Graduate & Professional Continuing Students

Special Circumstances and Appeals

In certain cases students may wish to submit information about their special financial circumstances, or an appeal to request an adjustment to their financial aid eligibility.

How to Appeal

Submit your request, along with copies of appropriate supporting documentation as indicated, through Required Info and Forms on your FAST page. Make sure your USC ID number appears on each supporting document. You will be contacted if additional documentation is required.

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 your 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.

Aid Adjustment

Changes to Federal Work-Study

Requesting to DECREASE Your Federal Work-Study Amount

In some cases, it may be possible to convert unused Federal Work-Study eligibility to Federal Direct PLUS or private loan eligibility.

If you would like to decrease your Federal Work-Study amount, submit a request. Explain why you are unable to use the full amount of your Federal Work-Study eligibility and state the amount you want to convert to loans.

Requesting to INCREASE Federal Work-Study

If you would like an increase to your Federal Work-Study amount, submit a request. Attach a memo from your employer supporting your request and include the additional amount you are requesting, your hourly rate, and the number of hours you work per week. Due to funding limitations, these requests are rarely approved.

Decreasing or Increasing Your Loan Amounts

Submit a request:

If your financial aid does not include the maximum annual Federal Direct (Stafford) Loan amount and you wish to have your loan increased.

If an approved loan amount is more than you wish to borrow.

Include the amount you wish to borrow for each semester that you are enrolled.

Class Level or Enrollment Changes

If you enroll in a different number of units than originally planned, please submit an Enrollment and Housing form with your updated information.

If you need to change the semesters for which you have been awarded aid, you may submit a new Enrollment and Housing Form.

Graduating Students Attending One Semester

If you plan to graduate after attending a single semester this academic year, your initial financial aid award will include only a prorated Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized (Stafford) Loan based on your projected enrollment (half-, three-quarter- or full-time). If you enroll for any unit count other than 6, 9 or 12, you may request an adjustment to your financial aid after you have registered for classes.

Budget Increase

The estimated cost of attendance (budget) used to determine your financial aid eligibility includes an amount for tuition and mandatory fees, based on your enrollment plans, as well as average amounts for standard educational expenses such as room and board. Also included are books, supplies, local transportation, and miscellaneous expenses. For more information about the standard student budget, please visit the Graduate & Professionals Costs page.

If your actual school-related expenses are higher than your current budget, you may be eligible for a budget increase. Budget increases are considered on a case-by-case basis, subject to federal and university policy. If approved, budget increases are typically funded with PLUS loans or private financing. Before submitting a request we ask that you visit www.nslds.ed.gov to see your current total loan debt and consider how this additional loan may affect your repayment post-graduation. Prior indebtedness may be considered in determining whether a budget increase will be approved.

Types of budget increases that can be considered are listed below. To request a budget increase, submit a request and include supporting documentation as indicated. To allow sufficient time for loan processing, appeals should be submitted at least two weeks before the end of your period of attendance.

Housing Changes

Your Financial Aid Summary indicates the housing status you reported when you applied for financial aid:

Living with parents or in property owned by a parent;

Living with relatives or in property owned by a relative (other than spouse);

USC housing; or

Non-USC housing, but not with parent(s) or relative(s) other than spouse.

If your housing plans change, submit an updated Enrollment and Housing Form. Please note that your eligibility for aid will be reduced if your housing plans change from "living in USC housing" or "non-USC housing but not with a parent or relative" to "living with a parent or relative."

Your eligibility for aid will not change if your living arrangements change from "USC housing" to "non-USC housing, but not with parent or relative", or from "living with a parent" to "living with a relative, other than the spouse."

Your eligibility for aid may increase if your housing plans change from "living with parents or relatives" to "living in USC housing" or "non-USC housing but not with a parent or relative." Please submit the following documentation to confirm this change in your housing plans:

Enrollment and Housing Form

Copy of Lease Agreement

Canceled Rent Check

Graduate Plus Loan Denial

If your application for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is denied, you may appeal the decision or reapply with an endorser. For more information, contact the Federal Direct Loan Servicer at studentloans.gov or (800) 557-7394.