Skip to content

HELPS Program Microgrant

The HELPS Program: Handling Everyday Life Problems for Students 

What is HELPS?

The Handling Everyday Life Problems for Students (HELPS) Program is specifically designed to provide support to students facing financial emergencies that threaten their academic progress. For students, an unforeseen emergency expense can trigger a cascade of challenges. Roughly 3 million students annually are forced to abandon their college education due to financial emergencies of $1000 or less, as reported by the Financial Health Network.

This is where the HELPS Program steps in.

If you’re a student, regardless of whether you’re full-time, half-time or part-time, and find yourself in a financial bind that threatens your academic progress, HELPS is here to offer a helping hand. So, if you’re facing an emergency that threatens to disrupt your education, apply to the HELPS Program today and take a crucial step towards securing your academic future. The HELPS Program is made possible through generous donations from Capital One and Prudential Financial, whose kindness and support exemplify the spirit of giving and inspire us to continue creating opportunities for our future leaders.



Participating MSIs/TCUs




HELPS GRANTS disbursed

Focused on Outcomes

The HELPS Program is dedicated to providing emergency financial assistance to students facing unexpected hardships, ensuring their academic pursuits remain uninterrupted and supported.


Receive up to $1000 (grant) per semester to finance an eligible emergency.

Timely Approval

The participating MSI is the approving official to expedite getting money into your hands.


Depending on the MSI’s processes, one can use SFI’s online application or the MSI defined tools to apply.


For the purpose of the HELPS Program, an emergency is exclusively defined to be an unexpected, one-time (non-recurring) expense, associated with the immediate risk to health, life, property, or student’s environment that requires urgent attention to prevent worsening of the situation or further instability of the student’s situation, including the following: 

  • Emergency transportation needs 
  • Information Technology (Hardware) 
  • Information Technology (Software) 
  • Medical treatment or  medication 
  • Safety related 
  • Food
  • Temporary Housing
  • Utilities


  • Academic Year: Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors
  • Eligible Majors: All majors are eligible
  • Enrollment Status: Full-time, half-time or part-time attending a participating HELPS Program institution.
  • Academic Status: Undergraduate
  • Justification of Need: Provide documentation of financial hardship justifying the need for funds
  • GPA Requirement: Determined by Institution