Admitted Students Next Steps

Step 1: Obtain Your Funds

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    To receive your loan funds in time to pay tuition and fees, you must complete some additional steps no later than 30 days before the start of your first semester. Select the appropriate loan below to find out what you need to do:

    Federal Direct Loan
    Direct Grad PLUS Loan
    Private Financing

    Grants and Scholarships

    Grants and scholarships will be automatically credited to your USC billing account no later than the Wednesday before the beginning of each semester.

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    If your financial aid summary includes Federal Work-Study, you will need to find a job in order to take advantage of the funds.

    Finding a Job

    Most approved Federal Work-Study jobs are available on campus. We encourage you to apply to the ones that interest you and/or that complement your academic or career goals.

    • Campus job openings are advertised on connectSC, a service of the Career Planning & Placement Center, and in the Daily Trojan. Jobs can also be found on flyers posted around campus and through word of mouth. Many USC departments accept walk-in applicants.
    • Held the Friday before the first week of each semester, the USC Job Fair is an excellent opportunity to look for an on-campus job. To register, please visit the connectSC website.

    You will need to present your Social Security card and driver’s license or passport. Be sure to bring these with you from home to avoid any delays in the hiring process.

    Job Hours

    Student workers are allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week when USC is in session, and a maximum of 40 hours per week during vacations, with your employer’s permission.

    Job Payment

    Work-study awards range from $800 to $3,500 per year.

    You will receive a paycheck from your employer every two weeks. Funds can be used for personal and miscellaneous expenses that are not billed by the university.

    When your total earnings equal the amount of your award, you must stop working, unless your employer agrees to hire you as a non–work-study employee. You may appeal to have your work-study award increased but increases depend on available funds.

    Non–Work-Study Jobs

    If you were not awarded work-study, or you need to earn more than the maximum amount permitted, you can look for a non–work-study job on campus (such as through USC Auxiliary Services, the USC Bookstore or USC Transportation).

    Important: Work-study funds are designed to help you meet your daily or monthly expenses and must be earned over the course of the semester. You will not be able to use your work-study award to pay your university bill, which is due before the semester begins.

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    For information about terms and conditions, visit your Financial Aid Summary and Tasks (FAST) page.

    For information about the federal tax implications for your financial aid, contact your tax advisor or the Internal Revenue Service.

    Scholarship funds from sources outside USC may replace a portion of the loans and Federal Work-Study in your financial aid summary.

    You may be able to convert unused Federal Work-Study eligibility to Federal Direct PLUS or private loan funds. Email the Financial Aid Office, explaining why you are unable to use the full amount of your Federal Work-Study eligibility, and specify the amount that you would like to convert to loans.

Step 2. Manage the Family Contribution

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    Students can choose from a range of options to cover any remaining balance on the tuition and fee bill.

    • Pay the USC Cashier’s Office directly from savings or current income.
    • Sign up for the USC Payment Plan, which allows students to establish an interest-free line of credit for tuition, fees, university housing and other student expenses. The plan is billed in five monthly installments per semester. The application fee is $50. Visit the Student Financial Services website to learn more.
    • Use the USC Prepayment Plan, which allows participants to prepay up to five years of full-time tuition and mandatory fees for admitted student(s). More information can be found on the Student Financial Services website.
    • Borrow loans for all or part of this amount. Be sure to borrow enough to cover the entire academic year.
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    If you choose to borrow loans to manage your contribution, we recommend starting with the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan. It features a fixed interest rate and more favorable terms than most private loans. You may defer repayment while you are enrolled at least half-time. There is no prepayment penalty. For application information, visit our Loans page.

    Please note: Graduate students are not eligible for Grad PLUS Loans until they have first exhausted their eligibility for Direct Unsubsidized Loans. 

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    In most cases, students who use private financing will need to apply with a credit-worthy co-borrower, which can substantially reduce interest and fees. For more information, visit the Private Financing section of this website.

Step 3: Special Circumstances

Notify Us of Any Special Circumstances

If your family experiences any unforeseen changes to income or expenses, and you would like to request a re-evaluation of your financial aid summary, visit Special Circumstances and Appeals. Please note that re-evaluations for graduate students will not result in eligibility for grants or increased loan amounts.