Special Programs

Consortium Agreement Guide

A financial aid consortium agreement is a binding agreement between eligible schools that allows a student enrolled in a degree-granting or certificate program at one institution (the Home School) to study at and receive credit from a Host Institution for a limited time (usually one or two semesters). USC participates in various consortium agreements as a home institution only. USC will not participate in consortium agreement as the host institution.


Home School: The school at which the student is enrolled in a degree or certificate program.

Host School: The school from which the student will take part of his or her program requirements through a consortium agreement.


Funds that may be available to students under a consortium agreement

In most cases, the USC Financial Aid Office can process limited funding if the student meets certain requirements and collects the necessary documentation (refer to the application for details). We can process Federal Pell Grants, Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, and Federal PLUS Loans, if certain requirements are met. Cal Grant eligibility may only be processed if the host school is located in California.

Please note that if you are enrolled under a consortium agreement for the summer term, your eligibility for financial aid may be further limited. Students who used their full academic-year eligibility for federal aid before the start of the summer term may be eligible for only Federal PLUS Loans in the summer term, which require credit approval. For more information on applying for summer aid, please visit: http://financialaid.usc.edu/undergraduates/continuing/summer-FA.html.

We cannot process or disburse the following institutional or federal financial aid funds: USC Scholarships, University Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants or Federal Work-Study.

Students who wish to fund their studies at the host school with private financing only do not require a consortium agreement. Private loans can be borrowed through the host school.


Students must be admitted to a degree-granting or certificate program at USC.

Financial Aid Consortium agreements are not available for students in the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program or to students receiving financial aid under Preparatory Course Work.

Generally, you must be enrolled at least half-time in coursework applicable to your USC degree program:

  • Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 units of coursework that is transferrable to their USC degree program to be eligible for most types of funds available under consortium.
    • Pell-eligible students may still receive limited Pell Grant if enrolled in 5 or fewer transferrable units.
    • If your STARS report indicates you have limited transfer units remaining, we cannot fund units exceeding that maximum.
  • Graduate students must be enrolled in at least 4 units of coursework that is transferrable to their USC degree program.

If you are a current USC student, but not admitted to an eligible degree-granting or certificate program, you will not be able to take courses at a Host School under a consortium agreement.


Instructions: If USC is your home school

1. Meet with your academic advisor to complete any mandatory advisement required for enrollment.

1. If you are an undergraduate applying for a Consortium Agreement for a summer semester, complete the “Request for Pre-approval to Transfer Coursework to USC” on OASIS. If you are an undergraduate applying for a Consortium Agreement for a fall or spring semester, meet with your major advisor to complete a “Request for Exception to Residence” form and have it fully executed by your department and the Office of the Registrar.

3. Print and complete the USC Financial Aid Consortium Application: USC is the Home School form.

4. Return the USC Financial Aid Consortium Application form and supporting documentation to the USC Financial Aid Office four (4) to six (6) weeks before the start of the semester at the Host School. We cannot guarantee that applications submitted after this timeframe will be accepted. Completed applications and supporting documentation should be uploaded as an "Unknown or Unlisted type of Financial Aid Document" under the Document Library of your Financial Aid Summary and Tasks (FAST) page.

5. Make arrangements with the Host School for payment (or deferment) of your tuition bill. Payment may be due to the Host School prior to the disbursement of your USC financial aid. You are ultimately responsible for payment of all charges at the Host School.


Instructions: If USC is your host school

USC is unable to participate in consortium agreements as a host school. If you take courses at USC without being admitted to a degree or certificate granting program of study, you may be able to obtain financing through various non-federal loan programs. USC does not prefer, recommend, promote, endorse, or suggest any non-federal lender. USC does provide a list of private loan programs made to USC students over the past three years.