Emergency Grant Program

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

WHAT IS COVERED?

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.

HOW MUCH CAN I GET?

Up to $1,000

The grant maximum is $1,000 for the majority of expenses, and $500 for food.

HOW FAST CAN I GET A GRANT?

1–3 business days

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

The program will open on or after April 5, 2021 and the application deadline is June 25, 2021, or when 2,000 applications have been submitted.

 

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.

What is Eligible?

  • Living expenses after a job loss or pay cut
  • Car repairs
  • Childcare
  • Emergency home repair
  • Emergency medical expenses
  • Essential utilities (i.e. water, electricity, or Wi-Fi)
  • Unexpected, essential travel
  • Food (grant limited to $500)
 

What is Not Eligible?

  • Tuition and fees
  • Borrowed money from friends and family
  • Leisure/entertainment

 

 

APPLICATION TIP: SUBMIT YOUR LARGEST ELIGIBLE EXPENSE

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

HAVE THESE ITEMS ON HAND BEFORE YOU START.

  1. 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
    • Photos, screenshots and scans are all accepted
  2. 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 institution name and term dates
  3. 3. College student ID
    • Must include a student ID number (see “Documentation” in our FAQ section if you don’t have one)

APPLICATION TIP: BE AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE

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.”

Application Process

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

1

COMPLETE APPLICATION

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

2

WAIT FOR APPROVAL

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

3

RECEIVE PAYMENT

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 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.)

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. (Example: Wi-Fi that’s bundled with cable.)

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?

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.

Is an emergency grant taxable?

Grants may indeed 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.

FindHelp.org

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.