Submitting Proof of Financial Support
International applicants (those who are, or will be, in the United States on a non-immigrant visa) must submit documented evidence of financial support. The U.S. government requires that all international applicants provide proof of ability to pay tuition and living expenses for themselves and their dependents (if applicable) before a formal letter of admission and an I-20 or DS-2019 Eligibility Certificate can be issued.
This document, stating your ability to pay for the first academic year (nine-twelve months) of tuition and expenses, must be verified by a bank and dated within the last nine months. Applicants who are relying on support from their home government or other official agency (e.g., Fulbright, AMIDEAST) must send USC a financial guarantee letter—preferably a bank letter—with the sponsor’s name and address. A missing financial statement will delay the processing of the I-20 or DS-2019.
Please only submit your financial documents once you have submitted your online application for admission and received your ten digit USC ID. Your USC ID must be written on all documents.
Need-Based Financial Aid and Application Fee Waivers
International students are not eligible for application fee waivers, or for federal or university need-based financial aid administered by the USC Financial Aid Office. (Permanent residents of the United States and naturalized U.S. citizens are eligible for all of the above.)
Department Fellowships, Assistantships and Merit-Based Tuition Waivers
International students are eligible for academic department fellowships and teaching and research assistantships, and for merit-based tuition waivers. For more information, contact the department to which you are seeking admission.
On-campus jobs (for example, in a university library), or off-campus jobs affiliated with USC (for example, in the university's marine biology research center), may be undertaken with permission from the Office of International Services. The job must be funded solely with departmental funds. Federal Work-Study jobs are not open to international students.
Grants, Scholarships and Financing Programs
You may also apply for certain private financing programs. Contact the lender directly for citizenship requirements.
Important Financial Considerations
Please note that international graduate students should not expect to support themselves through employment while attending the university. If you hold a student visa, U.S. law requires you to enroll as a full-time student, with a minimum of eight units per semester. You may work no more than 20 hours a week during the fall and spring semesters. Jobs available on campus generally pay from $5 to $10 per hour.
Unless you are awarded a 50 percent teaching assistantship or research assistantship, you will need to rely on personal or family funds. Even if you are awarded an assistantship, you will probably receive your first paycheck at the end of the first month, after you have already incurred expenses.
Settling Your USC Bill
For information about fee settlement deadlines, late fees and your student billing account, click here.
Every USC student has a student account, which tracks all university charges and student payments (including grants, scholarships and loans). You will receive a statement every month showing an outstanding balance and/or payments you have made.
The USC Payment Plan enables you to pay your fall and spring semester tuition, fees and other university charges in 10 equal monthly installments (from August through May) with no accrued interest. A $65 application processing fee is charged for this service.