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Referral Funding


What is GEER?

Across the country, universities are being challenged with meeting the demand of psychological and mental health needs of their student body. Many counseling centers characterize their services as short-term and time-limited. With that, there are a growing number of students referred off-campus for mental health treatment, if best practice demonstrates a need for open-ended, specialized, or longer-term treatment. 

The good news! The state has authorized funding for students referred off-campus for mental health treatment. The Governor's Education Emergency Relief (GEER) fund was established in 2021 at Charlotte and offers financial assistance to enrolled students referred off-campus for mental health services. Students are eligible for up to $500 annually, and if approved, students have the ability to engage in services with an off-campus provider (of their choice), with payment being directly made to that provider. For more information about GEER funding, please contact Leigh Norwood, Associate Director of Access & Equity at


Frequently Asked Questions

The Applicant:

  • Must be enrolled as a UNC Charlotte student at the time of application.  Funding will be discontinued if enrollment at UNC Charlotte is ended.
  • Is required to sign a release of information allowing CAPS to make the referral and to verify attendance or participation in treatment/services
  • Must obtain written permission from parents/legal guardians if under the age of 18 or legally deemed a dependent adult.


  • Initial funding is available up to $500 per academic year, with the option to petition for an additional $500 within the same year.
  • Mental health treatment must be delivered by a licensed mental health practitioner in the state of North Carolina or in the state in which services are sought.
  • Funding will be issued directly to the service provider or community resource by CAPS.
  • Funding can be used to pay copays, deductibles, medications, and/or session fees.
  • Any costs associated with missed appointments will be the responsibility of the student.

Mental health services to include assessment, outpatient copays, and/or intensive outpatient fees are GEER eligible. In addition, funds may be utilized to purchase psychotropic medications and/or learning assessments, for which mental health diagnoses are at risk of co-occurring. 


No, CAPS does not require evidence of income, financial aid or tax records. However, students must review and sign a GEER application attesting to their financial strain and subsequent need for support in order to move forth with mental health treatment. 


No, CAPS does not require an initial consultation in order to apply for funding. However, students must engage in a Referral Coordination appointment to initiate and complete the funding request. Please contact us at (704) 687-0311 to schedule a Referral Coordination appointment. 


Yes. If not referred by a CAPS clinician, a student must be referred by a campus partner such as the Student Health Center, Student Assistance & Support Services (SASS), Office of Disability Services, etc. If you have any questions about an eligible campus referral, please contact CAPS Associate Director of Access & Equity, Leigh Norwood, at


No. Payment will be made directly to the service provider (therapist, clinician, or resource entity). Payment will be made after verification of provided services. 


GEER funding is capped at $500 per academic year. Once a student has reached their allotted funding, they will be solely responsible for charges incurred with the service provider. In rare instances, and if funding resources are available, students can make subsequent requests for additional assistance. Those requests will also be reviewed by the Director of CAPS. 


The review of applications will take up to ten business days. Initial funding requests will be decided by the Associate Director Access & Equity.  Additional funding requests will be reviewed by CAPS Director (or designee). All funding decisions are final and non-appealable.


Additional Financial Resources for Mental Health Assistance 

Novant Health Financial Assistance 

Atrium Health Financial Assistance

Care Ring Low Cost Clinic