Graduate & Professional Admitted Students

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 account. Make sure your USC ID number appears on each supporting document. You will be contacted if additional documentation is required.

Appeal Funding

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.


We will notify you of our decision or if we require additional information.


Aid Adjustment

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 with your updated information.

If you need to change the semesters for which you have been awarded aid, you may submit a new .


Budget Increase

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.



Housing Changes

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 .

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:

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 or (800) 557-7394.

How to Submit Your Appeal

Follow the instructions on The Department of Education reviews all appeals of loan denials.