The University of Southern California administers one of the largest financial aid programs in the United States. We have made a long-standing commitment to meeting 100% of the USC-determined financial need for undergraduates who satisfy all eligibility requirements and meet all deadlines. Thus, it is extremely important for you to submit all necessary paperwork by the stated deadlines.
Financial aid consists of grants and scholarships, loans, and federal work-study. Families are expected to pay their share of a USC education, with students applying summer earnings toward the cost of a degree. Financing options include an interest-free tuition installment plan.
Grants and scholarships are types of financial aid that do not have to repaid. Sources for grants and scholarships include federal and state governments, the university, your academic department or professional school, community and civic groups, and private industry. Grants are need-based, awarded to U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens on the basis of student and parent assets and income. Scholarships are merit-based, awarded to students with special achievements, distinctions, or other qualifications.
Loans are funds which are borrowed and must be repaid with interest. They typically involve orgination fees (and may involve other extra fees) in addition to interest.
If Federal Work-Study eligibility is listed on your financial aid award, you can apply for an approved Federal Work-Study job. Most of these jobs are on campus. You must demonstrate financial need, meet all application deadlines, be a U.S. citizen and enroll for the number of units upon which your financial aid award was based. Work-Study awards range from $800 to $3,500 per year. Every two weeks, you will receive a paycheck from your employer for the hours worked, which can be used for personal and miscellaneous expenses not billed by the university. When your total earnings equal the amount of your award, you must stop working — unless your employer agrees to hire you as a non-Work-Study employee.
To apply for and receive need-based financial aid, students must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. To apply for need-based aid, USC requires both the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the College Search Service (CSS) Financial Aid Profile. (Noncustodial parents must also complete the CSS Noncustodial Profile.)
California residents should remember to also complete the Cal Grant application. When completed, federal tax returns submitted for both you and your parents should be faxed to the USC Office of Financial Aid.
For more detailed information on applying for need-based grants, loans, and federal work-study, click here.