Student Application Opportunity
Hear from some of the students we have helped.
Swipe left to view testimonials.
“I remember all the emails, say, we’ll respond and let you know, whether you were accepted or not within 24 hours. No one else does that… It blows my mind how fast, how responsive LOCaid is with their students. It’s just so great… Super-fast, super-efficient, super-responsive. 10 out of 10, for sure.”
“I thought it was a really great program. It was very helpful. I know to me, it really saved me a lot of stress and a lot of anxiety during that time when I was a student at USC… It was super easy to do, super easy to apply, and super easy to use, and I appreciated the flexibility.”
“It’s been a very smooth process for me, more so than I expected it to be. I expected to basically have to show a bunch of proof that I needed it and it’s like, yes, I could do that. I have check stubs and things like that, but it was remarkably straightforward more so than I expected.”
“Whenever you apply to most scholarships, it’s such a long, hair-pulling process. From filling out pages of your general information, then the essay questions, and then yada, yada, and then waiting to hear back. But with this program, it’s so fast and so different, so easy that it almost feels fake.”
“The rules and the guidelines were really easy to follow. The application was really easy to use. It didn’t really take up much of my time. I would say it wasn’t a tedious process unlike other type of assistant programs. I think it was nice for it to be simple.”
“The person reaching out was so helpful. I really felt heard and that they were really trying to work with me. I was so surprised that people were that willing to help you in a way that was like they really cared about your experience….That definitely made me internally feel more comfortable asking for help.”
“I had a 100% positive experience. I thought that everything was really well taken care of… It wasn’t a bureaucratic process that involved a lot of monotonous or tedious steps. It was very straightforward. I still am very, very grateful for it.”
“I liked how straightforward it was. You didn’t need a letter of recommendation, tax returns, or any certain thing that could maybe hinder the quickness of applying and getting the funding needed. I liked the quick turnaround as well, I’ve notably appreciated that.”
“I just applied and then it worked out so easily. I didn’t expect it to work out this easily because usually scholarship applications, you have to write essays and write a lot, but through this one, it was very simple.”
We recognize that every situation is unique and aim to provide assistance to all of those in need. If you are struggling with an unexpected loss of income or urgent expense, we strongly encourage you to apply.
For the 2020-2021 academic year, the program will be accepting applications in three periods:
- Fall Semester: August 17, 2020 – November 25, 2020
- Spring Semester: January 11, 2021 – May 13, 2021
- Summer Semester: May 19, 2021 – August 11, 2021
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 (EX: bills, invoices, receipts) to verify the amount of your request. Click here for an example of acceptable documentation.
Documentation must include:
- Your name
- The vendor’s name
- An itemized list of expense(s) and total expense
- Evidence that the expense(s) was incurred within thirty (30) days of your application
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.
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 the 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 expense eligibility. Acceptable documentation for eligible expenses include bills, invoices, and receipts.
- Medical/Dental/Mental Health
- Car repair (excluding gas and insurance)
- Public Transportation
*Note: Exceptions may be made for other reasonable unexpected expenses. Expenses must be for the student only; not family members.
- Tuition and fees
- Required course materials
Students may apply to receive a grant once a semester and may receive a total of up to three emergency grants per academic year. Students may receive up to $500 per grant and $1,500 in total per academic year.
To date, we have given nearly $117,000 in aid through 137 awards. (Updated March 1, 2021)
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.
The program administrators, 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.
Note: Grants may be considered taxable income. Work with a tax professional to determine if your grant is taxable.
Questions about Your Application:
- USC Homeless Initiative: Social service organizations which may be able to offer you further support.
- Crisis Text Line: Get free mental health services through confidential crisis intervention.
- Aunt Bertha: Connect to free and reduced cost social services in your area, like food pantries and temporary shelter.
- USC Office of Student Basic Needs: Has full time case managers to assist students in crisis.
LOCaid program administrators are only monitoring applications during normal business hours.