ROTC and U.S. military veterans are encouraged to apply for all types of financial aid for which they may be eligible. The following information explains how any G.I. benefits you may receive will be coordinated with your financial aid.
If eligible, ROTC students and veterans can be considered for scholarships, grants, low-interest loans and Federal Work-Study.
Federal Need-Based Aid:
Includes Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans and Pell Grants.
Includes USC’s merit scholarships, the University Grant, and graduate assistantships and fellowships.
In general, because ROTC and veteran’s benefits are not considered as part of your monthly “income,” they are excluded from calculations of your eligibility for federal need-based financial aid.
For California residents pursuing a first bachelor’s degree, G.I. benefits are also excluded from calculations of your eligibility for Cal Grants. For more information about how G.I. benefits impact your federal financial aid, please refer to this PDF provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
More information about regulations governing ROTC and veteran’s benefits can be found here.
In general, your G.I. benefits will be excluded from calculations of your eligibility for need-based financial aid.
If, however, the combined amount of your G.I. benefits and your need-based financial aid exceeds your total Cost of Attendance, your University Grant may be reduced.
Example:USC Merit Scholarships & ROTC Awards
Student A applies for need-based financial aid at USC. Her Cost of Attendance for the academic year is $55,578. Her Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) is $14,758, so her calculated need is $40,820. Her ROTC/VB educational benefits would be excluded from the calculation of her financial need. She would receive her normal financial aid as follows:
Need: $40,820 Loans: $8,500 Work Study: $3,250 University Grant: $29,070 Total: $40,820
However, Student A will also receive $22,000 in ROTC/VB educational benefits for the academic year. Added to her need-based financial aid, this exceeds her Cost of Attendance. Therefore, her University Grant will be reduced as follows:
Cost of Attendance: $55,578 Need-based aid: -$40,820 ROTC/VB benefits: -$22,000 Difference: $7,242
Student A’s University Grant will be reduced by $7,242 to $21,828.
Students receiving an ROTC sponsorship: A USC merit scholarship may replace the additional $4,000 ROTC award. Please refer to the Scholarship Guide, available here.G.I. Benefits or ROTC awards and Tuition-only awards
Some awards are restricted to paying for tuition only. These awards include the Cal Grant, assistantships, fellowships and some types of scholarships. The total amount of these awards, plus the tuition-payment portion of your G.I. Benefits or ROTC award, cannot exceed the total cost of tuition.
How do I apply for financial aid?
Undergraduate students must complete both the FAFSA and the CSS/PROFILE and tax information.
Graduate students must complete both the FAFSA and USC’s Supplemental Form. For more information about applying for financial aid at USC, please click here.
Once your eligibility for financial aid has been determined, be sure to complete the “Next Steps” outlined on your Financial Aid Summary Letter to apply for any loans in your package. For more information about loans, including Federal Direct PLUS loans or private financing, please visit www.usc.edu/financialaid/loans
Both undergraduate and graduate students receiving G.I. benefits may appeal for additional funding.Undergraduate Students
Below is an example of what happens if an appeal increases your eligibility for need-based aid. Student A’s initial award included:
|Cost of Attendance:||$55,578|
Coordinating her G.I. benefits with her financial resulted in the following change:
|Cost of Attendance:||$55,578|
Student A then completed an appeal. Her Cost of Attendance was increased to include higher-than-average living expenses:
|Standard costs for off-campus room and board:||$11,580|
|Student A’s costs:||$12,000|
|Increase to Student A’s Cost of Attendance:||$420|
|Cost of Attendance:||$55,998|
Student A’s University Grant has been increased to cover the new Cost of Attendance.
Please note, however, that the University Grant cannot be increased above the initial award amount (in this case, $29,070), regardless of the final Cost of Attendance.
For more information about appeals, please visit http://www.usc.edu/admission/fa/applying_receiving/special/.
USC Office of Veteran’s Affairs (including Yellow Ribbon Program information)
Department of Veteran's Affairs
Several financing options exist to help you pay your USC expenses. We encourage you to take advantage of the financial resources USC has to offer and are here to help answer any questions you may have. Financial aid counselors are available by phone, e-mail, or in person. For more information, please visit www.usc.edu/contactfao.