Admitted Students: Scholarship Guide

Congratulations on your University of Southern California Merit Scholarship! USC Merit Scholarships are awarded to undergraduate students who demonstrate excellence in academic performance, community service and leadership. Your dedication and hard work have earned you a place at the top of the class.

First-Year Students

2019-2020

To Formally Accept the Award:

1. Read through this guide for detailed information about your award. Please pay close attention to how award amounts may affect or be affected by other scholarships and need-based financial aid you may receive from USC and other sources. The requirements for scholarship renewal are also described in detail.

2. The merit scholarship will be applied automatically as long as your Enrollment Commitment Deposit is received by May 1, 2019.

3. If you will not attend USC, please visit admission.usc.edu/status to withdraw your application.

Once you have accepted your scholarship and registered for classes, half your annual award will be credited toward your tuition for each full-time semester at USC. If you have questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office at financialaid.usc.edu/contactfao.

Note: No scholarship funding is available for audited courses.

Coordinating USC Merit Scholarships with Funds from Other USC Sources

Trustee, Presidential, Mork Family, Stamps, Leadership, Deans and Associates Scholarships

These scholarships are mutually exclusive. If you are awarded more than one, you will receive only the one with the greatest value. The relative value of these scholarships is based on the cost of flatrate tuition (which covers 12-18 units per semester) for eight semesters (10 semesters for students in the five-year Bachelor of Architecture program).

Other awards designated only for tuition may be combined with these merit-based scholarships, provided your total scholarship funds do not exceed your USC tuition by more than $8,000.

Other awards designated for general educational expenses (including room and board) may be combined with these scholarships, provided your total scholarship funds do not exceed the USC total cost of attendance, as determined by the Financial Aid Office.

Tuition Assistance Benefits & Tuition Exchange

If you receive USC tuition assistance benefits or a tuition exchange scholarship, you may also receive a USC Merit Scholarship, provided your combined award amount does not exceed your USC tuition by more than $8,000. Your merit scholarship or tuition grant may be reduced in order to stay within this limit.

ROTC Sponsorships & Scholarships

Students sponsored by ROTC also receive an additional $4,000 toward their cost of attendance. Any USC Merit Scholarship received will replace the $4,000 ROTC award and will be adjusted to avoid exceeding your tuition by more than $8,000 when combined with your ROTC sponsorship.

Although implementation of these policies may necessitate reducing the USC scholarship, awardees still receive all honors and benefits described in the award letter.

Coordinating USC Merit Scholarships with USC Need-Based Financial Aid

Students eligible for need-based financial aid may be offered a combination of grants, work-study and student loans. USC Merit Scholarships may reduce these aid amounts, however, depending on the source of the scholarship and the student’s USC-determined financial need. The combined amount of scholarships and all need based financial aid cannot exceed your USC-determined financial need.

If, however, you receive only USC scholarship funds, and the amount exceeds your USC-determined financial aid eligibility, you will still receive any full USC scholarships for which you are eligible, based on
the rules of combining your scholarship with other awards. This amount cannot exceed USC’s calculated cost of attendance for your program of study.

If you receive state grants restricted to tuition payments (such as the Cal Grant), your USC Merit Scholarship will be reduced so that the total of scholarships and grants does not exceed your cost of tuition and mandatory fees.

Once your financial aid eligibility has been determined, the Financial Aid Office will post your Financial Aid Summary to your Financial Aid Summary and Tasks (FAST) page online. Depending on when you applied for financial aid, your USC Merit Scholarships may or may not be reflected in your summary. If your initial financial aid eligibility was calculated—and a summary posted—before your scholarships could be included, you will receive a revised summary to reflect your scholarships and any other changes to your financial aid package.

Students must reapply each year to receive need-based financial aid for the following academic year. Application instructions are available online at financialaid.usc.edu beginning in November. It is your responsibility to apply on time each year. The Financial Aid Office reevaluates your financial aid eligibility each year based on your family’s financial circumstances.

If you have not yet applied for financial aid, you still have time. Please visit financialaid.usc.edu for more information.

Renewing Your USC Merit Scholarship

Most USC Merit Scholarships are renewable for each subsequent year of the undergraduate degree program, up to six additional semesters (eight additional semesters for students in the five-year Bachelor of Architecture program). The following criteria must be met for the USC Merit Scholarship to be renewed each year:

  • You must maintain your USC academic standing.
    The university expects you to maintain a high level of academic success during your university career. If you are academically disqualified by the USC Office of Academic Records and Registrar and the Committee on Academic Policies and Procedures (CAPP), you will automatically lose your scholarship. Readmission to USC will not restore your eligibility for your scholarship.
  • You must make satisfactory academic progress toward your undergraduate degree during the academic year (not including summer).
    If you complete fewer than 30 units in one academic year, your academic record will be reviewed to determine if you are making progress toward your degree. (You should be able to graduate within eight semesters, or 10 semesters in the five-year Bachelor of Architecture program.) Your course of study, and work at other colleges will be taken into consideration. If progress is not made, you will be placed on scholarship probation for a maximum of two semesters, during which you must complete 16 units per semester or your scholarship may be revoked. You are allowed only one probationary period for unit requirements. If you have received other need-based financial aid, you will need to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) to continue to receive those awards. The complete undergraduate SAP rules can be found in the USC Catalogue at catalogue.usc.edu.
  • You must uphold USC’s conduct and academic integrity standards.
    If the Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards Office finds you are responsible for a serious academic or non-academic conduct violation, resulting in your suspension or expulsion from the university, your merit scholarship award will be revoked.

 

Progressive Degree Students

Students enrolled in a Progressive Degree program will receive their USC Merit Scholarship for eight semesters total. Progressive Degree students must meet the renewal requirements listed above, including completing 30 or more units each academic year. Both undergraduate and graduate units count toward that total.

Leaves of Absence

Students who take a leave of absence from the university must notify the Financial Aid Office in writing to protect their remaining scholarship eligibility. Generally, scholarships will be reserved for leaves of absence up to one year in duration.

Students should notify the Financial Aid Office of their enrollment plans at least three months prior to their expected return to USC. Students will lose one semester of scholarship eligibility for every semester of transferable coursework completed at another institution during a leave of absence.

Transfer Students

2019-2020

To formally accept the award, please complete the following steps:

1. Read through this guide to gain an understanding of how your scholarship works. Please pay close attention to how the award amounts may affect or be affected by other scholarships and need-based financial aid you may receive from USC and other sources. The requirements for scholarship renewal are described in detail as well.

2. Submit your Enrollment Commitment Deposit at admission.usc.edu/status. Once you have accepted your scholarship and registered for classes, half your annual award will be credited automatically toward your tuition during each eligible full-time semester at USC. If you have questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office at financialaid.usc.edu/contactfao

Note: No scholarship funding is available for audited courses.

3. If you will not attend USC, please visit admission.usc.edu/status to withdraw your application.

Renewing your USC Merit Scholarship

Most USC Merit Scholarships are renewable for each subsequent year of the undergraduate degree program. The following criteria must be met for the USC Merit Scholarship to be renewed each year:

The maximum terms of eligibility depend on the number of transferable units completed before enrolling at USC. You will be eligible for up to six semesters of scholarship eligibility based on the following:

30-47 transferable units = 6 semesters
48-63 transferable units = 5 semesters
64+ transferable units = 4 semesters

Note: Architecture students are eligible for an additional two semesters.

You must make normal academic progress toward your undergraduate degree during the academic year (not including summer).

If you complete fewer than 30 units in one academic year, your academic record will be reviewed to determine if you are making sufficient progress toward your degree. Your course of study, Advanced Placement units, and work at other colleges will be taken into consideration. If you are not making progress, you will be placed on scholarship probation for a maximum of two semesters, during which you must complete at least 16 units per semester or you will lose your scholarship. You are allowed only one probationary period for GPA or unit requirements.

You must uphold USC’s conduct and academic integrity standards.

If you are found responsible, through the Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards Office, for a serious academic or non-academic conduct violation, resulting in your suspension or expulsion from the university, your merit scholarship award will be revoked.

Coordinating USC Merit Scholarships with funds from other sources

The relative value of these scholarships is based on the cost of 18 units of tuition for a maximum of six semesters (eight semesters for students in the five-year Bachelor of Architecture program), depending on the number of transfer units accepted by USC.

Awards from other sources restricted to the payment of tuition only may be combined with these merit-based funds, provided that the total scholarship funds do not exceed the student’s USC tuition by more than $8,000.

Awards from other sources designated for general educational expenses (including room and board) may be combined with these scholarships, provided that the total scholarship funds do not exceed the total USC cost of attendance as determined by the Financial Aid Office.

Tuition Assistance Benefits

A student who receives USC tuition assistance benefits may also receive a USC Merit Scholarship, provided that the total amount of tuition assistance benefits, when combined with the USC Merit Scholarship, does not exceed the student’s USC tuition by more than $8,000.

Tuition Exchange

A student who receives a tuition exchange scholarship may also receive a USC scholarship, provided that the total amount of the tuition exchange award, when combined with the USC award, does not exceed the student’s USC tuition by more than $8,000.

ROTC Scholarships

Students sponsored by ROTC will receive an additional $4,000 toward the cost of attendance. If an ROTC student receives a USC Merit Scholarship, it will replace the $4,000 award and be adjusted so that the combined total of the ROTC sponsorship and the USC Merit Scholarship does not exceed the student’s USC tuition by more than $8,000.

NOTE: Although implementation of these policies may necessitate reducing the amount of the USC scholarship, awardees will still receive all honors and benefits described in the award letter.

Coordinating USC Merit Scholarships with USC need-based financial aid

Students eligible for need-based financial aid may receive a combination of grants, work-study and student loans. USC Merit Scholarships may reduce the amounts of loan, work-study or grant funds, depending on the source of the scholarship and the student’s USC-calculated financial need. If you are receiving both USC scholarships and other forms of financial aid, the combined amount cannot exceed your USC-calculated financial need. If, however, you are receiving only USC scholarship funds and the amount you are awarded exceeds your USC-calculated financial aid eligibility, you will still receive the full amount of the USC scholarships for which you are eligible, based on the rules of combining your scholarship with other awards. This amount cannot exceed USC’s calculated cost of attendance for your program of study. If you receive state grants restricted to tuition payments (such as the Cal Grant), your USC Merit Scholarship will be reduced so that the total of scholarships and state grants does not exceed your cost of tuition and mandatory fees.

Once your financial aid eligibility has been determined, the Financial Aid Office will post a Financial Aid Summary to your Financial Aid account online. Your USC Merit Scholarships should be part of that total financial aid package. However, depending on when you applied for financial aid, the original summary may not reflect all scholarships awarded at the time your financial aid eligibility was determined. If this happens, a revised summary will be posted online to reflect your scholarships and other changes in your financial aid package.

Students must reapply every year by March 2 to receive need-based financial aid for the following academic year. Application instructions are available online at financialaid.usc.edu beginning in October. It is the student’s responsibility to apply on time each year. The Financial Aid Office reevaluates the student’s financial aid eligibility each year based on the family’s financial circumstances.

Leaves of absence

Students who take a leave of absence from the university must notify the Financial Aid Office in writing to protect their remaining scholarship eligibility. Generally, scholarships will be reserved for leaves of absence up to one year in duration. Students should notify the Financial Aid Office of their enrollment plans at least three months prior to their expected return to USC. Students will lose one semester of scholarship eligibility for every semester of coursework completed at another institution during a leave of absence.

How to contact us

Again, congratulations on the receipt of a USC Merit Scholarship! Best wishes for a successful academic career at USC. If you have any questions regarding the impact of a USC Merit Scholarship on a financial aid package, please contact the Financial Aid Office at financialaid.usc.edu/contactfao. Other inquiries, including those concerning the nature of USC Merit Scholarships or the awards process, can be directed to Neelam Savla, scholarship coordinator for the Office of Admission, at neelamsa@usc.edu or (213) 740-6613.

Archive

Please see the list of archived scholarship guides below.

First Year Students:

2018-2019

Transfer Students:

2018-2019