Personal Student Support

SUNY Empire State University recognizes students may experience times of food insecurity, housing issues, homelessness, mental health challenges, or accessing state/federal services. To create a path for success outside your studies, we have staff to connect and discuss possible options you have in your community.

Below you will find a list of services to support students;

SUNY Empire has staff to support you when you need assistance addressing needs around food, housing, mental health, and a variety of other resources. If you would like to discuss options with the basic needs coordinator, email to schedule an appointment today

The SUNY system provides a spectrum of personal financial literacy tools including budgeting, avoiding identity theft and responsible credit card use. You can use Smart Track Financial Wellness and Literacy Tools including CashCourse which offers a self-paced course to learn more about your earnings, spending, and borrowing.

We have partnered with TELUS Health Student Support for all mental wellness services at SUNY Empire. Your health and wellness fee pays for these services; all calls, chats, and conversations are confidential. So don’t hesitate to reach out today!

For Immediate Support:

Call: 1-866-743-7732


Support when you need it the most!

TELUS Health Student Support connects you to credentialed, Masters-level counselors to help you successfully navigate cultural, physical, and mental health challenges. You can receive the help you need in your own native language and cultural context, whether they’re at home, at one of our locations, or abroad.

Available when you need it!

Short-term counseling options are available all day, every day, to provide you with access to qualified counselors in the early morning before work, during your lunch break, or after you have settled the kids in for the evening. Any options, any time, and services available at your fingertips!

  • Telephone support 24/7: Speak to an experienced counselor with a simple phone call
  • Real-time chat support 24/7: Chat with an experienced counselor on the web or the app at your convenience.
  • Short-Term Appointments: Schedule an appointment-based support to connect with the same counselor over multiple sessions via telephone or video appointments (limited to 5 sessions total).

And a whole lot more…

  • Health assessments: Complete an anonymous assessment to get feedback on your mental health
  • Browse health & wellbeing content: Access articles, podcasts, infographics, and videos on the app addressing a wide variety of wellbeing topics
  • Access virtual fitness sessions: Free virtual fitness sessions available through LIFT
  • Resource Referral: Free resource referrals to community specialists

SUNY Empire recognizes that our students have temporary setbacks or face emergencies that can devastate their educational goals. Students should apply if they meet the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled in at least one credit and matriculated in a SUNY Empire degree program.
  • Demonstrate immediate financial need
  • Have not exhausted available financial aid grants
  • Have not received a previous grant from the emergency student grant fund

Grants cannot exceed $250 per student and must be used for one or more of the following categories:

  • Urgent need for food or groceries
  • Critical past due partial rent/mortgage payments
  • Emergency housing or hotel
  • Child care
  • Mental health provider co-pay or sliding scale fee for self
  • Needs related to personal safety (domestic violence or similar)
  • Transportation (public transportation, fuel, or car repair)
  • Critical past due utility payments (electrical, natural gas, or internet)
  • Medications and other costs related to emergent medical care

Once the application is submitted, a committee will review the responses and return a decision within five business days of receiving the application. Students should thoroughly describe their needs to be considered for funding. Due to limited funds, not all applications will receive funding. These grants do not have to be repaid and will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all funds are given away.

We currently have two open basic needs grants and may have specific location requirements.

Any additional questions can be sent to

An All-in-one Benefits Screener and Local Basic Needs Resource Tool. Single Stop and SUNY Empire have partnered to bring 24/7 access to basic needs resources to your fingertips. Once on the Single Stop, press the big green "Let’s Get Started!" button to start a series of questions to determine what federal, state, and local benefits you may qualify for.

Need to find local resources in NY that may help with housing, food, immigration, transportation, and work resources, check out the Single Stop Resource Tool!

Virtual Food Pantry

The university understands that students face many non-academic challenges during their time at SUNY Empire State University due to unforeseen and unexpected fiscal challenges. The Virtual Food Pantry at SUNY Empire State University aims to provide a one-time, immediate food supply during times of crisis and establish connections with local food pantries for ongoing assistance.

To qualify for food assistance, students must complete the Virtual Food Pantry Application Please be prepared to upload documentation demonstrating recent life changes that could impact your financial circumstances, along with any information reflecting your current financial status.

If you are approved for a one-time, immediate food supply, a staff member will reach out to you to discuss the items and a pick-up location.

Additional Resources:  

All students are encouraged to explore SUNY Empire’s new Single Stop Resource Finder tool. When you visit that site, you will be able to enter your zip code and locate services within your local area and you can connect with them directly. Single Stop also offers a screening tool to determine if you are eligible for local, state, and federal resources, like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). To use the screening too, visit the Single Stop homepage and click the green “Let’s Get Started!” button.

Food Security Resources:

Find a Food Bank nationwide

New York State Food Banks (PDF)

Help applying for SNAP-New York State

Help with WIC-New York State

Good and Cheap Cookbook-Eat Well on $4 a Day (PDF)


The resources provided above offer personal support outside of your academics. However, if you have questions about how a situation relates to your academics, please visit our Student Services Contact page. We have staff to support you with

  • individualized coaching and engagement opportunities
  • appeals, grievances, and reinstatements
  • tutoring, academic workshops, skills development
  • accessibility and accommodations


We’re here to help.

Empire State University's 1Stop Student Services is a partner in your successful student experience. Visit or contact

800-847-3000, ext. 2285