Financial Aid for Undergraduate Students
Students at USC benefit from federal, state and university financial aid programs administered by the Financial Aid Office and from scholarships, administered by the Office of Admission and various academic departments. USC also offers an interest-free monthly payment plan, a tuition pre-payment plan, and participates in long-term student and parent educational loan programs.
Although international students cannot receive financial aid, they may be eligible for scholarships offered by their schools or departments. International students should contact their departments directly for information about existing opportunities. International students may also be eligible for some private educational loans.
Application Procedures and Eligibility Requirements for Financial Aid
Detailed information, application procedures and deadlines for financial aid are available online at usc.edu/financialaid. To be eligible for federal, state and university financial aid programs students must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or other eligible non-citizens; have a valid Social Security number; meet Selective Service registration requirements; have a high school diploma, GED or equivalent; meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements; and meet all other eligibility requirements. Students must also complete all application requirements by the relevant deadline(s). For most federal and state awards, a minimum of half-time enrollment is required. Full-time enrollment is required for most university awards.
Scholarships awarded by the Office of Admission on the basis of academic achievement, leadership, service and talent are available through the Office of Admission, most academic departments at USC, alumni groups and outside agencies and foundations. Some of these awards require a separate application. In some cases, financial need is also considered. For more information, visit usc.edu/financialaid.
The Financial Aid Office may award University Grants to eligible students who meet all financial aid application deadlines.
Federal Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) are available for students with exceptional financial need. The SEOG is awarded only to eligible students who meet all application deadlines.
Cal Grants A and B are administered by the California Student Aid Commission. All undergraduate aid applicants who are residents of California are required to apply. Cal Grant A provides funds for partial tuition and fees. Cal Grant B recipients receive a subsistence award the first year and receive a subsistence award and tuition award in subsequent years.
The Federal Work-Study program enables eligible students to earn part of their financial aid award through employment either on campus or with an approved off-campus employer. Only students who meet all application deadlines are considered for this program.
Federal Student and Parent Loans
Federal Perkins Loans may be awarded to eligible students who meet all application deadlines. Repayment begins nine months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half time.
Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans are also available to eligible students. Repayment begins six months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half time.
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans are available to parents of dependent undergraduate students. Payments may be deferred while the student is enrolled at least half time.
Private Financing Programs
Private financing programs are available to help students and parents meet the costs of education by providing long-term financing options. Students should exhaust all federal Title IV assistance available, including Federal Pell Grants, the Federal Direct Stafford Loan and the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan before considering a private student loan program. The repayment terms of federal programs may be more favorable than the terms of private loan programs.
Financial Aid for a Second Bachelor’s Degree
Students who are pursuing their second bachelor’s degree are eligible for a limited number of financial aid programs, specifically the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan programs. Parents of dependent students may also borrow Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans.
Financial Aid for Enrollment in a Progressive Degree Program
In most cases, students admitted to a progressive degree program will be classified as undergraduate students for financial aid and registration purposes during the first eight semesters of college enrollment, regardless of whether they enroll in undergraduate or graduate courses. Beginning in the ninth semester, students will be considered graduate students for financial aid and registration purposes and are ineligible for undergraduate financial aid. Students are immediately classified as graduate students and are ineligible for undergraduate financial aid once all undergraduate degree requirements have been completed or the undergraduate degree is posted, even if they have completed fewer than eight semesters. For this reason, financial aid applicants may wish to schedule their courses such that undergraduate degree requirements are not completed prior to the eighth semester and the exhaustion of their undergraduate financial aid eligibility. Students who receive a research assistant or a teaching assistant award before completing eight semesters will be classified as graduate students and will be ineligible to receive undergraduate financial aid.
Financial Aid for Limited Status Enrollment
Students not admitted to a degree-seeking program who enroll as limited status students are not eligible for federal, state or university financial aid unless they meet one of the exceptions noted below.
Financial Aid Consortium Agreements
Students admitted to a degree-seeking or eligible certificate program at USC who enroll at another eligible institution in courses applicable to their USC degree or certificate may have those courses considered in USC’s determination of their eligibility for limited federal financial aid. The student’s total USC and/or non-USC enrollment must be at least half-time and a financial Aid Consortium Agreement must be completed. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.
Visiting students enrolled at USC as limited-status students may be eligible for limited federal financial aid through a Financial Aid Consortium Agreement if: 1) they are admitted to a degree-seeking or eligible certificate program at their home school; 2) their USC courses apply to their degree or certificate; and 3) their total USC and/or non-USC enrollment is at least half-time. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.
Financial Aid for Students Enrolled in Preparatory Course Work
Students enrolled at least half-time in undergraduate courses required for admission to a degree program may be eligible for limited Federal Direct Stafford Loan program funds. For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office.