Undergraduate Continuing Students

How Aid Works

At USC, we work with families to meet a student’s full USC-determined financial need, with available funds from federal, state and university sources.

How Your Financial Aid Eligibility is Determined

Your eligibility for federal and university need-based aid is based on two factors: the Cost of Attendance and your Expected Family Contribution, as calculated by USC.

The Cost of Attendance includes USC tuition and fees, on- or off-campus housing, a meal plan, and allowances for the estimated costs of books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses (clothing, toiletries, entertainment and so forth).

Your Expected Family Contribution is determined by analyzing your family’s financial information, such as:

Your parents’ taxable and untaxed income;

Family assets (money in bank accounts, stock funds, real estate, home equity, etc.);

Any special circumstances your family has (such as a job loss or higher-than-average medical expenses);

The number of children in your family;

How many children are full-time undergraduates in college; and

How close your parents are to retirement age.

Calculating the EFC

All colleges use a need analysis called the Federal Methodology to determine the amount of federal student aid for which you may qualify. USC also uses its own institutional methodology to determine the amount of university aid for which you qualify, in addition to federal aid.

Your EFC is then subtracted from the COA:

Cost of Attendance
- Expected Family Contribution
------------------------------------------------
= Your Eligibility for Financial Aid