Emergency Aid Program

For expenses that put your education in jeopardy, we’re here and want to help.

The spring semester program will open on or after January 15, 2024 and the application deadline is May 20, 2024. The application will reopen in September 2024 for the fall semester.


Our emergency grant helps pay for living expenses or other financial obligations you find yourself unable to meet that may impact your enrollment in school. The grant is will not be awarded to cover additional tuition and fees.


Up to $1,500

The grant maximum is $1,500 for the majority of expenses, and $500 for food.


1–3 business days

Processing times may take longer during surges and in cases where documentation or payment information is missing.

The Emergency Aid program has been established to assist recipients of the Chi-Rise Scholarship Program who are enrolled in college full-time. The Emergency Aid opportunity is meant to preserve your wellbeing in college. Unexpected financial turns should not prevent you from fully realizing your college potential. Consider Emergency Aid as an opportunity to alleviate these burdens so you can continue your education.

Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

Please click for frequently asked questions regarding the program

Applicants are also encouraged to use a permanent email (hotmail, gmail, yahoo, etc.) when registering their profile, rather than a school email that they may lose access to in the future.

Before you apply, check out what’s covered.

If your expense is covered, apply now. If not, keep scrolling for a list of resources that might be able to help.
*Eligible expenses must have been incurred within thirty (30) days of application submission to be considered for reimbursement. Any expenses that are more than 30 days old will be denied.*

What is Eligible?

  • Off-campus Housing/Rent/Utilities
  • Medical/Dental
  • Childcare
  • Transportation/Car Repair
  • Technology/Computer/Wi-Fi (devices are covered once per student)
  • Public transportation/Emergency travel
  • Food/Groceries (grant limit to $500)

What is Not Eligible?

  • Tuition and fees
  • Required course material
  • Books
  • Borrowed money from friends and family
  • On-campus Housing


Because we can only accept one application per grant cycle, we recommend you submit your largest eligible expense.

Ready to apply?

This will take 10 minutes and a few specific items.

Application Checklist Application Checklist


  1. Documentation of Expenses
    • Can be a bill, estimate, or invoice. Must include name of person being billed, vendor name and address, amount due/paid, and the date of the expense (must be dated within 30 days of the application)
    • Photos, screenshots and scans are all accepted
  2. Proof of enrollment
    • Can be a current course schedule, picture or scan of college acceptance letter, letter from registrar’s office, or screenshot of a student-only portal. Must include student name, institution name, term dates, and credits for each course
  3. College student ID
    • Must include a student ID number (see “Documentation” in our FAQ section if you don’t have one)
    • No picture or scan is needed


It’s more likely that we’ll be able to approve your request if you explain your emergency in detail. For example, “My car broke down” isn’t enough information. Instead say, “My car broke down and I’m not able to drive to my college's campus.”

Application Process

Out of respect for your situation, we make the process as fast and simple as possible.



This is a rolling application, so apply quickly, because funds can (and do) run out.



We’ll let you know if your request was approved within one business day.



If your request was approved, you’ll receive the funds within three business days.

Commonly Asked Questions

Still have questions? Here are the ones we get asked most often.

How is the grant money provided?

Grants will be sent directly to your bank account via JP Morgan Chase's Concourse. If your request is approved, you will receive an email with additional instructions.

If an electronic payment to a bank account can’t be made, a check will be mailed to you instead. (Heads up: Processing and delivery times of check payments may be longer than electronic payments.)

What if my bills are in my parents’ name(s)?

No problem there. In the application, you will be asked to provide a short description of your emergency. Use this space to explain why the bill is in your parent’s name (e.g. you’re living at home or it’s a shared account).

Can I still be reimbursed for an expense that I paid for over 30 days ago?

Unfortunately, no. The 30-day timeframe ensures that we’re prioritizing students in immediate emergency situations.

If you need additional information to process my application, how much time do I have to submit it?

You have two weeks from when you submitted the application to provide the information needed to complete your application. If we do not receive the information in time, your application will be closed, and you will need to wait until the next cycle to submit another application.

The expense I need help with is bundled with another service. Can I still get a grant?

If approved, the grant can be used to pay 50% of a bundled bill.

Why is food only covered up to $500?

Emergency grants are designed to address short-term emergencies and cover grocery needs up to $500. If you need longer-term food and housing support, check out FindHelp.org for additional resources.

What if I don’t have a student ID yet?

Contact us at the email at the bottom of this page and you will receive instructions for how to submit your application without a student ID number.

How can I confirm my enrollment if I’m a first-year student and haven’t registered for classes yet?

Here are some acceptable forms of proof of student enrollment:

  • Picture or scan of college acceptance letter
  • Picture or scan of letter from registrar’s office
  • Screenshot of student-only portal
What happens if I’m waiting a long time for a decision?

Applicants will standardly receive first contact and/or approval within one (1) business day of submitting an application. However, we often experience surges that may require additional time. Just know that we do our best to review all applications as quickly as possible, and you will be notified via email as soon as a decision is made.

Is an emergency grant taxable?

Grants may be considered taxable income. Work with a tax advisor to determine if your grant is taxable. If you don’t have a tax advisor, you may be able to get free tax prep help through the IRS here.

Not eligible for an emergency grant? Help is still out there.

Just because we can’t approve your expense doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck. There are many organizations that are near you and ready to help.
*Please also consider reaching out to on-campus resources (financial aid office, Dean of Students, etc.)*


A social care network that connects people and programs in your area.

Crisis Text Line

If you’re struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression, text HOME to 741741.

Dial 211

Just dial “211” to be referred, and possibly connected, to appropriate agencies and community organizations.

Funds administered by Scholarship America.

At Scholarship America, we have one passion—every student. That includes students who have to choose between paying a bill and staying in school.

We don’t believe any student should have that weight put on their shoulders. And that’s why we provide financial support, thanks to the partnerships we have with our donors and other passionate organizations.