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.
During Spring 2022, a set amount of hardship grant funds are available to be disbursed each month of the term from January-May. Hardship grant applications are reviewed and funded on a rolling basis until funds are depleted each month.
To ensure funds are made available to address the most urgent persistence needs, applications are carefully reviewed and prioritized based on program fit. Not all requests will be funded. Hardship grant funds are replenished at the start of each month. Applicants denied funding in a given month are welcome to reapply in future months if their need persists and/or escalates.
As part of your application, be prepared to include:
- A photo or screenshot of your current USC student ID.
- Documentation to support the requested funding amount, such as a copy of a bill, invoice or an itemized explanation of how funds will be used.
Applicants to the LOCaid Hardship Grant Program must meet 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 (60) days have had an unexpected financial difficulty which may impact enrollment in school.
- Utility Bills
- Personal Hygiene/Care
- Medical/Dental/Mental Health
- Safety & Security
- Learning/School Resources
*Note: Exceptions may be made for other reasonable unexpected expenses. Expenses must be for the student only; not family members.
- Tuition & Fees
Students are eligible to receive one grant per semester. The average grant amount is approximately $425.
To date, we have given over $150,000 in aid through 151 awards. (Updated August 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 3 business days. 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, Areté Rising, 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:
If you are having trouble with your application, for instance determining which documents to upload, please contact the Areté Rising team at firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.