Undergraduate Admission Blog

Follow the Official USC Undergraduate Admission Blog for information, advice, and a behind-the-scenes look at our process

November 22, 2013

Free Money!

scholarship_money         Every year about 60% of our first-year applicants apply for the December 1st merit-based scholarship deadline. We receive over 47,000 applications so it is an extremely competitive process. These students are achieving at the highest level across the board. We award the Trustee full-tuition scholarship, Presidential half-tuition scholarship, and the one-quarter tuition Deans scholarship. Most notably, the Stamps and Mork Scholarships are awarded to our most decorated students. Both include full-tuition awards (approx. $46,000) plus a $5,000 stipend or enrichment fund. It is important to know that they are only open to first-year applicants. For more information, please visit https://www.usc.edu/programs/ugprograms/aif/scholars.htm

“Wait. So all I have to do is submit my application by December 1st?”

         By and large, yes! (There are exceptions to this; see the response to the next question). To be considered, first-year students only need to submit the Common Application and USC Writing Supplement, on or before December 1st (for transfer students to be considered for transfer merit scholarships the deadline is February 1st). Students applying to talent majors may need to submit additional materials. Please refer to a previous blog here for more information on department supplements. Please refer to our scholarship grid for a full list of scholarships.

“Are you sure I don’t need to submit anything else to be considered for a scholarship?”

         The merit-based scholarships administered by the Office of Admission only require submission of the Common Application and USC Writing Supplement for consideration. However, there are other scholarships distributed by USC that are administered by organizations outside the Office of Admission. These scholarships have varying deadlines, more specific eligibility requirements, and require additional applications. Please refer to the scholarship grid for more information.

“What types of students receive scholarships?”

         We are looking for all types of students. There is not a secret algorithm that determines whether a student is worthy of a scholarship. We evaluate everything in the application, taking into account both qualitative and quantitative factors. We also weigh in fields of interests, special circumstances and unique backgrounds.

“When do I find out if I am being awarded a scholarship?”

         For those first-year applicants who applied by December 1st, notifications will be released by the beginning of February 2014. Consideration for most scholarships requires a visit to campus for an in-person interview. Students who do not receive a scholarship will still be considered for regular admission. All decisions will be mailed by April 1, 2014.

“What about financial aid? Is that the same as scholarships?”

         No. A scholarship is based on a student’s merit while financial aid is based on a student’s need. Financial aid will consist of university and federal grants, work study and loans. USC meets 100% of demonstrated need as established by our financial aid office. The amount of your financial aid will be based on the information in your FAFSA and CSS Profile. Both are accessible online and must be submitted by February 10th (first-year students) or March 3rd (transfer students). For more information, please visit https://www.usc.edu/admission/fa/

On behalf of the USC Admission Office, good luck to all of our scholarship applicants!


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