Eligibility Criteria

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Project Self-Sufficiency Scholar! Please review the eligibility criteria before applying.

Very low or extremely low income according to HUD income limits for household size.
Click here to see if your income level qualifies.

Single parent of a minor child. Not living with a romantic partner, significant other, or parent of the child, even if separated or divorced.


Have at least 50% physical and legal custody of at least one minor child under the age of 18.


Have not completed a bachelor’s degree before.


Enrolled in an accredited community college, four-year university, or vocational program AND have completed at least one semester (or equivalent)


Have a 3.0 or higher GPA 


Have a source of income (employment, cash aid, etc)


Live, work, or attend college in Orange County, CA

Note: Meeting minimum eligibility requirements is not a guarantee of admission. Please contact us with any questions regarding eligibility.

How to Apply

Update February 2020: We are currently at capacity and not accepting new scholars into the program at this time.  You may submit your application to be added to our waitlist.  For more information regarding admissions, please email b.jacksonpardo@pssoc.org  Thank you for your understanding!

Part 1: Complete online application (approx. 15 minutes to complete) To download a paper application instead, please click here.

Part 2: Attach supporting documentation to your application:

Unofficial transcripts from the past two years that show your grades and current class schedule.

Personal essay (500 words max)
Please describe your educational and career goals and plan for accomplishing them.  Note any obstacles you have overcome.

Two letters of recommendation from an employer, former employer, educator, counselor, agency representative, case manager, or equivalent.  

Verification of all income sources, including pay stubs, cash aid, financial aid, child support, etc.

Monthly household budget, including sources of income and expenses.

Note: Applications without supporting documentations are considered incomplete and will not be processed until all documentation is received.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I apply to be a PSS Scholar?

Please review our eligibility criteria above to see if you qualify to become a PSS Scholar. If you meet our eligibility criteria, you can apply online here. Please contact us if you are having trouble with our online application.

I'm not enrolled in college or just started my first semester. Can I still apply?

No. We do not accept applicants until they have completed at least one semester with a 3.0 GPA or higher.

What if my GPA is below a 3.0?

We encourage you to apply if your cumulative OR most recent semester GPA is around a 3.0 or higher.  We are more interested in your most recent academic performance than your academic history from several years ago.  For tips on how to raise your GPA, consult your academic counselor at your college.

What kind of services do you offer?

We offer a suite of customized, comprehensive support services exclusively for PSS Scholars who are enrolled in our program, including scholarships, rental assistance, auto repair, childcare assistance, textbook assistance, and more. Visit our programs and services page to learn more by clicking here.

I'm in a master's or credential program. Can you help?

Not at this time.  Our program currently supports higher education up through the bachelor’s degree level.  We encourage you to research scholarship opportunities and/or contact your college for resources and assistance.

Does a vocational program qualify?

Possibly.  We accept clients in accredited vocational/trade programs on a case by case basis, provided applicants meet all other admission criteria.  Please contact us for more information.

I don't think I qualify for this program. What other resources are there?

Visit our community resources listed below.

Community Resources

Project Self-Sufficiency

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit

Tax ID #33-0597719

307 Placentia Ave, Suite 203 Newport Beach, CA 92663

Located inside the Melinda Hoag Smith Center for Healthy Living