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How to Apply for Aid

If you are interested in receiving federal grants, work-study, or loans, you should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is something you’ll need to do annually to be considered for aid each year you’re enrolled.

The FAFSA is necessary to apply for the following financial aid funds:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  • South Carolina Need-Based Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Federal Work-Study
  • Some private loans, grants or scholarship programs

If eligible, students will be offered aid through state and institutional resources based on information that the university has for the student. While all students are encouraged to submit a FAFSA, USC does not require one for general scholarship consideration.

What You Will Need:

  • A computer with Internet access
  • Your Federal Student Aid ID 
  • Your Social Security number
  • Income information for both student and parents (unless you qualify as an independent student)
  • A current, valid email address to be contacted with important information about your financial aid


How to Complete the FAFSA

FAFSA on the Web is a free US Department of Education website where you can complete a FAFSA online and submit it via the Internet using your FSA ID to sign the application electronically. If you are a dependent student, your parent must also sign the application using their FSA ID. After obtaining your FSA ID, complete your application online by using FAFSA on the Web at

Click here to use the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet (available in English and Spanish) as a tool to assist you in completing FAFSA on the Web. Complete the worksheet prior to entering your information online but do not mail the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet to the Office of Financial Aid or to the federal processor.

Once you complete your FAFSA, review your answers and make any necessary corrections. Be sure to provide the appropriate signature(s) on your FAFSA. If you do not wish to sign the application electronically with your FSA ID, you can print a paper signature page from FAFSA on the Web, sign it and mail it to the address provided. 
For assistance with FAFSA on the Web, contact Customer Service at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

Applicants who apply by April 1st for the upcoming school year shall receive first consideration for campus-based federal student aid funds. If you plan to attend during the summer term, click here to learn more about summer financial aid, including how to apply and deadlines to keep in mind when applying for financial aid for the summer term.  

The Student Guide provides information pertaining to the financial aid application process. For additional information, please see the Student Guide. Links to the Student Guide for the current academic year and the following academic year can be found on our related links page.



An FSA ID (account username and password) allows students and parents to identify themselves electronically to access Federal Student Aid websites. While you aren’t required to have an FSA ID to complete and submit a FAFSA form, it’s the fastest way to sign your application and have it processed. It’s also the only way to access or correct your information online or to prefill an online FAFSA form with information from your previous year’s FAFSA form. If you don't already have an FSA ID, click here to create an FSA ID. 



Verification is the confirmation through documentation that the information provided on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is correct. Click here to learn more. 


Apply for More Assistance

Each USC Palmetto College campus offers different scholarships to their undergraduate student body. To determine what scholarships are offered at the campus you wish to attend, click on the links below. 


Special Circumstances

Students and their families may experience changes in their financial situation or have other unusual circumstances that are not reflected on the FAFSA. On a case-by-case basis, the Financial Aid Office may review a student’s special circumstances to determine the impact on a student’s financial aid eligibility. This review, however, does not guarantee a change in the student’s eligibility for additional financial aid. Click here for more information or contact your Financial Aid Office.


Summer Financial Aid

For financial aid purposes, summer is considered to be the end of the academic year. A student’s eligibility for summer financial aid is based upon your remaining annual limits for grants and loans. To be considered for federal financial aid for summer, you must have FAFSA on file for the current academic year (the one use to determine your eligibility for financial aid for the preceding fall and spring semesters). 

In addition to the FAFSA, applicants for summer financial aid must complete a USC Financial Aid Summer Application available on Self Service Carolina (SSC) beginning April 1. The deadline to complete the application is June 30. The compressed time frame for summer demands that our office adhere to strict application deadlines. 

You can apply for summer financial aid by logging into to Self Service Carolina (SSC). Choose “Financial Aid” and then “Summer Financial Aid Application”.

A complete application for summer financial aid includes:

  • A Summer Application for Financial Aid. 
  • A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current academic year. 
  • A loan application for a new summer PLUS or private loan (if applicable). 
  • Admission into a degree seeking program.


Satisfactory Academic Progress

To remain eligible for federal, state and some institutional financial aid, students must comply with the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (FASAP) standards. Click here to learn more and to make sure you remain eligible.  


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