Graduate & Professional Continuing Students

Eligibility Requirements

Before you apply for financial aid, make sure you meet the following requirements,

To apply for federal financial aid, all applicants to USC’s graduate programs must:

Be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens;

Possess a valid Social Security number;

Be registered with the Selective Service System (if applicable);

Not be in default on a federal student loan;

Be admitted to a degree-granting program of study at USC, or an eligible certificate program;

Be enrolled in a minimum of 4 units per semester in a master’s degree program, or 3 units in a doctoral program, or be enrolled in a course considered full-time by the registrar (thesis/dissertation); and

Make satisfactory academic progress toward completion of their degree.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal and state regulations require that financial aid recipients show Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their degree objective.

Please note: The SAP policy differs by grade level. Undergraduate students should click here for more information.

Understanding the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

To satisfy USC's Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, students must:

· Meet a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA);

· Earn a minimum number of units for credit each semester (Pace of Progression); and

· Complete their degree objective within a maximum number of semesters and a maximum number of attempted units (Maximum Time Frame Allowance).

You may also wish to review our Understanding Graduate SAP Policy brochure or the USC Catalogue.

Should you fail to meet one of the above criteria, a Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal may be necessary.

Submitting a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form for Graduate Students

Please see the USC Catalogue for details regarding the SAP review and appeal process.

If you are currently academically disqualified or if you have an activity restriction that prevents you from registering for classes, you may submit an SAP Appeal, but your appeal will not be considered until you have resolved those activity restrictions.

Your SAP appeal must include both the Academic Plan and Student’s Letter of Appeal:

 

SAP Appeal Form with Academic Plan

You and your academic advisor must submit an academic plan to our office. The information provided by your advisor on the form will considerably influence our review, so we encourage you to discuss with your advisor any concerns you might have about your proposed coursework before submitting the appeal to our office. It is important that your academic advisor signs the form and provides his/her contact information.

 

Student’s Letter of Appeal

You must submit a statement with your Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form explaining the reason for your appeal.

If your appeal is regarding a pace of progression or GPA deficiency you should provide a detailed account of:

What caused your work at USC to fall below acceptable standards? Think carefully and be specific.

How have those conflicts been resolved?

How do you intend to maintain good academic standards and progress toward your degree if your appeal is granted?

If your appeal is regarding maximum time frame allowance, please explain why you need more time to complete your program of study.

Statements should be typed and not more than two pages. If you have any supporting documentation, please submit it with this form.

If Your Appeal Is Approved

Academic Considerations: You will be expected to meet the enrollment and grade point goals set for each semester. We encourage you and your academic advisor to be realistic when planning the number of units you will complete each semester.

Financial Consideration: Your appeal will be funded with financial aid funds available at the time your appeal is reviewed.

If Your Appeal is Denied

Student who are not eligible for federal and university financial aid may be eligible for private loan financing and/or the USC Payment Plan.

How to Submit Your Appeal

Submit your letter and documentation to the Financial Aid Office, by logging into your USC FAST page.

We will notify you upon approval or denial of your appeal, or if we need more information.

 

Appeal Funding

Re-evaluation of your financial aid eligibility is subject to federal, state and university regulations, and is based on:

Availability of funds;

Timeliness of your original application for financial aid; and

Timeliness of appeal and the nature of the change in circumstances.

 

Notification

We will notify you upon approval or denial of your appeal, or if we require additional information.