Emergency Fund

Unexpected events can present significant financial barriers for QuestBridge Scholars and Alumni – whether it's a plane ticket to visit a family member in a dire situation or urgent medical costs not covered by insurance. That's why the QuestBridge Emergency Fund (QBEF) exists.

About the QBEF

Through the generosity of the QuestBridge community, the QBEF helps cover essential expenses related to health, safety, food, and more for Scholars and Alumni. Unable to log in? Fill out this form.

$ 30000

Granted to Scholars and Alumni to cover an emergency cost

Over 130

Grants awarded to Scholars and Alumni

Need financial assistance?

If you are a Scholar or Alum, you are eligible to receive a grant of up to $300 once per year to help cover an unplanned, unavoidable expense that puts significant financial pressure on you, and threatens your health, security, or ability to continue working or attending school.

Please note: The requested funding should be primarily for the applicant, and all other financial resources need to be exhausted in order to be eligible.


Determine if the expense qualifies

Review the FAQs for examples of likely eligible and ineligible expenses. Still unsure? Reach out to [email protected].


Submit application

The QBEF application is open year-round and awards funding on a rolling basis. 


Await notification

You will be notified within two weeks of submission about the status of your application.

Frequently asked questions

What are likely eligible and ineligible costs that the QBEF covers?

We encourage applicants to submit the expenses they need support with for consideration. Below are examples of typically eligible and ineligible expenses:

Likely Eligible Costs

  • Urgent medical expenses not covered by insurance, such as eyeglass replacement, hearing aids, dental emergencies, etc.
  • Insurance deductibles
  • Transportation due to a medical or domestic emergency
  • Transportation to travel to an immediate family member in a dire situation
  • Emergency childcare
  • Replacing or replenishing basic necessities due to natural disaster, fire, flood, or theft
  • Safety-related costs due to domestic violence or natural disaster (lock changing, temporary hotel stay, etc.)

Likely Ineligible Costs

  • Costs that the Scholars’ college may cover through financial aid, such as books or regular travel
  • School supplies
  • Parking tickets
  • Fees (late, overdraft, testing, legal, etc.)
  • Expected expenses such as rent


How often can I apply to receive an emergency grant?

While we understand that often emergencies are unexpected, in order to maximize the number of Scholars and Alumni who can receive support, each individual is allowed a maximum of one grant per 12-month period. If an applicant applies and is denied, they are welcome to re-apply with an updated application.


I am having trouble paying rent – can you help me with this?

The Emergency Fund is specifically set up for unexpected or unplanned emergency costs, not planned costs such as rent. However, if there was a surprise emergency cost that has made it very difficult for you to pay your rent, you are encouraged to apply for reimbursement of that cost instead. Please make sure to explain your circumstance in detail within the application.


If I already paid my credit card bill to cover this emergency cost, can I still apply for a reimbursement?

If there is an emergency that you are unable to cover, or there was a recent emergency (within the past two months) that you already paid for, but that has made it difficult for you to cover other essential costs, you are welcome to apply for reimbursement of the cost on your credit card bill. Please make sure to include a detailed receipt as well as the bill itself — feel free to black out additional confidential information.


I have an unplanned cost that is not an “emergency,” but it is very important. Can I apply? 

If it is a non-emergency that is an essential cost that has a significant impact on your everyday life, like needing to replace a pair of broken prescription eyeglasses or running out of funding for prescription medication, then it will likely fall under our definition of emergency. Please apply and include a complete description with as much detail as possible.


How much money will I receive?

At present, the maximum grant per grantee is $300 in a 12-month period. However, you can submit a request for a reimbursement with a higher amount, and we will reimburse the maximum amount that we can, up to $300.


If I receive an emergency grant, will I have to pay it back?

No. QuestBridge emergency grants are not required to be paid back. However, if you are in a more stable place financially in the future, you may  consider donating back to the fund in order to help out future generations of Scholars and Alumni.


Are the emergency funds taxable?

Generally, a reimbursement for costs already incurred is not taxable. If you are receiving money in advance of a cost, it is possible that you will be taxed for that amount. Each state is different, so please look up the specifics for your state. This also may depend on if you are currently employed or receiving unemployment benefits.


How do I submit a receipt or other documentation?

You will include any receipts or documentation in your initial application. If you have not yet made the purchase and your application is approved, you will be emailed a link to a form to upload the receipt once you have made the purchase. Please be sure your documentation includes your name, the date, the specific expense, and the cost. Feel free to black out any irrelevant or additional personal information.


Is this only a reimbursement or can I receive the funds before I have to pay anything?

Both options are available, in order to maximize the support that we can give. However, we will ultimately need a receipt or documentation for any check or reimbursement that we provide, so you must be prepared to submit a receipt even if we are giving you payment in advance. If you have an expected emergency cost that is upcoming, you can provide the exact cost information, with documentation, and then request funding. If funding is granted, you will be required to submit a receipt. If you ultimately do not submit a receipt, then you will not be eligible for future grant opportunities. If you are unsure about whether your documentation will be sufficient, please reach out directly to [email protected].


How will I receive my funds if I am granted them?

If we are able to grant you funding, you will receive an email from us, including next steps. We use an online system to issue checks.


Who do I contact if I have questions?

Please reach out to the QuestBridge team at [email protected]. We do our best to respond within two business days.