the Family Contribution AND the Student Contribution on their financial aid award are each individually $6,500 or less.

Check your most recent Financial Aid Award Letter to see if you are eligible. Students must be enrolled to receive funds through the Opportunity Fund. Students on Leave of Absence are able to apply for funding for expenses related to returning to being an enrolled student, which also includes citizenship/DACA/Visa fees. These will not be covered for students who have had 3 or more consecutive quarters of Leave of Absence.

The Opportunity Fund is a limited resource and funding is not guaranteed. Before completing any purchases, please be sure to apply to the Opportunity Fund and wait for your approval email.

We are only able to reimburse up to the quarter prior to the current quarter (e.g.: winter quarter reimbursements processed in spring quarter).

Incoming Frosh

We will begin processing applications for incoming frosh during the first week of classes during Autumn quarter. If you would like assistance from the Opportunity Fund, please apply after September 1.

If you need assistance with a laptop, there are a few options:

(1) Students with outside awards can apply for support through the Financial Aid Office using their computer expense request form

(2) If you have a Welcome Grant, you will need to use that to help with your laptop purchase.

(3) If you do not have the Welcome Grant, you may apply to the Opportunity Fund. Please note: laptop support is a one-time grant throughout your Stanford undergraduate career, regardless of the funding source.

Graduating Seniors

The last day to apply to the Opportunity Fund for reimbursements or requests for funding was June 1, 2022. Please get any and all requests for eligible expenses in by that date. We are not accepting any applications, regardless of the request, after this date.

What we fund:

  • Travel costs related to a death or illness (flight + uber or Lyft to/from airport with supporting receipt or complete estimates)
    • We understand that emergencies happen unexpectedly, but we will not be able to fund multiple requests for family emergency travel, back-to-back
  • Citizenship fees or other similar fees with supporting documentation
  • Assistance with laptop repair or replacement in the event of an emergency
    • $1,000 limit, one-time during your academic career at Stanford, regardless of the funding source. The Computer Expense Form and an invoice or receipt for the laptop you plan to purchase is required. If you have outside awards, you may be able to receive funding through the Financial Aid Office and can upload your supporting documents to them.
  • Medical/dental expenses that are not covered by the Financial Aid Office.
    • During the academic year, students should go through the Financial Aid Office and submit the Medical/Dental Expense Form. All students are expected to cover the first $150 of copays during the academic year. If the cost is ongoing, students can save their receipts until the total reaches $150 and submit them at once to FAO. If it's an expense after the first $150 has been paid and is denied from FAO OR the charges are incurred over the summer when the student is not enrolled in a summer session, students can apply through Opp Fund. It should be noted that we do not cover cosmetic expenses, such as braces or invisalign.
  • Attending conferences/workshops
    • Twice during each students' academic career, $1,000 limit with supporting documentation (Registration for the conference, link to more information about the conference, flight estimates or receipts w/ totals, destination origins, dates, and your name as the traveler, hotel receipts or hotel registration, transportation to/from campus and the airport (Uber, Lyft, Caltrain, taxi, Zipcar, etc.), and meal receipts). Receipts will need to be submitted upon completion of purchase
  • Expenses associated with parent/guardian/family travel to campus (not including graduation attendance)
    • One-time during academic career for a special occasion or Family Weekend, $500 max for domestic travel and $1,000 max for international travel
    • Special occasions include but are not limited to: celebrations, performances, award/recognition ceremonies, etc.
    • We can support with flight, hotel, and/or expenses for transportation to/from campus, including mileage reimbursement, as long as supporting documentation such as the receipt or complete tentative invoice are included. Receipts will need to be submitted upon completion of purchase
  • Expenses associated with preparation for graduate or professional school admissions and preparation, if a fee waiver is not available through the institution(s) of choice and/or through the testing site.
    • $1,000 limit during academic career with supporting documentation
      • Applications should be submitted as expenses occur and during the academic year in which they occur. We will not be able to reimburse purchases from previous academic years during the current academic year.
    • Travel to/from job interviews (If not covered by employer, with supporting documentation)
    • Travel for graduate admitted student visit programs with supporting documentation (Registration for the program, flight estimates or receipts w/ totals, destination origins, dates, and your name as the traveler, hotel receipts or registration, and/or transportation to/from campus and the airport (Uber, Lyft, Caltrain, taxi, Zipcar, etc.))
    • MCAT/GRE/LSAT Prep
  • Bike repair or replacement (one-time): $150
    • Receipt or invoice with the bike the student plans to purchase in their shopping cart, with tax included
    • We do not fund electric bikes unless there is a documented need for an electric vs. non-electric version
    • We also do not fund scooters of any kind unless there is a documented need
  •  Assistance with professional clothing
    • $250, twice during academic career. One-time limit during Frosh or Sophomore year and One-time limit during Junior or Senior year.
    • Please be sure to include a receipt or an invoice with the selected items in the shopping cart, tax included.
  •  Summer Storage (Annually)
    • $200 limit, students are encouraged to share space with others and must complete this Summer Storage Agreement 2022. You may apply for assistance with storage each summer of your academic career at Stanford. 

Graduation Support

The Opportunity Fund may be used as a resource to assist with some costs associated with graduation for FLI students who are eligible. As mentioned above, the deadline to apply was June 1, 2022. NO LATE SUBMISSIONS ARE BEING ACCEPTED. Qualifying expenses include:

  • Fees associated with Stanford cultural celebrations
  • Cap, gown, tassel, and stoles/sashes, up to $150 (We do NOT fund class rings, announcements, diploma frames, etc.) 
  • Help with family travel for graduation (flight + hotel)
    • $1,000 total limit for domestic travel or $1,500 total limit for international travel
    • Please be sure to include the receipt or an estimate with complete travel information (flight/hotel/airbnb in your shopping cart with number of guests [tax included as if preparing to complete your purchase] or mileage reimbursement (rate per mile is 58.5 cents) that includes map of trip, total miles, and destination)

    We do not fund:


    • Tuition or fees 
    • Health Insurance
    • Study Abroad
    • iPads or tablets
    • Club Sports
    • Lost Keys/Rekeying Fees/Lost IDs
    • Passport Fees
    • Family Emergency Travel during Breaks or University Holidays
    • Expenses which are standard considerations for financial assistance through the Financial Aid Office. Examples include:
      • Books
      • Housing
      • Food
      • Supplies
      • Course fees

    *It should be noted that on a case by case basis we can provide support with resources that a student requires as a part of their accommodations with sufficient documentation


    Students applying for support with Fraternity or Sorority Life dues need to complete the FSL Opportunity Fund Application. Dues are not covered through the traditional Opportunity Fund application process. However, the FSL Opportunity Fund Application has closed for Spring Quarter 2022. Please reach out to Christopher Carter with any questions about when the Fall Quarter 2022 application may be available.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    [Alt text: 1.Submit your application to the Opp Fund 2. A member of the FLI Office team reviews your application (usually within one week) 3. If there is missing documentation or more information is needed a FLI Office staff member will contact you (usually within one week). 4.Once your application is approved it will be sent to the Financial Aid Office for review and disbursement 5.The Financial Aid Office will approve your application and submit it to Student Financial Services for disbursement 6. Student Financial Services disburses your award. You receive your award in the same form as any other disbursement you receive (direct deposit or a paper check if you do not have direct deposit) 7. You submit your receipt to the Opportunity Fund via our Receipt Tracker]

    *Due to the high volume of requests that we receive through the Opportunity Fund, it can take up to two weeks to receive a response. Please be sure to include all supporting materials with your application to prevent a delay in processing.

    Additional Forms