Thanks to generous JMU donors, the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships is awarding Madison for Keeps emergency student aid to assist our current Dukes in this extraordinary time of financial need.

There is no specific Madison for Keeps application. Instead, Madison for Keeps is one of the options at our disposal when trying to find the best way to help students remain at JMU while they recover from financial crisis.

To become eligible for consideration for emergency aid, students (or their parents) begin the process by submitting an appeal to the Professional Judgment Committee in the Office of Financial Aid. Students who are finding it difficult to pay for the school year due to a household income change should review the Financial Aid Appeals (Professional Judgment) section of the financial aid website to learn how to submit an appeal.

When reviewing these appeals, the financial aid staff will first try to establish or increase eligibility for assistance from various existing financial aid programs. If successful and if this increased financial aid eligibility meets the needs of students, the financial aid office will make these awards without using Madison for Keeps funds in these situations.
If we are unable to help these students from these other programs in response to an appeal, then JMU has the option to consider assistance from Madison for Keeps.
As good stewards of the donations received in the Madison for Keeps program, the Financial Aid Office staff is judicious in how the funds are awarded and generally reviews situations from the following perspective when making decisions.

Students must:
1. Be enrolled in a full-time load of financial-aid-eligible credits for the term in which they are receiving these funds.
2. Be a returning student (not a first-time freshman or transfer). The program is designed to give priority to students who are returning to JMU ("Help a Duke stay a Duke").
3. Have submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the term in which they are receiving these funds.
4. Be experiencing financial hardship due to the recent economic crisis (e.g., parental job loss, household income reduction, etc.) that might affect their ability to continue at JMU during the current school year and that should resolve itself by the following school year.
5. Meet the academic progression standards outlined in the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.
6. Have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.25.
7. Complete the required steps to accept all subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans they are eligible to receive prior to a Madison for Keeps grant being disbursed. These grants are "last dollar" awards, and not designed to replace a student's loan eligibility.

Because these are "last dollar" awards, the process of considering students for Madison for Keeps does not begin until after students receive their official financial aid award notices, including loans, for the school year. It is necessary to review each student's eligibility for other sources of financial aid (grants, loans, etc.) before considering a Madison for Keeps award.
It's also important to note that Madison for Keeps provides one-time, non-renewable awards. When making award decisions for Madison for Keeps, the staff reviews each student's potential ability to continue as a JMU student the year after an appeal is filed.

If you feel you have a situation that warrants review, then please follow the steps outlined in the Financial Aid Appeals (Professional Judgment) section of the website, and staff members will respond after reviewing your appeal.

Back to Top