Your Next Steps
Click on the following financial aid sources to view your next steps for obtaining your funds.
Step 1. Obtaining Your Funds
Loans, Grants, and Scholarships
To ensure timely receipt of loan proceeds, you must complete some additional steps no later than 30 days before the start of your first semester. Click on the appropriate loan to find out what you need to do:
Cal Grants Cal Grant A and Cal Grant B awards are credited automatically to your student or university account each semester upon enrollment, but no earlier than mid-July. If you wish to have the Cal Grant B stipend (sometimes called the “Access” or “Books and Supplies” award) mailed directly to you in the form of a check rather than being credited to your student account, you must submit an email request to our office prior to disbursement. If you choose to receive the Cal Grant B stipend as a check, you are responsible for resolving any account balance that you have on your USC student account.
Employment and Work-Study
If Federal Work-Study eligibility is listed on your Financial Aid Summary, you will need to find a job in order to take advantage of the funds. You must demonstrate financial need, meet all application deadlines, be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen and enroll for the number of units upon which your financial aid award was based.
Finding a Job
You can apply for an approved Federal Work-Study job, most of which are available on campus. The annual USC job fair is held the Friday before the first week of the fall semester. To register for the Job Fair please visit careers.usc.edu.
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.
To apply for a job at USC, you will be required to present your Social Security Card and driver’s license or passport. Be sure to bring this with you from home to avoid any delays in the hiring process.
You may 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.
Work-study awards range from $800 to $3,500 per year. Every two weeks you will receive a paycheck from your employer for the hours worked, which can be used for personal and miscellaneous expenses 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. Depending on the availability of funds, you may appeal to have your work-study award increased.
If you do not have work-study eligibility, or 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.
Know the Rules
For information about terms and conditions, visit yourpage.
For information about 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 want to convert to loans.
Step 2. Managing the Family Contribution
The following options are available to cover the balance of your Cost of Attendance (after any financial aid is posted to your account). You can pay in several ways:
From savings or current income. (Pay the USC Cashier's Office directly.)
With the USC Payment Plan, which enables 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. For more information, visit the Student Financial Services website.
With the USC Pre-payment Plan, which allows participants to prepay up to five years of full-time tuition and mandatory fees for students who have been admitted to the university. For more information, visit the Student Financial Services website.
With loans for all or part of this amount. If you borrow loans, we recommend you borrow enough to cover the entire academic year.
If you choose to take out loans for all or part of the family contribution, start with the Direct Parent PLUS Loan, which features a low fixed interest rate (currently 7.21 percent), requires no collateral and does not impose an early repayment penalty.
If (and only if) the parents are declined for the Direct Parent PLUS Loan, a student may borrow an additional Direct Loan to cover part of the family contribution.
In most cases, students who use private financing to cover all or part of the family contribution will need to apply with a credit-worthy co-borrower. Doing so may substantially reduce interest and fees on a private loan. For more information, visit the Private Financing section of this website.
If your family experiences any unforeseen changes to income or expenses, and you would like to request a re-evaluation of your financial aid award, visit Special Circumstances and Appeals.