Special Circumstances and Appeals
In certain cases, students may wish to submit information about their special financial circumstances, or an appeal to request an adjustment to their financial aid eligibility.
How to Appeal
Submit your request, along with copies of appropriate supporting documentation as indicated, through the “Required Info and Forms” page of your FAST account. Make sure your USC ID number appears on each supporting document. You will be contacted if additional documentation is required.
Re-evaluation of your financial aid eligibility is subject to federal, state and university regulations, and is based on:
- Availability of funds;
- Timeliness of your original application for financial aid; and
- Timeliness of your appeal and the nature of the change in circumstances.
Notification: We will notify you of our decision or if we require additional information.
Changes to Federal Work-Study
Requesting to DECREASE Your Federal Work-Study Amount
In some cases, it may be possible to convert unused Federal Work-Study eligibility to Federal Direct PLUS or private loan eligibility.
If you would like to decrease your Federal Work-Study amount, submit a request. Explain why you are unable to use the full amount of your Federal Work-Study eligibility and state the amount you want to convert to loans.
Requesting to INCREASE Federal Work-Study
If you would like an increase to your Federal Work-Study amount, submit a request. Attach a memo from your employer supporting your request and include the additional amount you are requesting, your hourly rate, and the number of hours you work per week.
Decreasing or Increasing Your Loan Amounts
Requesting to DECREASE Your Loan Amounts
If an approved loan amount is more than you wish to borrow, submit a request to decrease the amount. Include the amount you wish to borrow for each semester that you are enrolled. Please note you must submit your request for a cancellation or reduction of your federal loans within 120 days of the date of disbursement.
Requesting to INCREASE Your Loan Amounts
You may submit a request to increase your loan amounts, provided that your financial aid package does not already include the maximum annual amounts for Federal Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Loans. Include the amount you wish to borrow for each semester that you are enrolled. Please note you must submit your requests for semester loan increases before the end of the semester.
Class Level or Enrollment Changes
If you enroll in a different number of units than originally planned, please submit a Financial Aid Supplement with your updated information.
If you need to change the semesters for which you have been awarded aid, you may submit a new Financial Aid Supplement.
The estimated cost of attendance (budget) used to determine your financial aid eligibility includes an amount for tuition and mandatory fees, based on your enrollment plans, as well as average amounts for standard educational expenses such as room and board. Also included are books, supplies, local transportation, and miscellaneous expenses. For more information about the standard student budget, please visit the Graduates & Professionals Cost page.
If your actual school-related expenses are higher than your current budget, you may be eligible for a budget increase. Budget increases are considered on a case-by-case basis, subject to federal and university policy. If approved, budget increases are typically funded with PLUS loans or private financing.
Before submitting an appeal, we ask that you visit the Federal Student Aid website to view your current total loan debt and consider how this additional loan may affect your repayment amounts after graduation. Prior indebtedness may be considered in determining whether a budget increase will be approved.
Types of budget increases that can be considered are listed below. To request a budget increase, submit your appeal with the supporting documentation as indicated. To allow sufficient time for loan processing, appeals and all supporting documents should be submitted at least 30 days before the end of the term.
|Type of Change||Documentation|
Books Exceeding The Amount Included
Child care expense necessary for class attendance during your period of enrollment
|Computer purchase and necessary computer software (one time and must be purchased no earlier than june 1 prior to the start of the academic year.||
|Conferences required for your educational program||
|Course/lab fees not included in student budget||
|Course-related equipment and other expenses necessary for your educational program not included in the standard budget||
|Disability-related expenses during the period of enrollment||
|Mandatory student/spouse/family health and dental insurance||
|MD student rotations and interview expenses||
|Exceptional dietary expenses:
Exceeding amount included in the standard budget
|Medical/dental expenses incurred for student during the period of enrollment that are emergency in nature and are not covered by
|USC parking permit||
|Rent exceeding the standard budget
($1,400 per month for graduate students)
|Professional licensing fees incurred during period of enrollment||
|Transportation expenses exceeding amount included in student budget||
|Tuition exceeding amount included in student budget||
Your Financial Aid Summary indicates the housing status you reported when you applied for financial aid:
- Living with parents or relatives.
- Not living with parents or relatives.
If your housing plans change, submit an updated Financial Aid Supplement.
Please note: Your eligibility for aid will be reduced if your housing plans change from “not living with parents or relatives” to “living with parents or relatives.”
Your eligibility for aid may increase if your housing plans change from “living with parents or relatives” to “not living with parents or relatives.”
Please submit the following documentation to confirm this change in your housing plans:
- Financial Aid Supplement
- Copy of Lease Agreement
- Canceled Rent Check
Graduate Plus Loan Denial
If your application for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is denied, you may appeal the decision or reapply with an endorser. For more information, contact the Federal Direct Loan Servicer at studentaid.gov or (800) 557-7394.
How to Submit Your Appeal
Follow the instructions on studentaid.gov. The Department of Education reviews all appeals of loan denials.