FAQ

All responses apply to Stamps, Mork, Trustee and Presidential Scholars unless otherwise noted.

Scholarship Coverage
Unit Requirements for Scholarship
Class Registration
Meeting with Advisors


Scholarship Coverage

Can my scholarship be extended beyond 8 semesters?

No. All scholarships are awarded for a maximum of 8 semesters or 10 semesters for Architecture students at the time of admission, contingent upon the satisfactory completion of renewal requirements. No exceptions are made to this policy. Scholars planning to enroll at USC beyond the 8 semesters (10 for Architecture) are encouraged to apply for need-based aid through the Financial Aid Office.

Can I upgrade my existing scholarship to another scholarship?

No, Stamps, Mork, Trustee and Presidential Scholarships are granted by the Office of Admission specifically to freshmen. Selection criteria is based on academic excellence, leadership, and service during a student’s tenure at their high school.

Does my scholarship cover study abroad?

Yes. Tuition for Fall and Spring USC overseas programs will be covered according to your tuition award (Trustee, Mork, and Stamps Scholars receive full tuition; Presidential Scholars receive half tuition). If the cost of the tuition at the university overseas is less than tuition at USC, your scholarship will adjust to equal the lesser tuition cost. If you need to covers costs for a USC summer program (e.g. Problems Without Passports), submit a request for Exceptional Funding instead.

If you receive aid beyond your scholarship, contact the Financial Aid Office to determine what will be covered for an abroad program.  Note: if going abroad means it will take you longer than 8 semesters to graduate, your scholarship will not cover your tuition beyond the 8 semesters.

Can my scholarship cover a USC Progressive Degree?

Yes. However, the following criteria must be met: 1) Apply and be accepted into a recognized USC Progressive Degree Program, 2) Be within your eight semesters of scholarship eligibility, 3) take undergraduate and graduate level coursework simultaneously.

Does tuition insurance protect my scholarship?

We recommend you carefully consider this elective insurance. It may help protect your scholarship for future terms in case of serious illness or accident. Please contact the Financial Aid office for more information regarding this insurance.

My scholarship hasn’t yet been applied and the bill is due immediately. What is going on?

Please ensure you are you currently enrolled in at least 12 units for credit, as the scholarship only disburses when this registration criteria is met. Otherwise, contact the Financial Aid office to confirm disbursement.

Does your office provide other USC scholarships?

No. Academic Honors and Fellowships does not actively advise on additional scholarships to cover USC tuition costs. If you are interested in funding for research, study abroad, and post-graudate programs, please visit our fellowships page. We also recommend talking to advisors in your major/minor department and visiting the Financial Aid website for scholarship resources.


Unit Requirements for Scholarship

Is there a limit to how many units I can take as an undergraduate at USC?

As a merit scholar, there is no unit limit.  However, if you receive financial aid such as a Pell Grant, there is a limit of up to 144 units.  If you go beyond 144 units, and are within your 8 semesters at USC, you will still receive your merit scholarship, but will no longer be eligible for additional financial aid.

I have less than 12 units required for graduation. Can my scholarship cover a reduced course load in my final semester at USC?

Yes, if you are in good academic standing (not under scholarship probation), you can request scholarship coverage as a part-time student. This exception can only be granted in your final semester before graduation. You scholarship would cover the cost of tuition on a per-unit basis. To make this request, follow the instructions below:

  1. Officially register for all required courses you will need to fulfill graduation requirements.
  2. Complete the Merit Scholarship Reduced Course Load Request Form.
    1. Do not submit this form until you have finalized your course registration!  
    2. You will need to upload an updated course plan to show that you only need less than 12 units to graduate.
  3. Once completed, the request will be forwarded to Financial Aid for review and processing.

Additional Reminders

    • Please ensure you are registered in the exact number of units you are requesting in the form. If the unit count is off, then your scholarship will not disburse.
    • Audited courses are not covered during reduced course load semesters. Courses must be taken for Letter Grade or Pass/No Pass.
    • Your scholarship will terminate after your reduced course load semester. Financial Aid will not grant scholarship extensions for additional semesters should you fail to complete all course requirements.

Class Registration

Can my scholarship cover an audited course? 

No. Grades and unit credits are not earned for audited courses, therefore your scholarship will not cover them. The Financial Aid Office will not factor audited units into your overall unit requirement per academic year in order to maintain your scholarship eligibility. Additionally, to receive your scholarship funds each semester, you must be enrolled in a full-time schedule (12 or more units for credit).

Can your office help with registering for classes that are full?

We do not offer assistance with registering for full classes. Talk to your academic advisor to check out your options. Work with the professor to see if there is a wait list and explain your situation.

Do merit scholars receive priority registration?

There is no priority registration for scholars. Registration dates are assigned based on the number of units you have earned. This is addressed briefly on the Registrar’s website.


Meeting with Advisors

What kind of advisement does Academic Honors and Fellowships provide?

We advise students on issues directly related to their scholarship, including GPA & unit requirements, scholarship probation, exceptional funding, Leave of Absence, and general policy issues.

Do you provide academic advisement for my major and minor programs?

Generally, no. For advisement on your major or minor programs, contact your academic department. Otherwise, Academic Counseling Services (ACS) provides advisement for Exploratory (Undecided), Undeclared, and Students-In-Transition.

How can I meet with an advisor in your office?

Email ahfstaff@usc.edu or call (213) 740-9116 to request an appointment. 

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