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.

Required From All Students:

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1 but no later than March 2, 2015:

  • Submit the application at www.fafsa.gov.
  • Use your best estimates of 2014 parent and student income.
  • USC’s Federal School Code is 001328.

Check your USC e-mail or your Financial Aid Summary and Tasks (FAST) Page at My Financial Aid & Documents to determine your next steps.

May Also 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 the following applications. 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 2:

  • Submit the application at profileonline.collegeboard.com.
  • Use your best estimates of 2014 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 2:

  • Submit the application at www.needaccess.org.
  • Be sure to include your Social Security number and USC ID.
  • Use your best estimates of 2014 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 2, 2015

  • California Residents Only: Apply for a Cal Grant, If Required
    California residents who have completed fewer than 24 units at USC and are not currently receiving a Cal Grant must apply.
    • If you have completed fewer than 24 units at USC, print a paper Cal Grant GPA Verification form available at: www.csac.ca.gov. 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 2, 2015.
    • If you have completed 24 or more units at USC, we will automatically upload your GPA information to the California Student Aid Commission. Do not submit a GPA Verification form.

As Soon As Possible, If Applicable:

  • Tax Return Information
    Submit student's and parent's final federal 2014 tax return information as soon as possible, if requested. Please visit My Financial Aid & Documents and follow the instructions provided. You will need your completed, final, signed federal tax return, along with schedules and W-2 forms, when submitting this information.
    • For the fastest processing, submit tax return information online. After you submit your tax return 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 2014 federal income tax return must:
    If you are not legally required to file a federal income tax return for 2014, complete an online 2015-2016 Student and/or Parent Non-Filing Statement Form.

If your parents . . .
  • are married and filed separately or are unmarried, divorced, or separated and live together: Submit information for both tax returns.
  • are unmarried, divorced or separated and do not live together: Provide information from your custodial parent's 2014 federal tax return. If your parents filed jointly for 2014, 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 2014: Complete an online 2015–2016 Parent Non-Filing Statement form.
  • file a tax return or earn money in another country : Complete an online 2015-2016 Parent Non-Filing Statement form and submit translated documentation of their income, such as a foreign tax return, employer statement, etc. Convert all amounts to U.S. dollars. Please also complete an online 2015-2016 Parent Income and Expense form.
  • Noncustodial Parent Information
    • If your parents were married when your prior year financial aid was determined, but have now separated or divorced, the noncustodial parent must provide financial information. If your custodial parent filed a Need Access Application, your noncustodial parent should complete the online Need Access Noncustodial Parent Application. If your custodial parent filed a CSS PROFILE application, please request a Noncustodial Parent Statement Form from USC.
    • USC will determine an expected contribution for the custodial parent, the non-custodial parent, and the stepparent, as appropriate.
  • 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 federal 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 most recent federal 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.
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