Basic Requirements for Need-Based Financial Aid
All applicants to USC can apply for financial aid if they:
Are a U.S. citizen, eligible non-citizen (such as permanent resident, refugee or asylee), undocumented meeting certain criteria;
Possess a valid Social Security number (if required); and
Are registered with the Selective Service System (if applicable).
To receive any aid for which they may be eligible, applicants must meet all published deadlines and submit any additional requested information. Applicants who miss any published deadline may be considered for reduced funds.
Although international students are not eligible to receive federal or USC need-based financial aid, they may be awarded merit scholarships and/or other departmental awards.
Additionally, international students may apply for some private loans with a qualified co-signer who is a U.S. citizen.
Please visit the International Student web page for more information.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal and state regulations require that financial aid recipients show Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their degree objective.
Please note: The SAP policy differs by grade level. Graduate students should click here for more information.
Understanding the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy
To satisfy USC's Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, students must:
Meet a minimum grade point average (GPA);
Earn a minimum number of units for credit each semester (Pace of Progression); and
Complete their degree objective within a maximum number of semesters and a maximum number of attempted units (Maximum Time Frame Allowance).
Should you fail to meet one of the above criteria, a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal may be necessary.
Submitting a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal
Please see the USC Catalogue for details regarding the SAP review and appeal process.
If you are currently academically disqualified or if you have an activity restriction that prevents you from registering for classes, you may submit an SAP Appeal, but your appeal will not be considered until you have resolved those activity restrictions.
Your SAP appeal must include both the Academic Plan and Student’s Letter of Appeal:
SAP Appeal Form with Academic Plan
You and your academic advisor must submit an academic plan to our office. The information provided by your advisor on the form will considerably influence our review, so we encourage you to discuss with your advisor any concerns you might have about your proposed coursework before submitting the appeal to our office. It is important that your academic advisor signs the form and provides his/her contact information.
Student’s Letter of Appeal
You must submit a statement with your Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form explaining the reason for your appeal.
If your appeal is regarding a pace of progression or GPA deficiency you should provide a detailed account of:
What caused your work at USC to fall below acceptable standards? Think carefully and be specific.
How have those conflicts been resolved?
How do you intend to maintain good academic standards and progress toward your degree if your appeal is granted?
If your appeal is regarding maximum time frame allowance, please explain why you need more time to complete your program of study.
Statements should be typed and not more than two pages. If you have any supporting documentation, please submit it with this form.
If Your Appeal Is Approved
Academic Considerations: You will be expected to meet the enrollment and grade point goals set for each semester. We encourage you and your academic advisor to be realistic when planning the number of units you will complete each semester.
Financial Consideration: Your appeal will be funded with financial aid funds available at the time your appeal is reviewed.
How to Submit Your Appeal
Submit your letter and documentation to the Financial Aid Office, by logging into your page.
We will notify you upon approval or denial of your appeal, or if we need more information.
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 appeal and the nature of the change in circumstances.
We will notify you upon approval or denial of your appeal, or if we require additional information.