The University of Southern California offers various overseas programs for both our undergraduate and graduate students.
Receiving Financial Aid for Overseas Programs:
Most students who apply for financial aid receive an award for the full academic year. When you study abroad, the department sponsoring your trip will provide an overseas cost sheet for the program, which allows the Financial Aid Office to adjust your cost of attendance for your semester. We automatically make cost of attendance adjustments for the following programs:
- Annenberg Undergraduate Overseas Studies
- Annenberg Graduate Overseas Studies
- Dornsife Office of Overseas Studies
- Marshall Undergraduate Study Abroad Programs
- Marshall International Exchange Program for Graduate Students
- USC School of Architecture
- USC School of Social Work
If your department is not affiliated with one of the schools or programs listed above, please have your academic advisor or the instructor leading the overseas program submit a copy of the department’s overseas cost sheet to the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office will evaluate the program to determine if it is eligible for financial aid.
To ensure that you receive the aid for which you are eligible:
Pay attention to financial aid application deadlines: Apply for financial aid as usual by submitting all your required documents by the posted deadlines. Please refer to the undergraduate or graduate student requirements listed in Applying For and Receiving Financial Aid.
Inform the Financial Aid Office of any changes to your enrollment plans: Both undergraduate and graduate students should submit a new Enrollment and Housing Form any time their enrollment plans for the study abroad semester differ from their current USC enrollment. For example, an undergraduate student enrolled full-time at USC, but enrolling in fewer than 12 units while studying abroad, will need to submit an Enrollment and Housing Form so that we can adjust the cost of attendance.
Evaluating Your Overseas Budget
Most financial aid, including scholarships, grants, loans, and tuition assistance benefits, is transferrable to official USC study abroad programs; however, the amount of aid will be adjusted based on the program-specific cost of attendance. Some types of financial aid may be reduced if the overseas program costs less than one semester of on-campus USC study. When we decrease your budget, we will reduce your financial aid in the following order:
- Work-Study (because work-study cannot be used overseas).
- University Grants.
Undergraduate students: Please notify our office if you or your family has new, special circumstances that should be considered in the calculation of your Estimated Family Contribution (e.g., new out-of-pocket medical expenses, a recent job loss). For additional information, please see Change in Income/Resources.
Sometimes your overseas cost may exceed that of a standard USC semester. In this case, students and/or parents may be eligible to apply for additional loans through the Financial Aid Office to cover the additional cost. With these budget adjustments, it is important to note:
- No additional grants (including federal, state or university) will be awarded to cover program costs that exceed the standard on-campus USC budget.
- Students cannot receive work-study funds while they are studying abroad. Work-study funds will be replaced by additional loan eligibility.
If your expenses abroad are greater than those listed on your overseas cost sheet, you may submit a budget appeal to our office. Once we receive your appeal with documentation of your increased costs, we can adjust your budget accordingly.
USC Merit Scholarship Recipients
Students receiving USC Merit Scholarships that cover tuition only (e.g., Presidential, Trustee) may receive the same dollar amount they would receive at USC, as long as the awards are applied to tuition only. For example, if you have a Presidential award (a USC half-tuition award) of $11,400 per semester and your tuition for the Czech Republic is $15,448, you can receive $11,400 toward the overseas tuition cost.
If you have a Presidential award (a USC half-tuition award) of $11,400 per semester and your tuition for the Japan program is $5,811, you can receive $5,811 toward the overseas tuition cost.
Summer Overseas Adjustments
We make adjustments for the following summer overseas programs:
- Maymester program to Singapore.
- Public Policy Hong Kong Program (for students enrolled in PPD 613B).
- Dornsife Spanish Summer Program in Madrid.
- Annenberg Summer Overseas Programs.
- Social Work Summer Global Immersion Overseas Program.
In addition to the budgets from these departments, it is imperative that you submit a Summer Loan Request Form. This form will assist us in confirming your enrollment and processing your summer loans. The Summer Loan Request Form is typically available by mid-March for the upcoming summer. Summer Loan Request Forms can be found by visiting My Financial Aid & Documents and clicking on the Document Library.
Non-Traditional Overseas Programs
The university also offers overseas programs that do not offer course credit or satisfy course or degree requirements, usually during non-enrollment periods or spring breaks. For the programs listed below, students are eligible to receive only private loans to cover the overseas costs of attendance:
- ExCEL – International Experiential Corporate Learning Program
This program may be offered during winter break (between enrollment periods) or during spring break. It is not offered for course credit. Even though the student’s budget for the spring term may be increased, it may be funded only with a private loan.
- Externship Program – Price School of Public Policy in Washington, D.C.
This program may be offered during spring break. Even though it occurs during an enrollment period, it is not course-related and does not earn credit toward a degree.
Students who wish to establish a Consortium Agreement between USC and an overseas institution may do so. However, please be aware that only very limited types of financial aid are permitted under a Consortium Agreement and detailed conditions must be met. Interested students should review the Consortium Agreements: Guide and Instructions for Students informational sheet.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and Overseas Financial Aid:
For your financial aid to be disbursed in the semester after your overseas travel, your official transcripts from overseas need to be on file with the USC Office of Degree Progress.
Please note that we are not able to evaluate your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) without an official transcript from your overseas program on file with the USC Office of Degree Progress. We are not able to accept a photocopy or any other form of your transcript that is not an official, sealed copy from the overseas institution.
There may be a delay in receiving your official transcripts from an overseas institution via the U.S. Postal Service. If you have any concerns, please confirm with the overseas institution when the transcripts were mailed.
To prevent any delay in the submission of your transcript, please make sure you have paid any outstanding charges (e.g. room and board, etc.) you may owe the overseas institution.
When Can Students Expect to Receive Their Overseas Financial Aid?
Students studying abroad in the fall semester will receive their Financial Aid Summaries in mid-June. Students studying abroad in the spring semester will be notified of their financial aid status in early December. Students studying abroad in the summer semester will be notified in mid-April.
Your federal aid will be disbursed 10 days before the start of fall- and spring-semester overseas programs.
For the summer semester, federal aid will be disbursed on the first day of classes. Per federal regulations, the Financial Aid Office will not release any aid prior to the start of the program. If a program starts after the first day of USC classes, students should wait until all their aid has been disbursed, then contact our office to reverse any late fees or finance charges that may be assessed.