University of Southern California
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Financial Aid

Graduate and Professional Students

Financial support for graduate study at USC is available from many sources. Most graduate departments and professional schools offer fellowship and graduate assistantship opportunities. In support of the university's commitment to diversity, fellowships are set aside for minority students from groups now under-represented in doctoral study. The USC Financial Aid Office administers federal and state financial aid programs. Several federal agencies and private foundations offer support for students engaged in research in specific fields of study. In addition, many corporations provide fellowships or tuition reimbursements for their employees.

2004-2005 Application Procedures for Federal Financial Aid

Students who wish to apply for the Federal Stafford Loan program must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the federal processor and a Supplemental Form for Financial Aid to the USC Financial Aid Office.

To be considered for the Federal Perkins Loan and Work-Study program for the 2004-2005 academic year, the federal processor must receive the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal FAFSA by February 27, 2004. In addition, the Financial Aid Office must receive the completed Supplemental Form for Financial Aid by May 6, 2004. The Financial Aid Office must also receive a complete copy of the student's (and spouse's, if applicable) signed 2003 federal income tax return including all schedules and W-2 forms or the 2004-2005 Student Non-Filing Statement form by May 6, 2004. Non-Filing Statement forms may only be submitted if the student and/or spouse are not legally required to file a federal tax return. Graduate students must also submit any additional documents requested by the Financial Aid Office. Law, Dental, Medical, Occupational Therapy, Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, and Pharmacy students should check with their departments for additional application requirements.

Federal Work-Study

The Federal Work-Study program enables eligible students to earn part of their financial aid award either on campus or with an approved off-campus employer. Only full-time (eight or more units) students with high financial need who meet all application deadlines are considered for this program.

Federal Loans

Full-time (eight or more units) students with high financial need who meet all application deadlines are considered for Federal Perkins Loans. Repayment begins nine months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half time.

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans are also available. Repayment begins six months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half time.

The Health Professions Student Loan program provides loans to students in the health professions.

Graduate Fellowships and Assistantships through USC

Prospective and continuing students seeking financial aid will find opportunities for funding their graduate study through the Graduate School and their individual schools and departments. In general, fellowships offered through the Graduate School are for study leading to the Ph.D. degree. Students entering professional degree programs should inquire at their professional schools for information about sources of financial assistance.

Acceptance of Offers of Financial Assistance
USC subscribes to the following resolution of the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States regarding graduate scholars, fellows, trainees and assistantships.

Acceptance of an offer of financial assistance (such as graduate scholarship, fellowship, traineeship or assistantship) for the next academic year by an actual or prospective graduate student completes an agreement which both student and graduate school expect to honor. In those instances in which the student accepts the offer before April 15, and subsequently desires to withdraw, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining written release from the institution to which a commitment has been made. Similarly, an offer by an institution after April 15 is conditional on presentation by the student of the written release from any previously accepted offer.

Graduate Assistantships
Graduate assistantships are awarded each year by departments of the university on the basis of scholastic accomplishment, academic promise and competence. Only students regularly enrolled in USC graduate degree programs are eligible for appointment as graduate assistants and may be appointed to a maximum of one year at a time. All graduate assistants are under direct and assigned supervision of regular faculty members and report regularly on the conduct and performance of their responsibilities to the supervising faculty. These awards include: teaching/laboratory assistants, assistant lecturers and research assistants.

Financing Programs

Several programs are available to help families meet the costs of education by providing long-term financing options and a short-term payment plan. Refer to the Financing Alternatives section for more information.