Academic Achievement Award

The Academic Achievement Award (AAA) provides a tuition benefit to students who are pursuing multiple undergraduate degree objectives, have at least sophomore standing, and have earned a cumulative USC GPA of at least 3.750. AAA allows Fall or Spring registration of up to 21 units at the standard full-time tuition rate.

The purpose of the award is to allow highly motivated students with excellent academic records to complete multiple undergraduate degree objectives without adding to their time-to-degree.

Eligibility

In order to receive the Academic Achievement Award for any given Fall or Spring semester, you must:

  1. Be an undergraduate student
  2. Have officially declared a double major, a double degree, or a major-minor combination
    • Multiple undergraduate degree objectives must be officially declared on STARS report at time of application. Progressive degrees are not eligible for funding.
  3. Have earned a cumulative USC GPA of at least 3.750 based on the completion of at least 24.0 USC units (12.0 USC units for transfer students)
    • Eligibility is based on cumulative GPA and unit count at the time of application.
    • No eligibility exceptions are made for applicants below the 3.750 cumulative USC GPA minimum. USC GPA is calculated to the third decimal place and never rounded up or down.
  4. Demonstrate that the additional tuition units will contribute to the completion of multiple undergraduate degree objectives
    • All enrolled courses must fulfill major, minor, or GE requirements. See Special Courses for exceptions.
    • Students must upload a current Academic Course Plan, developed and approved by their academic advisor to demonstrate feasibility of completing multiple degree objectives.
    • Students must be officially enrolled in all proposed courses at time of application. If enrollment requires special clearance, students can provide faculty or advisor documentation indicating their acceptance into the course.
    • Courses must be taken for Letter Grade or Pass/No Pass. Courses cannot be audited.
    • Applicants pursuing graduate level coursework must demonstrate the course can be applied to undergraduate degree requirements and must retain undergraduate status.
  5. Complete the online application

Dates & Deadlines

Application Timeline

AAA applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through the final deadline. Students will be notified of their award status based on the deadline by which they submit an application.

Students should only apply for AAA if they have enrolled in over 18 units and billed for additional tuition. Students who apply by Deadline 1 or 2 will be notified of their award status and have their student accounts credited before the January payment due date.

Students who are unable to fully complete their registration until the start of Spring semester should wait to submit an application by the Round 3 Deadline. We will not review applications for students enrolled in 18 units or below. Students may apply at any time before the final deadline at no disadvantage; all applicants will receive an equal chance for award consideration.

[Application Opens] Friday, June 4, 2021

[Round 1 Deadline] Sunday, July 4, 2021 (Notification of award status by July 23)

[Round 2 Deadline] Sunday, August 1, 2021 (Notification of award status by August 20)

[Round 3 Deadline] Friday, September 3, 2021 (Notification of award status by September 10)

Award Details

Application Periods

Application Periods

AAA is only available for fall and spring semesters, and it is not available for summer. Students must apply each semester for the award to ensure they continue to meet all eligibility requirements. Students must register in over 18 units before applying.

Disbursement of Funding

Students who apply by the first or second deadline will receive the funding in their account before the first installment payment is due. Students applying by the final deadline will have their award posted no later than the end of Week 4 in the given term. These students should expect to pay for their additional units upfront until a credit can be applied to their account.

GPA and Units

GPA and Unit Requirements

To meet eligibility, students must earn at least a 3.75 USC GPA and complete at least 24.0 USC units (12.0 USC units for transfer students). This means most students cannot apply for AAA until after their second semester at USC. There are no exceptions to the GPA requirement.

Students who are just under the 3.75 cumulative USC GPA must wait until their current semester’s grades are included to ensure eligibility. If you apply while your cumulative GPA is below the 3.75 minimum, your application will not be approved.

Number of Units Awarded

AAA is intended to assist students in enrolling up to 21 units. No more than 3 units of tuition credit will be awarded to a student in a given term. Cost of additional units will be charged to your bursar account.

Degree Objectives

Degree Objectives

To meet eligibility, students must be in pursuit of multiple degree objectives at the undergraduate level (e.g. double major or major + minor). Progressive Degrees and other graduate programs do not qualify for AAA funding.

Applicants must have at least two undergraduate programs officially declared on their STARS report at the time of application.

Coursework Exceptions

Coursework

Generally, AAA funding is approved for students who are enrolled in courses that fulfill major, minor, or general education requirements. Audited coursework is not eligible for AAA funding. All courses must be taken for Letter Grade or Pass/No Pass.

Exceptions

Certain courses do not satisfy degree requirements but have been approved for AAA usage because they satisfy prerequisites or provide specific academic benefits. Exceptions may also be considered for students who are within 2 semesters of graduating and have fulfilled all other degree requirements.

Appeals may be considered for other courses on a case-by-case basis. To submit a course appeal, you must provide verification from your academic advisor and/or faculty mentor as part of your AAA application.

General exceptions include:

If you have questions about particular courses, please contact Academic Honors and Fellowships at ahfstaff@usc.edu.

Changes & Withdrawals

Changes and Withdrawals

Award recipients must notify Academic Honors and Fellowships of any changes to their coursework before the Week 3 Add/Drop deadline. Updates must be made by re-submitting the AAA application. Changes must be reviewed and approved to guarantee continued eligibility.

Dropping Courses Between Weeks 3 – 7

If you withdraw from an approved course after the Week 3 Add/Drop Deadline, the AAA award will be withdrawn, and you will be responsible for covering the cost of additional units above standard tuition (12 – 18 units). It is crucial that you talk with your advisors and AHF staff before the Add/Drop deadline.

When students withdraw from courses between Week 3 and Week 7, they do not receive a “W” on their transcript. The extra units are charged as an accountability measure to prevent students from sampling courses without facing academic penalty.

If you who wait until after Week 7 to withdraw from a course and opt to take a “W” on your transcript, you will not be charged for the extra units.

Academic Achievement Award Application

AAA application is hosted on Scholarship Universe. Log in with your USC NetID and search for “USC Academic Achievement Award” under the Scholarships tab..