The University of San Diego Law Student in Need Fund

The University of San Diego School of Law (USD Law), through the generosity of donors, has established the Law Student in Need Fund (Fund) to provide direct support for students who are facing emergency circumstances that place in jeopardy their ability to complete their legal education.

Administered through the Office for Law Student Affairs, the Fund is available to provide limited, temporary financial assistance to currently enrolled law students who are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses due to unexpected hardship from an emergency situation. The Law Student in Need Fund is designed to fund emergency expenses once a student has exhausted their financial aid eligibility through the Financial Aid Office.

USD Law Student in Need Fund Parameters

Eligibility and Funding Criteria

  • Applicants must be:
    • Currently enrolled in a degree program at USD Law;
    • In good academic standing; and
    • Experiencing temporary financial need/hardship due to an emergency situation.
  • Additional information or documentation may be requested, but no documents are needed to apply.

Application Process and Timeline

  • Students can apply via the Law Student in Need Fund Application.
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the Fund is depleted.
  • A committee of administrators (Fund Committee) will review all applications and make timely determinations, typically within five (5) business days of receipt of the application.
  • Applicants will receive a notice of determination from the Office for Law Student Affairs via email, including next steps and further information as necessary.

Fundable Expenses

Priority is given to essential or academic-related expenses. Fundable expenses may include:

  • Computer equipment/upgrades if necessary for remote learning (e.g., noise-canceling headphones, additional wifi or printing costs, etc.);
  • Housing displacement due to unsafe or unhealthy living condition (e.g., roommate ill with COVID-19);
  • Medical expenses and medication (in the event health insurance coverage is terminated due to loss of employment);
  • Basic needs (e.g., food) if needs have changed due to emergency circumstances; and
  • Other expenses as approved by the Fund Committee.

Funding Limitations

  • Subject to availability, awards will typically be limited to a maximum of $500; larger awards may be considered in extraordinary circumstances and subject to fund availability. 
  • Applicants may not seek funding from the Fund and from the Office of Financial Aid for the same expense (i.e. cannot double-dip) unless the applicant for the Fund is either denied or the total cost of the expense is not fully covered.
  • Pursuant to the Fund, students can seek funding once per semester.
  • Expenses that are not fundable include: tuition, non-essential utilities (i.e., cable), household items, or furniture; costs for entertainment, recreation, alcohol, non-emergency travel; or other non-essential expenses.
  • While we attempt to support as many students as possible with emergency funding, we are not able to grant every request or, in some cases, offer the full amount requested.

Funding Logistics 

  • If approved, Fund recipients will receive funds via direct deposit or check.
  • We strongly encourage Fund recipients to set up direct deposit with the University to ensure timely receipt of funds.
  • Fund recipients must complete and submit a Form W-9 in order to receive funding.
  • Fund recipients will receive a Form 1099 from the University and should consult with their tax advisor to determine whether the funds are taxable.

Other Funding Sources 

  • We encourage applicants to the Fund to contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss their eligibility for additional sources of funding.

How do I make a gift in support of the Law Student in Need Fund?

If you would like to help law students, including those adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, you can make a gift to the Law Student in Need Fund at USD School of Law. All gifts are tax-deductible.


Students should contact with questions.