Undergraduate Prospective Students

Applying for Financial Aid

This section of our website contains key information to help clarify and explain the financial aid application process for new students and their parents applying for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Note: If you still need to apply for 2016-17 financial aid, please do so as soon as possible using the 2016-17 CSS PROFILE and FAFSA.

Eligibility for Funding: To receive financial aid, students must: be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens, be admitted to USC, maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, and not be in default on prior loans. Undergraduates awarded a California Dream Grant, and who meet all other eligibility requirements, are considered for limited university funding.

Prospective First-Year Students

To be considered for the USC Merit Scholarships, apply for admission by December 1. Apply for financial aid as soon as possible to ensure you receive notification of your financial aid eligibility before the May 1 National Candidates Reply Date. Respond to any additional requests from USC within 10 days. To monitor your status, log in to FAST.

Step 1: FAFSA and CSS PROFILE

February 14, 2017

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA Application online. The FAFSA determines your eligibility for the low-interest Federal Direct (Stafford) Loan as well as federal and state grants.

Submit as early as October 1, but no later than February 14, 2017.

Use your 2015 parent and student income. For the most efficient processing, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

USC’s Federal School Code is 001328.

Please note that the USC Financial Aid Office does not begin to process this information until November. Therefore, your submission may not be reflected in the Required Information and Forms Page until early November.

 

CSS PROFILE Application
Complete the 2017-2018 PROFILE Application online. The PROFILE information, along with your FAFSA information, will help determine your eligibility for USC student aid funds.

Use your 2015 parent and student income.

Be sure to include your Social Security number.

USC’s CSS School Code is 4852.

USC does not participate in the CSS IDOC program.

Submit as early as October 1, but no later than February 14, 2017

Step 2: Cal Grant

March 2, 2017

California Residents only: Apply for a Cal Grant

Submit the FAFSA and have the school you currently attend or most recently attended submit your certified GPA to the Cal Grant Program.

For the fastest, most secure processing, your school may upload GPA information directly to the California Student Aid Commission's system.

If electronic submission is unavailable, request that your school certify a paper Cal Grant GPA Verification form (available at www.csac.ca.gov).

AB540-Eligible Students: You must complete the online California Dream Act Application by March 2. Visit https://dream.csac.ca.gov for the application. You must also submit your GPA Verification Form to CSAC by March 2.

Step 3: Additional Information

As Soon As Possible, If Applicable:

Tax Return Information

Submit student's and parent's federal tax information as soon as possible, if requested. Please log in to access your Financial Aid Summary and Tasks (FAST) page and follow the instructions provided. You will need your completed, filed 2015 federal income tax return, along with all schedules and W-2 forms, when submitting this information.

USC does not require state tax returns.

For the fastest processing, submit tax information online. After you submit your tax information, we will update your status and let you know if we need any additional information, including a copy of your tax return or tax transcript for verification purposes

If you or your parents are not legally required to file a federal income tax return for 2015, submit a completed 2017-2018 Student and/or Parent Non-Filing Statement Form.

If your parents . . .

Are married and filed separately: Submit information for both tax returns.

Are divorced or separated: Provide information from your custodial parent's 2015 federal tax return. If your parents filed jointly for 2015, submit information from that return. If your custodial parent has remarried, submit information for him/her and your stepparent. You will be advised if tax information from your non-custodial parent is required.

Are not legally required to file a federal income tax return for 2015: Submit a completed 2017–2018 Parent Non-Filing Statement form.

File a tax return in another country: Submit a 2017-2018 Parent Non-Filing Statement form indicating that they are filing a foreign return and attach translated documentation of their income, such as a foreign tax return, employer statement, etc. Convert all amounts to U.S. dollars. Please also submit a completed 2017-2018 Parent Income and Expense form.

If you or your parents are affected under the HEROES Act: If you or your parents are unable to provide requested documentation due to military service, a national emergency, or a declared national disaster, please notify the Financial Aid Office in writing.

CSS Noncustodial Parent PROFILE Form

The CSS Noncustodial PROFILE can be accessed at: ncprofile.collegeboard.com

If your PROFILE information indicates that your parents are separated, divorced or never married, your noncustodial parent may be required to complete the CSS Noncustodial PROFILE form.

USC will determine an expected contribution for the custodial parent, the non-custodial parent, and the stepparent, as appropriate.

Business Owners

Parents who are business owners must also submit a copy of their business tax documents for each business to the Financial Aid Office. For each business, submit a copy of your federal K-1 statement, if applicable, and a copy of the first five pages of the corporate tax return or partnership tax return.

Additional Documentation

Provide copies of tax returns or any other additional documents or information requested by the Financial Aid Office within 10 business days of the request.

IMPORTANT NOTES

Submit any additional documents requested by the Financial Aid Office within 10 days.

Please note that the USC Financial Aid Office does not begin to process this information until November. Therefore, your submission may not be reflected in the Required Information and Forms Page until early November.

 

Step 4: Special Circumstances

Families occasionally experience unforeseen changes during the application period and/or academic year (such as a job loss, illness, etc.). If this applies to you, notify the Financial Aid Office in writing, outlining the circumstances. Include copies of appropriate supporting documentation, and write your USC ID number on the first page of each document. You will be contacted if additional documentation is required.

For more information, visit Special Circumstances and Appeals.

Checklist

Prospective First-Year Checklist

FAFSA fafsa.gov by February 14, 2017

CSS/PROFILE

profileonline.collegeboard.com

by February 14, 2017

Cal Grant (California residents only) www.csac.ca.gov by March 2, 2017
Tax returns or Non-Filing Statement forms FAST If requested, within 10 days
Monitor your status FAST

Prospective Transfer Students

To be considered for USC Merit Scholarhips, apply for admission by February 1. Apply for financial aid by March 2. To monitor your status, log in to FAST.

Step 1: FAFSA and CSS PROFILE

March 2, 2017

CSS/PROFILE Application

Complete the 2017-2018 PROFILE Application online. The PROFILE information, along with your FAFSA information, will help determine your eligibility for USC student aid funds.

Use your best estimates of 2015 parent and student income.

Be sure to include your Social Security number.

USC’s CSS School Code is 4852.

USC does not participate in the CSS IDOC program.

 

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA Application online. The FAFSA determines your eligibility for the low-interest Federal Direct (Stafford) Loan as well as federal and state grants.

Submit as early as October 1, but before midnight Eastern Time (9:00 p.m. Pacific Time) on March 2, 2017.

Use your best estimates of 2015 parent and student income.

USC’s Federal School Code is 001328.

Step 2: Cal Grant

March 2, 2017

California Residents Only: Apply for a Cal Grant

Transfer Students Not Currently Receiving a Cal Grant:

Submit the FAFSA and have the school you currently attend or most recently attended submit your certified GPA to the Cal Program. For fastest, most secure processing, your school may upload GPA information directly to the California Student Aid Commission's system.

If electronic submission is unavailable, request that your school certify a paper Cal Grant GPA Verification form, available at: www.csac.ca.gov

Transfer Students Currently Receiving a Cal Grant:

If you received a Cal Grant at your previous college, in addition to submitting the FAFSA by March 2, you will need to transfer the grant to USC after you are admitted, by posting a school change at WebGrants for Students.

Step 3: Additional Information

As Soon As Possible, If Applicable:

Tax Return Information

Submit student's and parent's federal tax information as soon as possible, if requested. Please log in to access your Financial Aid Summary and Tasks (FAST) page and follow the instructions provided. You will need your completed, filed 2015 federal income tax return, along with all schedules and W-2 forms, when submitting this information.

USC does not require state tax returns.

For the fastest processing, submit tax information online. After you submit your tax information, we will update your status and let you know if we need any additional information, including a copy of your tax return for verification purposes.

If you or your parents are not legally required to file a federal income tax return for 2015, submit a completed 2017-2018 Student and/or Parent Non-Filing Statement Form.

If your parents . . .

Are married and filed separately: Submit information for both tax returns.

Are divorced or separated: Provide information from your custodial parent's 2015 federal tax return. If your parents filed jointly for 2015, submit information from that return. If your custodial parent has remarried, submit information for him/her and your stepparent. You will be advised if tax information from your non-custodial parent is required.

Are not legally required to file a federal income tax return for 2015: Submit a completed 2017–2018 Parent Non-Filing Statement form.

File a tax return in another country: Submit a 2017-2018 Parent Non-Filing Statement form indicating that they are filing a foreign return and attach translated documentation of their income, such as a foreign tax return, employer statement, etc. Convert all amounts to U.S. dollars. Please also submit a completed 2016-2017 Parent Income and Expense form.

If you or your parents are affected under the HEROES Act: If you or your parents are unable to provide requested documentation due to military service, a national emergency, or a declared national disaster, please notify the Financial Aid Office in writing.

CSS Noncustodial Parent PROFILE Form

The CSS Noncustodial PROFILE can be accessed at: ncprofile.collegeboard.com

If your PROFILE information indicates that your parents are separated, divorced or never married, your noncustodial parent may be required to complete the CSS Noncustodial PROFILE form.

USC will determine an expected contribution for the custodial parent, the non-custodial parent and the stepparent, as appropriate.

USC will provide the student with a CSS Noncustodial PROFILE when this document is required.

Special Circumstances

If your family has special circumstances you would like us to consider such as job loss, salary decrease or illness, please submit a detailed letter and supporting documentation.

Business Owners

Parents who are business owners must also submit a copy of their business tax documents for each business to the Financial Aid Office. For each business, submit a copy of your federal K-1 statement, if applicable, and a copy of the first five pages of the corporate tax return or partnership tax return.

Additional Documentation

Provide copies of tax returns or any other additional documents or information requested by the Financial Aid Office within 10 business days of the request.

IMPORTANT NOTES

Submit any additional documents requested by the Financial Aid Office within 10 days.

Documents submitted to the USC Financial Aid Office become the property of the university and cannot be returned to the student or duplicated for any purpose.

Step 4: When You Will Be Notified

Pay close attention to deadlines, and respond to any additional requests from USC within 10 days. If you meet all deadlines and eligibility requirements, and promptly submit any additional requested documentation, you will be notified of your financial aid seven (7) business days after you have been admitted.

You can monitor your financial aid status by logging in to FAST. Your summary will be viewable online only.

Checklist

Prospective Transfer Checklist

FAFSA fafsa.gov by March 2, 2017

CSS/PROFILE

profileonline.collegeboard.com

by March 2, 2017

Cal Grant (California residents only) www.csac.ca.gov by March 2, 2017
Tax returns or Non-Filing Statement forms FAST If requested, within 10 days
Monitor your status FAST