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Emergency Assistance for Postsecondary Students (EAPS) Grant Program

Improving college retention and completion for students experiencing food/housing insecurity or an unforeseen financial emergency


The Office of Higher Education administers the Emergency Assistance for Postsecondary Students (EAPS) Grant Program to foster postsecondary attendance and retention for low-income students by providing funding and resources to Minnesota colleges and universities with a demonstrable homeless population. The Minnesota Legislature established the EAPS Grant Program in May 2017. Grant funds are intended to meet immediate student needs related to housing, food, and transportation that would otherwise prevent students from completing their term.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Institutions eligible for EAPS grant funding include private, non-profit postsecondary institutions and/or Tribally-affiliated postsecondary institutions with a demonstrable homeless population. Institutions are required to have a physical campus in the state of Minnesota. 

The State of Minnesota defines “homeless” as any individual, unaccompanied youth or family that is without a permanent place to live that is fit for human habitation. By this definition, students who are doubling-up (staying with a friend or family member, i.e. “crashing” or “couch-surfing”) are considered homeless. 

Colleges or universities can demonstrate that they serve students experiencing homelessness by submitting one of the following items: 

  • Recently-conducted research on the prevalence of student homelessness on their campus; 
  • Limited data collected as a part of other social service programs on campus (i.e. collecting participant information at a campus food shelf or student-parent center); or 
  • Summative reports that demonstrate the prevalence of homelessness among the population served. 

If a college or university has not conducted any quantitative research around housing insecurity within their institution, OHE may consider their proposal if the institution submits a written commitment to conducting research on the prevalence of student homelessness on their campus within one calendar year. EAPS funds may not be used to support this research.

What are Eligible Services? 

Funds awarded to postsecondary institutions must be used to administer an emergency grant program. 

This may include: 

  • Funds for student awards (favorable) 
  • Gift cards 
  • Salaries for staff/social workers 
  • Communications 

How much Money can a Grantee Receive?

The maximum allowable request per institution is $75,000; a 25% match (monetary or in-kind) is required of all grantees.

What is the Application Process?

Pending funding, on odd-numbered years, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education will release a Request for Proposal. The next opportunity to apply for EAPS is anticipated to be in spring/summer of 2025.

Who do I Contact with Questions?

If you have questions or would like additional information on the Emergency Assistance for Postsecondary Students Grant Program, contact

For Students:

Students in need of emergency assistance should contact the financial aid office and/or foundation at their college or university. For additional resources, see our Student Homelessness in Higher Education webpage.

2022-2023 Grant Recipients

  • Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Normandale Community College
  • South Central College
  • Pine Technical and Community College
  • St. Cloud Technical and Community College
  • Century College
  • Red Lake Nation College
  • Saint Paul College