Frequently Asked Questions
Though we are available to answer your questions directly, you may find that many of your questions are answered in the Frequently Asked Questions below.
Billing and Student Accounts
How can I view and pay my bill online?
Visit www.usc.edu/epay and log in to your account through myUSC or OASIS.
Where can I find answers to billing questions?
For detailed billing information, a student account FAQ and a direct e-mail link, visit the Student Financial Services website.
For questions about specific transactions, contact the office that assessed the charge. For example, if you have a question about a housing deposit, contact USC Housing at (213) 740-2546.
Why has my federal and state aid not been credited to my billing account?
Federal and state financial aid — including the Direct (Stafford) Loan, Perkins Loan, SEOG grants, Pell Grants, and Parent PLUS Loans — are applied to student accounts the week before the semester begins.
What should I do if I still have a balance on my student account, after all my financial aid has been applied?
You can pay your balance online (via checking or savings account transfer, or credit card) at www.usc.edu/epay.
How do I receive any refund I am owed?
Contact the Cashier’s Office about your eligibility for a refund. For more information, visit www.usc.edu/sfs and select the Refunds link.
I’m a new student with a $300 credit to my student account. What does this represent?
This is the $300 you submitted for your Enrollment Commitment Deposit. Shortly after you have registered and tuition and fees have been assessed, this $300 will be applied to your tuition and fees. If your deposit has not been credited to your student account by early August, please contact Admission for assistance.
Federal Direct Loans
How do I contact the Direct Loan Program or find additional information?
|For Direct Loan Entrance Counseling (new borrowers only):||studentloans.gov|
|To access and sign your Master Promissory Note (Direct (Stafford) and PLUS loans):||studentloans.gov
|To determine who is servicing your Federal Direct Loans and to access your personal account information:||www.nslds.ed.gov
|For more information about loan consolidation under the Federal Direct Loan Program:||www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov
|For more information about your previous federal loans, including FFEL program loans:||www.nslds.ed.gov
Fees and Insurance
Why am I being charged for Student Health Insurance?
Student Health Insurance is mandatory, unless you can prove that you already have comparable health insurance coverage. For more information, visit www.usc.edu/uphc or call (213) 740-0551.
Why am I being charged for Tuition Refund Insurance?
Tuition Refund Insurance was charged to your account because you chose to accept it when you registered online for classes. If you have changed your mind, contact the Registrar’s office before the semester deadline. For more information, click here.
I paid for the Orientation program. Why am I being charged a New Student Fee?
When you paid for Orientation, the fee covered the cost of that individual program, including housing and food. The mandatory $350 New Student Fee, charged to every new student, is applied to Welcome Week programming offered at the start of the semester. For more information, contact the Office of Orientation Programs.
Financial Aid Application
How will I know if I need to submit any additional documents to the Financial Aid Office for my financial aid application?
Log in to your page. Any required documents necessary to complete your application will be listed on the [name] tab.
How will I know if the Financial Aid Office has received the documents I submitted?
If you submitted your documents online, you will receive an e-mail confirmation.
How can I view my Financial Aid Summary?
Log in to your page.
How is the expected family contribution calculated?
USC awards federal and state aid based on the Federal Methodology, a formula that takes into consideration family income, assets, unusual expenses (triggered by serious medical problems, unemployment, etc.), the number of children, the number of children in college and the age of the older parent (how close he or she is to retirement).
USC awards institutional aid based on the Institutional Methodology, which considers other assets such as home equity.
Can I count on receiving the same amount of aid every year?
USC makes every attempt to offer the same amount of aid to students every year — assuming that you meet all deadlines and renewal criteria, your family circumstances remain the same and funding is available.
You must reapply each year for federal, state and institutional (USC) need-based aid. To renew merit scholarships, you must meet the academic criteria. Some awards are non-renewable. Need-based loan eligibility can increase based on your academic class standing.
Will I receive loan funds automatically if my Financial Aid Summary includes loans?
No, you must apply for each loan. For instructions, see the Loans section of this website and click on the type of loans you have been awarded.
How do scholarships affect the other financial aid I may receive?
Any scholarships you receive will not be in addition to your need-based financial aid but will change the composition of your financial aid eligibility. In most cases, we allow outside scholarships to reduce the amounts of student loans or Federal Work-Study in your financial aid package. We make every attempt to preserve any university need-based grant you may have been awarded. The total financial aid award may also increase, allowing your Direct (Stafford) Loan to assist with the family contribution.
Each situation must be reviewed in light of availability of funds, state and federal regulations, and the university's financial aid policies. Federal regulations require that we consider all of your resources when determining your eligibility for financial aid. As a result, receipt of additional scholarship awards will most likely affect your eligibility for financial aid. Once your department notifies our office of a departmental award, we will revise your Financial Aid Summary and notify you of the revision.
If you are a recipient of an outside award not listed in your Financial Aid Summary, please send us a copy of your scholarship award notification so that we can adjust your financial aid package accordingly and notify you of the revision.
If you would like to know how your scholarship will affect your financial aid eligibility, please contact our office.
Where should scholarship checks be mailed?
Checks should be made payable to "University of Southern California" and mailed to:
USC Financial Aid Office
Attention: Aid Coordination
700 Childs Way, JHH 325
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0914
Student Loan Disbursements and Student Accounts
When will my student loan disbursement be credited to my student account?
If you have met all eligibility and enrollment requirements, federal regulations require that student loans be credited to your account no sooner than 10 days before the first day of classes for your first enrolled session in the semester.
How will I know that my student loan disbursement has been credited to my student account?
Federal regulations require that the USC Student Account Services/Cashier’s Office notify you via your USC e-mail account every time certain federal financial aid funds are credited to or debited from your USC Student Account. Funds included in these notifications are:
Federal Direct Subsidized (Stafford) Loans
Federal Direct Unsubsidized (Stafford) Loans
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans
Federal Perkins Loans
You can also check all the activity on your student account by logging in to USCe.pay.
Why haven’t my student loan disbursements been credited to my student account?
Before the Student Account Services/Cashier’s Office can credit your federal student loans to your student account, the Financial Aid Office must verify that you are eligible and have completed several important requirements.
You can visit OASIS via your studentloans.gov to complete or verify much of this information on your own.page and/or
Check your FAST page to confirm that you have completed all necessary requirements such as:
Have you completed a Direct (Stafford) Loan Request Form online to borrow the federal student loans included in your Financial Aid Summary?
Have you submitted all the documents listed as “Required” to determine your eligibility for financial aid?
Have you maintained financial eligibility for the loans in your Financial Aid Summary?
Does your actual enrollment level match the enrollment plan indicated on your Financial Aid Summary (full-time, half-time)?
Check studentloans.gov to confirm that you have completed all necessary requirements, such as:
Have you completed loan counseling online for first-time federal student loan borrowers?
Have you completed a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)?
If your parent is trying to obtain a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan:
Has your parent completed a Federal Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)?
Has your parent met the Department of Education’s credit criteria for the program?
If your parent has not met the Department of Education’s credit criteria for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan program:
Has your parent appealed the credit decision and was the appeal approved?
Has your parent applied with a credit-worthy endorser (co-borrower) who has been approved?
If your parent’s appeal was approved or if he or she applied with an approved endorser:
Have they completed a separate Federal Direct PLUS Loan MPN for each Federal Direct PLUS Loan in your Financial Aid Summary?
My student loan disbursements were previously credited to my student account, but I received a notification from the USC Student Account Services/Cashier’s Office that says the loans were removed. Why?
PLEASE NOTE: Sometimes the removal of your student loans from your account may be only temporary. Please check back in one to two business days to allow the Financial Aid Office to make adjustments.
Per federal regulations, the Financial Aid Office is required to reassess your eligibility for federal student loans when you:
Receive additional aid from an academic department or outside agency;
Appeal to reinstate eligibility after failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP);
Appeal to the Financial Aid Office to change your Estimated Family Contribution or Estimated Cost of Attendance;
Change your enrollment plan from one enrollment level to another (full-time, half-time);
Change your actual enrollment to a level that does not match your enrollment plan; or
Change an element on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that requires you to submit a correction to the Federal Processor or to sign your FAFSA.
Financial Aid Statistics
How much financial aid does USC award to undergraduates?
Financial aid from all university sources exceeds $300 million.
Over $540 million in financial aid was awarded from all sources for 2015-16 (including work-study and loans).
The total of gift aid to undergraduates from all sources (university, federal, state, other) is more than $380 million, which represents approximately 70 percent of all aid awarded.
Need-based university grant funding has increased by more than 55 percent (over $64 million) since 2009, an annual growth of 7.8 percent. During this same period, tuition increased at an annual growth rate of 4.2 percent.
A major goal of the current fundraising campaign is to raise over one billion dollars in endowment funds to provide additional scholarships and grants for USC students.
How many of USC’s undergraduates receive financial aid?
Nearly two-thirds of USC undergraduates receive some sort of financial aid, including need-based grants, merit scholarships, Federal Work-Study and loans. Among the fall 2016 entering first-year class, nearly two-thirds received some form of financial assistance, with approximately 21 percent receiving a USC merit-based scholarship.
USC enrolls more than 4,000 low-income undergraduate students (as defined by Pell Grant eligibility), more than most private research universities. In fall 2016, 21 percent of enrolled undergraduates received Pell Grants. Most importantly, low-income students at USC graduate at rates comparable to the overall undergraduate population.
How does the student loan debt of USC’s undergraduates compare to graduates nationally?
Statistics regarding student loan debt and default rates vary, which makes direct comparisons difficult.
Approximately 47 percent of currently enrolled USC undergraduates borrow from any loan program (including federal, parent, and/or private loans).
Approximately 40 percent of the graduates of the Class of 2016 (who entered USC as first-time students) borrowed from federal student loan programs (includes Federal Direct Student Loan and Federal Perkins Loan, but excludes parent and/or private loans). The average cumulative amount borrowed by these students was $22,539, virtually unchanged from the Class of 2015.
Approximately 9 percent of current USC undergraduate families borrow from the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan program; fewer than 4 percent access private loan funding.
The Institute for College Access and Success estimates that about 70 percent of all college seniors who graduated in 2015 had student loan debt, with an average of $30,100 per borrower, an increase of 4 percent from the prior year. USC’s average for the class of 2015 was $23,502. The national average includes public and private non-profit institutions. For students at private non-profit schools such as USC, it is estimated that 74 percent of students borrowed an average of $32,600.
Cohort Default Rate
The US Department of Education issues official cohort default rates for participating schools. The cohort default rate is the percentage of a school’s federal student loan borrowers who enter repayment within the cohort fiscal year and default within the cohort default period. This default rate may affect a school's participation in various student aid programs.
USC's three-year official cohort default rate for fiscal year 2012-13 is 1.7 percent.
For all institutions, the three-year official cohort default rate for fiscal year 2012-13 is 11.3 percent. For all public institutions, the cohort default rate is 11.3 percent, and for all private non-profit institutions the cohort default rate is 7.0 percent.