Our emergency grant helps pay for living expenses or unexpected financial obligations that prevent you from attending school. The grant is not for tuition and fees.
The grant maximum is $1,000 for the majority of expenses, and $500 for food.
Processing times may take longer during surges and in cases where documentation or payment information is missing.
Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
Be a current college student enrolled full-time at an accredited four-year college or university
Be a current recipient (new or renewal award) of The PepsiCo Foundation S.M.I.L.E. Scholarship Program
Have unexpected financial difficulties which may impact enrollment in school
Be able to upload a course schedule to verify enrollment
Be able to upload documentation of eligible expense
The program will open on or after January 30 and the application deadline is May 25, 2023, or once cycle monies are used; whichever occurs first
If your expense is covered, apply now. If not, keep scrolling for a list of resources that might be able to help.
Because we can only accept one application per grant cycle, we recommend you submit your largest eligible expense.
This will take 10 minutes and a few specific items.
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 work.”
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.
Still have questions? Here are the ones we get asked most often.
Grants will be sent directly to your bank account via JP Morgan Chase's Corporate QuickPay. 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.)
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).
Unfortunately, no. The 30-day timeframe ensures that we’re prioritizing students in immediate emergency situations.
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.
If approved, the grant can be used to pay 50% of a bundled bill. (Example: Wi-Fi that’s bundled with cable.)
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.
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.
Here are some acceptable forms of proof of student enrollment:
We often experience surges. 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.
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.