International Students

With its global outlook and location in a proudly multicultural city, USC offers a warm welcome to international students. Citizens of more than 130 countries comprise 24 percent of the university’s student body.

Federal and university policy limit eligibility for need-based financial aid to the following populations:

  • U.S. citizens.
  • Eligible noncitizens such as permanent residents, refugees, or asylees.
  • Undocumented students who meet California Dream Act requirements or have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status.

However, other sources of aid may be available to international students who are not U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens:


  • Merit-based scholarships Some departments disburse their scholarships directly to recipients in the form of monthly stipends. Payments are made according to the stipend schedule.
  • On-campus work (not including Federal Work-Study).
  • Off-campus work, with permission from the Office of International Services. Please note that off-campus work authorization is very limited.
  • Private financing: In most cases, students will need to apply for financing with a co-borrower who is a credit-worthy U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident. (Contact lenders directly for citizenship requirements.)


If you do receive financial aid funds while at USC, you will need to complete the W-8BEN Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States tax form.