Financial Aid at USC

Nearly two-thirds of USC undergraduate students receive financial aid, in the form of merit scholarships, need-based grants, Federal Work-Study and student loans. At USC we work with families to meet a student’s full USC-determined financial need, subject to a review of the student’s financial aid application and the family’s finances, as well as to available funds from federal, state and university sources.

USC enrolls more than 4,300 low-income undergraduate students (as defined by Pell Grant eligibility) more than most private research universities. In fall 2018, 21 percent of enrolled undergraduates received Pell Grants. Most importantly, low-income and under-represented minority students at USC graduate at rates comparable to the overall undergraduate population.

Basic Requirements for Need-Based Financial Aid

All applicants to USC can apply 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). 

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, typically with a qualified co-signer who is a U.S. citizen.

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.

Visit the Who Receives Financial Aid at USC section on for more information about the requirements.