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The Trojan Guardian Scholars Program at the University of Southern California

The Trojan Guardian Scholars program is committed to supporting current and former foster youth who attend the University of Southern California and to building a regional network that creates new pathways for college-bound students exiting the foster care system. Through providing comprehensive support services, the Trojan Guardian Scholar program helps enable students who attend the University of Southern California to experience the campus to its fullest and to achieve their goals of academic excellence, self-sufficiency, and successful professional careers in their desired fields.

  • On Campus Support & Services: 

    - Assistance applying for financial aid

    - Help identifying and maintaining scholarships

    - Budget workshops and financial counseling

    - Potential year-round on-campus housing

    - Supplemental academic mentoring

    - Registration and enrollment assistance

    - Referrals to health and counseling services

    - Internship, fellowship, and career counseling

    - Peer mentoring and student programming

    - Cohort social events and holiday dinners

    The Trojan Guardian Scholars program provides a variety of wrap-around support services for students attending USC. TGS as an organization does not provide direct scholarships; however, it does provide comprehensive support in navigating, obtaining, and maintaining various forms of financial support available to current and former foster youth.

  • The TGS program is a working partnership between the University of Southern California, private foundations, public agencies, private citizens, and other regional institutions of higher education. This partnership allows us to support our students through expanded internship and academic opportunities, and to build a regional pipeline between secondary and post-secondary institutions. Our goal is to increase the number of foster youth who apply to all colleges in the region and ensure they thrive once they are there. If you are interested in partnering with us, either through supporting our Trojan Guardian Scholars or through helping build our larger network please contact us.

  • USC’s Financial Aid Office provides generous financial aid packages to admitted students with demonstrated need. For most TGS students, the combination of university aid, federal grants, and outside funding for foster youth covers the total costs of their entire higher education. For more information please visit the USC Financial Aid website: 

  • You must first apply directly to USC and be admitted as a first-year or transfer student. TGS is primarily a support program for students who are admitted to and choose to attend USC; it is not a pre-college or direct admission program.

    To apply to USC, you need to fill out the Common Application and other required materials by the January 15 deadline. For more information, visit the USC Admission website: or call their office at (213) 740-1111.

    Once students have applied, TGS members are identified through their financial aid application and do not go through an extra application process. We welcome all students who have experience in the foster care system, regardless of the length of their case or their current living situation. TGS also welcomes students who at any point have been wards of the court, emancipated minors, homeless, or in kinship care. If you are a current USC student who has not been contacted by our program and believe you might be eligible please contact us.

  • For further information, please contact

The Trojan Guardian Scholars Program at the University of Southern California