APPLYING FOR FINANCIAL AID

Be sure to meet all deadlines and eligibility requirements to be considered for need-based financial aid. Remember that continuing students must reapply for financial aid each year. Students who miss any deadline or do not respond in a timely manner to requests for additional information may receive reduced financial aid, based on available funding.

As part of our ongoing efforts to reduce processing time and eliminate unnecessary information, we have revised our application process for continuing students.

PLEASE REVIEW THIS INFORMATION CAREFULLY.

Required From All Students:

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 2 but no later than March 3:

  • Submit the application at www.fafsa.gov.
  • Use your best estimates of 2013 parent and student income.
  • USC’s Federal School Code is 001328.

Check your USC E-MAIL or your FINANCIAL AID STATUS CHECK PAGE at MY FINANCIAL AID & DOCUMENTS to determine your next steps.

May Be Required From Some Students:

To determine your eligibility for institutional financial aid, you may be required to complete an additional step. Please view your status by logging in to myUSC or My Financial Aid and Documents to find out if you need to complete one of these steps. Only one of these forms is needed; please do not complete both.

Complete the CSS PROFILE APPLICATION as soon as possible, but no later than March 3:

  • Submit the application at profileonline.collegeboard.com.
  • Use your best estimates of 2013 parent and student income.
  • Be sure to include your Social Security number.
  • USC’s CSS School Code is 4852.
  • USC does not participate in the CSS IDOC program.

-OR –

Complete the NEED ACCESS APPLICATION as soon as possible, but no later than March 3:

  • Submit the application at www.needaccess.org.
  • Be sure to include your Social Security number and USC ID.
  • Use your best estimates of 2013 parent and student income.
  • Select “University of Southern California” from the drop-down menu. A school code is not required.
  • The discounted application fee for USC students is $20.

Detailed instructions for completing the Need Access application are available here.

REMINDER: To ensure you submit all the information and documents required to complete your application, please review all e-mails from the Financial Aid Office and periodically check the status of your financial aid application.

March 3, 2014

  • California Residents Only: Apply for a Cal Grant
    California residents who have completed fewer than 24 units at USC and are not currently receiving a Cal Grant must apply.
    • Skip to Step 4 if you are currently receiving a Cal Grant or if you have completed 24 units or more units at USC. We will automatically upload your GPA information to the California Student Aid Commission.
    • If you have completed less than 24 units at USC, download the 2013-2014 Cal Grant GPA Verification Form. Fill out the student portion of the form and sign it.
    • Ask the registrar at the school you attended prior to USC to verify your GPA (grade point average) on the form. Make a copy of the form for your records and mail it to California Student Aid Commission by March 3, 2014.
    • If you have completed 24 or more units at USC, we will automatically upload your GPA information to the California Student Aid Commission

As Soon As Possible, If Applicable:

  • Tax Return Information
    Submit student's and parent's federal tax information as soon as possible, if requested. Please visit My Financial Aid & Documents and follow the instructions provided. You will need your completed, signed tax return, along with schedules and W-2 forms, when submitting this information.
    • USC does not require state tax returns.
    • For the fastest processing, submit tax information online. After you submit your tax information, we will update your status and let you know if we need any additional information, including a copy of your tax return for verification purposes.
    Students and parents not legally required to file a 2013 federal income tax return must:
    If you are not legally required to file a federal income tax return for 2013, submit a completed 2014-2015 Student and/or Parent Non-Filing Statement Form.
If your parents . . .
  • are married and filed separately: Submit information for both tax returns.
  • are divorced or separated: Provide information from your custodial parent's 2013 federal tax return. If your parents filed jointly for 2013, submit information from that return. If your custodial parent has remarried, submit information for him/her and your stepparent. You will be advised if tax information from your non-custodial parent is required.
  • are not legally required to file a federal income tax return for 2013: Submit a completed 2014–2015 Parent Non-Filing Statement form.
  • file a tax return in another country : Submit a 2014-2015 Parent Non-Filing Statement form indicating that they are filing a foreign return and attach translated documentation of their income, such as a foreign tax return, employer statement, etc. Convert all amounts to U.S. dollars. Please also submit a completed 2014-2015 Parent Income and Expense form.
  • CSS Noncustodial Parent Form
    If the parents were married in 2012, but separated or divorced during 2013, the noncustodial parent will be required to submit the CSS Noncustodial PROFILE.
    • USC requires noncustodial parents to report their income, assets and other information as part of the financial aid application process.
    • USC will determine an expected contribution for the custodial parent, the non-custodial parent and the stepparent, as appropriate.
    • USC will provide the student with a CSS Noncustodial PROFILE when this document is required.
  • Special Circumstances
    If your family has special circumstances you would like us to consider such as job loss, salary decrease or illness, please submit a detailed letter and supporting documentation.
  • Business Owners
    Parents who are business owners must also submit a copy of their business tax documents to the Financial Aid Office. For each business, submit a copy of your federal K-1 statement, if applicable, and a copy of the first five pages of the corporate tax return or partnership tax return.
  • Additional Documentation
    Provide copies of tax returns or any other additional documents or information requested by the Financial Aid Office within 10 business days of the request.
Important Notes:
    • Submit any additional documents requested by the Financial Aid Office within 10 days.
    • Documents submitted to the USC Financial Aid Office become the property of the university and cannot be returned to the student or duplicated for any purpose.
©2013 University of Southern California