At USC, we recognize that many students and their families need assistance in meeting the costs of an outstanding private education. Regardless of a family’s financial circumstances, all domestic applicants are encouraged to apply for university need-based aid.
Specific information on USC’s financial aid program and complete financial aid application instructions can be found at http://financialaid.usc.edu/. The USC Financial Aid Office strives to meet each undergraduate student’s full demonstrated need and the process for doing so requires the applicant to adhere to strict deadlines and provide considerable documentation. It is important to plan ample time to complete the process and follow all deadlines closely. Graduate students are eligible for need-based loan funding through the USC Financial Aid Office, however need-based grants are not available.
Please note: International applicants are not eligible for federal need-based financial aid.
The USC Thornton School of Music awards scholarships to students with outstanding demonstrated talent in the student’s chosen field of study. Presently undergraduate students pursuing degrees in Music Industry, Popular Music Performance, Music Production and Choral Music are not eligible for Thornton scholarship awards. Applicants to all other undergraduate programs, both domestic and international, are considered for scholarships, and awards are given based on the following:  a recommendation from the faculty of the student’s department and  availability of funding. Approximately one-third of admitted undergraduate students are offered a scholarship ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 per year. In addition, a select number of applicants will be offered USC academic awards (Trustee, Presidential, and Dean’s Scholarships) ranging from one-quarter to full tuition (see below).
Graduate students pursuing Arts Leadership are not eligible for Thornton scholarship awards. Graduate students pursuing Music Teaching and Learning or Screen Scoring are considered for a limited number of scholarships. All other graduate students are eligible for a range of merit-based funding including scholarships, teaching assistantships, and USC fellowships.
It must be noted, however, that a faculty recommendation for Thornton School of Music merit aid does not guarantee that a student will be awarded a scholarship. In addition, for undergraduate students receiving need-based aid, the combination of all merit, departmental or outside agency scholarships or loans may not exceed the USC-determined financial need.
USC Academic Scholarships
For detailed information about academic scholarships offered to undergraduate applicants by USC please click here.
Please Note: Undergraduate applicants that wish to be considered for academic scholarships MUST audition live by the first audition weekend held in January. Applicants who perform a live audition after the first audition weekend in January or who choose to audition only by recording are not eligible for academic scholarships.
For detailed information about our graduate teaching assistantships please click here.
Other possible sources of aid
Students are encouraged to explore other possible sources of financial aid. Terms and eligibility requirements vary considerably for the many types of financial aid that are available.
Two sources of aid in particular that students are encouraged to explore are the USC Alumni Association and USC Town and Gown scholarships. Information on both of these award possibilities are available online at https://alumni.usc.edu/alumni-scholarships/ and http://townandgownofusc.org/scholarship.asp.
Students are also encouraged to search for scholarships outside of USC through scholarship searches found online:
Any scholarships you receive will not be in addition to your need-based financial aid but will change the composition of your financial aid eligibility. In most cases, USC Financial Aid will allow outside scholarships to reduce the student loans or Federal Work-Study in your financial aid package. Please contact USC Financial Aid with questions about how specific scholarships will affect a student’s financial aid eligibility.