USC administers one of the largest financial aid budgets in the country, and more than 60 percent of students receive some type of financial aid. Awards are made to students who demonstrate financial need and meet all eligibility requirements and deadlines.
It is your responsibility to reapply for financial aid each year for the next academic year, adhering to published deadlines and procedures. Application information is available online in early December at usc.edu/financialaid.
Undergraduate Financial Aid
Undergraduate financial aid includes merit scholarships, need-based grants, low-interest loans and work-study.
USC has a long tradition of meeting the full amount of the USC-determined financial need for undergraduate financial aid applicants who satisfy eligibility requirements and meet all deadlines. In determining financial aid eligibility, the USC Financial Aid Office strives to distribute funds as equitably and generously as possible. The family is expected to be the primary source of funding for college; financial aid is intended to supplement the family contribution.
Financial aid applicants must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens, and must meet all other eligibility criteria. Applicants must meet the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) published in the USC Catalogue (usc.edu/catalogue). If you receive financial aid, the combination of any merit-based awards and all financial aid may not exceed your USC-determined financial need. The total amount of financial aid you receive, both need-based and merit-based, cannot exceed your total cost of attendance.
Graduate and Professional Student Financial Aid
As a graduate student, the primary source of support is likely to be your academic department or professional school. Together with the Graduate School, USC departments and schools award a long list of grants, graduate fellowships and assistantships. Awards from agency sponsors and scholarships from sources outside the university are also significant sources of support.
Doctoral students at USC receive extensive financial support that enables them to devote full attention to their Ph.D. studies.
Graduate and professional students who meet eligibility requirements may also apply for low-interest federal student loans and work-study through the Financial Aid Office.
Financing Options for Undergraduate and Graduate Students
In addition to financial aid and scholarships, USC has several financing options available. The USC Payment Plan is a short-term option that allows the family to divide the cost of each semester into five monthly payments. The USC Tuition Prepayment Plan lets the family prepay tuition for future semesters at the current rate.
In addition, several federal and private long-term loan programs enable the family to spread the cost of education over several years.
Prior to applying for private financing, students should exhaust all Federal Title IV assistance available, including Federal Pell Grants, the Federal Stafford Loan, Federal Graduate PLUS Loan and the Federal Parent PLUS Loan. The repayment terms of federal loan programs may be more favorable than those for private loan programs.
Federal student loans are required by law to provide a range of flexible repayment options, including but not limited to, income-based repayment and income-contingent repayment plans, and loan forgiveness benefits, which other student loans are not required to provide. Federal Direct Loans are available to students regardless of income.
- Private student loans may not be included in Federal Direct Consolidation Loans.
- Private student loans are not eligible for Federal Income-Based Repayment Plans.
- Private student loans are not eligible for Federal Economic Hardship Deferments.
For More Information
Complete details are available at usc.edu/financialaid. The best way to contact the Financial Aid Office is by telephone at (213) 740-4444. Additionally, financial aid representatives are available by email via usc.edu/contactfao.