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Frequently Asked Questions


I'm an international student (not an American citizen and not a U.S. permanent resident). Am I eligibile for any of these scholarships?

Yes, you may apply for a USC Dornsife Continuing Student Scholarship because most of them are merit-based rather than need-based. Scholarships which are restricted to American citizens are listed as such in their descriptions. You will still be considered for all scholarships for which you are eligible.


If I received a USC Dornsife Continuing Student Scholarship last year, am I guaranteed a scholarship for this upcoming year?

Unless otherwise stated, USC Dornsife Continuing Student Scholarships are one-time awards. Receiving (or not receiving) a scholarship a previous year has no bearing on whether or not you will receive a scholarship for this upcoming year.


I am a Trustee Scholar and my USC tuition is already covered in full by my Trustee Scholarship. Can I use a USC Dornsife Continuing Student Scholarship award for living expenses?

USC Dornsife Continuing Student Scholarships may only be used toward university tuition costs. They will not cover housing, books, fees, or meal plans.

If you are a Trustee, Mork, or Stamps Scholar planning to study abroad, you may apply for a Gold Family Scholarship to help cover the cost of your study abroad program. Please click here for more information.




I noticed that some of the scholarships list "financial need" as part of their selection criteria. How do I share information about my financial situation with the scholarship selection committee?

Please use the "Optional Essay" box to share with us any information that you feel would be useful for the scholarship committee to keep in mind as your application is being reviewed. This includes information about your financial situation, as well as any other information that was not addressed elsewhere in your application. Please be sure to adhere to the character limit, as the application will cut off your essay when the character limit has been exceeded.


I noticed that some of the scholarships have additional essay prompts. If I would like to be considered for one of these scholarships, how do I submit my essay?

If you would like to apply for a scholarship which lists an additional essay prompt, please use the final essay box on the application labeled "Additional Essay". Select the scholarship to which you would like to apply and write an essay addressing the special prompt for that particular scholarship. The additional prompts are listed on the Scholarship Descriptions page. Please be sure to adhere to the character limit, as the application will cut off your essay when the character limit has been exceeded.

To apply for another scholarship that requires an additional essay, click on the "+" sign in the bottom right corner below the last essay box. You will be able to select a second scholarship name and write a second additional essay.


If I submit an additional essay or optional essay, do I still have to submit a personal statement?

Yes, even if you submit one or more supplemental essays, you must still submit a personal statement.  We want to be able to consider your application for all possible scholarships, not only the handful of scholarships which require financial need or the submission of an additional essay.


If I applied for a USC Dornsife Continuing Student Scholarship in a previous year, can I use the same personal statement for this year’s application?

While you may certainly write about the same topic,we highly recommend that you modify your personal statement, as the committee reviewing your application will have access to information submitted in previous years. You can include new or updated information, describe how your experience or life story has changed in the last year, or take the opportunity to refine your writing.


How do I upload my USC Completed Course Summary and Financial Aid Summary?

Log in to myUSC and download your Completed Course Summary from OASIS. If you are using a Safari or Google Chrome browser, select "Print," then "Save As PDF."  Save the document with the file name in the format "LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_COURSES" and attach it to your online application. If you are unable to save the document as a PDF, copy and paste the entire document into a Microsoft Word file and save it as a Word document. Repeat these steps for your Financial Aid Summary, saving the document with the file name in the format "LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_FINANCIALAID".


If I don't receive financial aid, do I have to submit a Financial Aid Summary?

If you do not receive financial aid from USC in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, or work-study, you will not be able to download a Financial Aid Summary from OASIS. However, you will not be able to submit the Continuing Student Scholarship application if you do not upload a document to the Financial Aid Summary tab. If you do not receive financial aid from USC, please type "I do not receive financial aid from USC" into a Microsoft Word document and upload this to your application.


What should be on my resume?

Feel free to use a resume that you may have used for other types of awards or academic purposes. If using a job resume, be sure to add some information about your extracurricular activities, volunteer experiences, and academic achievements (if you haven't already done so). Your resume should present a clear picture of your general involvements in college so far. If you are a freshman, we understand that you haven't spent much time in college yet, so please feel free to include information about your involvement and academic achievements in high school. A helpful guide to resume writing published by the USC Career Center can be found here




What is the Online Recommendation Document?

The Online Recommendation Document is an online form which assists in streamlining the process of requesting, writing, and evaluating scholarship recommendations. We ask that you first meet with the professor recommending you for a USC Dornsife Continuing Student Scholarship, and then email USC Dornsife Admission the professor's name and contact information. The professor will receive from us a link to the Online Recommendation Document which he or she can use to complete a recommendation for you. Please click here for more details on the process of requesting a faculty recommendation.


Who is eligible to write a recommendation?

Recommendations must come from USC Dornsife faculty members. Teaching Assistants (TAs) and academic advisors are not eligible to write recommendations. Faculty members must be USC Dornsife professors and not professors or instructors from another USC school (e.g. Marshall, Viterbi, Annenberg, etc.). Writing 140/150/340 instructors or CORE 111/112 instructors are fine. If you have two majors, one within USC Dornsife and one outside USC Dornsife, your faculty recommendation still must be written by a USC Dornsife faculty member.


How will I know if you've received my faculty recommendation?

We will send you an email once we have received and processed your faculty recommendation. If you have not received an email from us, please feel free to email or call our office ( or (213) 740-5930) to check on the status of your faculty recommendation. You may also want to check in with your faculty recommender to see if he or she has sent in your recommendation.


My faculty recommender has already written a letter of recommendation for me for another purpose.  Can he or she send you this letter instead of completing the Online Recommendation Document?

Yes, we will accept a letter of recommendation in lieu of the Online Recommendation Document.  We will email your faculty recommender instructions on how to submit a letter of recommendation along with the information about the Online Recommendation Document.  This will allow your faculty recommender to send in your recommendation in the format that is most convenient for him or her.


If you have any other questions about USC Dornsife Continuing Student Scholarships, please contact the USC Dornsife Office of Admission by phone at (213) 740-5930 or by email at