University of South Carolina

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Start with the FAFSA

USC Columbia Federal School Code: 003448

Everything to do with funding your college education at USC starts with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). As a student, it is your responsibility to complete this form. If you are a dependent student, your parent's information will also need to be included on the FAFSA. The FAFSA becomes available on January 1st of every year, and you must complete a new one each year to continue receiving aid. Each year's FAFSA is used for fall, spring and summer terms. For instance, for the fall 2016, spring 2017, and summer 2017 terms, you will need to complete the FAFSA for 2016-17. Below is a guide to help you as you complete the FAFSA.

  1. Have a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID): If you have a FSA ID, you should use the same FSA ID to complete your FAFSA on the Web each year. This applies to your parents as well.

    Do Not Have a FSA ID: If you, or your parents (if dependent) do not have a FSA ID, you should request one at When you request a FSA ID, you will receive a real-time response. You can then use your FSA ID(s) to complete your FAFSA.

    Be sure you protect your FSA ID because it provides access to your records and serves as your electronic signature. You will use the same FSA ID each year you apply for aid.

  2. Complete your FAFSA on the Web: Complete the FAFSA online to speed up processing time and to reduce the potential for errors. Include your email address on the FAFSA so any follow-up information can be sent to you. If you have any problems with FAFSA on the Web, you may contact the Federal Student Information Center.
  3. Enter University of South Carolina Columbia's Federal School Code 003448 so your FAFSA results will be sent to us.

  4. You should also select your housing plans in this section of the FAFSA.

  5. Select Types of Financial Aid: Immediately after you enter the school code, you will see the question, "Do you want to provide additional information about your college enrollment plans?" You should answer "Yes" to this question so that you may select other types of aid that you are interested in besides grants. We will provide your loan eligibility even if you do not select this option on the FAFSA, however, you do not have to accept any loan that is offered to you.

  6. Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if possible: If you have already completed your tax returns, you should try to use the IRS Data Retrieval feature offered in the Financial Information section of the FAFSA. This will allow you and your parent's financial information (if a dependent student) to be imported directly from the IRS database. To learn more about the Data Retrieval process and how to use it, you may watch this helpful online tutorial.

  7. Sign your FAFSA with your FSA ID: You and your parent (if dependent) will need to sign the FAFSA with your FSA ID.

  8. Communication from the University of South Carolina about your FAFSA: When we receive your FAFSA results, we will send you an email to your University email address if we need any more information from you. If you do not have a University email address, we will use the email address you provide on your FAFSA. If that email address is invalid, we will send printed information to your regular postal mail address. Your prompt response should complete your application and allow us to inform you about your aid eligibility. If your plans change and you will no longer be attending the University of South Carolina, please contact us so that we may stop the processing of your aid.