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The application program will be available again in January.  Please return then to view the updated Eligibility and Awards for the upcoming academic year! If you are an applicant who would like to discover more scholarship opportunities you might qualify for, please continue to the Scholarship America Hub and sign up!


LOCaid Emergency Grant Program
Application status: Closed

The Leonetti O’Connell Family Foundation has established an emergency grant program to assist students enrolled at the University of Southern California (USC) who are experiencing unexpected financial difficulties which may impact enrollment.

The program will be accepting applications in three periods:

This program is administered by Scholarship America®, the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarship, tuition assistance and other education support programs for corporations, foundations, associations, and individuals. Awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, disability, or national origin

Emergency Resources:

LOCaid program administrators are only monitoring applications during normal business hours.

Need Further Assistance?

USC Homelessness Initiative: Social service organizations which may be able to offer you further support.
Crisis Text Line: Get free mental health service through confidential crisis intervention.
Aunt Bertha: Connect to free and reduced cost social services in your area, like food pantries and temporary shelter.

The USC Office of Student Basic Needs has full time case managers to assist students in crisis. They can be contacted through this email:

Applicants to the LOCaid Emergency Grant Program must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a current postsecondary undergraduate or graduate student enrolled full-time at University of Southern California (USC), including graduating seniors and undocumented students*
  • Within the last thirty (30) days have had unexpected financial difficulties which may impact enrollment in school
  • Be able to upload documents to verify enrollment and eligible expense. Acceptable documentation for eligible expense includes bill, invoices, and receipts

*The academic year includes summer terms.

Eligible Expenses**

  • Housing***
  • Utilities
  • Medical/Dental/Mental Health
  • Car repair (Gas and insurance are not eligible)
  • Childcare
  • Public Transportation
  • Food/Groceries
  • Technology/Computer/Wi-Fi
  • Travel

**Exceptions may be made for other reasonable unexpected expenses. Expenses must be for the student only; not family members.
***Currently, the need for emergency aid to assist with basic needs is so severe that we are no longer able to provide emergency funds for rent at this time. Please note that both the Governor’s and the Mayor’s Emergency Orders provide that, during the emergency period, tenants may not be evicted for failure to pay rent due to the financial impacts related to COVID-19. Tenants will have up to six (6) months following the expiration of the local emergency to repay any rent due. Please note that the City Council may extend the repayment period as necessary in response to the emergency.

Ineligible Expenses

  • Books
  • Tuition and fees
  • Required course materials


Students may apply to receive a grant once a cycle/semester for up to $1,500 per request. Students may receive a total of up to three emergency grants per academic year.

Grants may be considered taxable income. Work with a tax professional to determine if your grant is taxable.

Recipients will have an opportunity to participate in future interviews or focus groups with USC regarding their experience with the LOC Emergency Aid Program. The student may receive a gift card of $50 distributed by USC for participating in these interviews or focus groups. Participation is not required to receive emergency financial assistance.

Grant Process

We expect the application process to take students less than 10 minutes to complete. Once you submit your application, you will be notified within 24 business hours. Processing times may take longer during surges and in cases where documentation is missing or insufficient, payment information is not available, or when electronic payment is not available.

Scholarship America will verify the student’s enrollment at USC as well as review the description and supporting documentation of the student’s unexpected financial emergency in order to make a decision on applications.

Payment of Grants

Funds will be made payable directly to the student. If your request is approved, you will receive an email with additional instructions.

As part of your application, you must upload the following:

  • Your STARS Report. Click here for instructions on how to access and save your STARS report.
  • Documentation of eligible expenses (i.e. bills, invoices, receipts) to verify the amount of emergency need request. Documentation must include:
    • Your name
    • Vendor’s name, address and phone number
    • Itemized list of expense(s) and total expense
    • An expense incurred within thirty (30) days of application submission

Note: Requests for food do not require documentation of the expense. Instead, you will be asked to explain how much money you will need to cover food costs for the rest of the semester.

Your application is not complete unless all required documents are submitted electronically.

Don't Let Financial Troubles Derail Your Dream.