Become a PSS Scholar.

Our programs and services are provided to our Project Self-Sufficiency Scholars. To become a PSS Scholar, please review our eligibility criteria and the steps below. To learn more about the services PSS offers to scholars, click here. If you have any questions, please feel free to email info@pssoc.org or call (949) 478-1914.

The application is currently closed and will re-open in fall for spring 2023 admission.

Irvine Residents

We have standalone funding for emergency rental assistance and technology assistance for parenting students who are residents of the City of Irvine. This is separate from our regular PSS program. Click to view flyer. Contact Vycki for more info v.haught@pssoc.org

Long Beach Residents

We have expanded our eligibility for our regular PSS Scholars Program. If you are a City of Long Beach resident and meet all other eligibility criteria, we encourage you to apply to PSS when the application re-opens later this fall.

Eligibility Criteria

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

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

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

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

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Have not completed a bachelor’s degree before.

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

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Have a 3.0 or higher GPA 

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

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

*Exceptions for Long Beach residents 

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  • Meet the minimum enrollment requirements:
    • Not employed, or working under 10 hours per week: 12-semester units (or equivalent)
    • Employed 10-20 hours per week: 9-semester units (or equivalent)
    • Employed 21 or more hours per week: 6-semester units (or equivalent)
    • Exceptions: Applicants may submit documentation that explains why they may be enrolled below minimum enrollment requirements.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the expectations of a PSS Scholar?

To remain in the PSS program, you must maintain a 3.0 GPA and continue to meet all eligibility requirements. You must meet with a case manager at least once per semester and attend all PSS events (approximately 2 workshops per semester). 

What kind of services do you offer?

PSS is a supplemental program and is not intended as a primary resource. We offer a suite of customized, comprehensive support services exclusively for PSS Scholars who are enrolled in our program, including rental assistance, auto repair, childcare assistance, textbook assistance, and more. Visit our programs and services page to learn more by clicking here. We expect scholars to maintain a source of income, such as employment, cash aid, work study, etc.

How long can I stay in the program?

PSS Scholars can remain in the program until 6 months following their graduation with their bachelor’s degree, or up to 5 years, whichever comes first. Scholars must continue to meet all eligibility criteria in order to stay in the program.

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 when the application re-opens in fall. 

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.

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 community resources listed below.

How to Apply

Part 1: Complete online application (approx. 15 minutes to complete) 

Part 2: Attach supporting documentation to your online 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. Download a budget template here or create your own.

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

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

949-478-1914

info@pssoc.org