July 15, 2020
Many of you have reached out to us with financial concerns about the coming year. This pandemic has uprooted so many lives and created so much economic devastation in our communities. The challenges are real, and we are doing our best to address your concerns and to keep up with an evolving situation.
For most of you, it has been difficult to plan for the year ahead without knowing where you will be living in the fall. With COVID cases on the rise in Los Angeles, there continues to be uncertainty in our fall plans, and we realize that is a particular challenge to students receiving financial aid.
As explained in our recent letters on aid packages, we reissued Financial Aid Summaries to reflect that most students may be living with parents or relatives this academic year. We also want to make clear our intent to support undergraduate students in all housing situations, including those now living with parents or relatives.
We are addressing these expenses now and your full package will be adjusted to account for room and board once your housing plans are finalized, in the following ways:
Students who would have received financial aid for room and board, but who have decided to live at home due to COVID – will receive an Undergraduate Living-at-Home Scholarship in the amount of up to $4,000 for the fall semester and up to $4,000 for the spring semester if you remain at home.
Students who plan to continue living in USC housing – we are in close communication with the Housing office and will automatically increase your financial aid award to the maximum amount based on need. For those who have chosen to cancel their contracts, we have already refunded everyone’s confirmation fee ($800). For those students who are considering cancelling their contracts, they may do so at any time and your full application fee ($55) will be refunded.
Students in non-USC (off-campus) housing who are not living with parents or relatives – will receive an increase in cost of attendance and financial aid award once you provide necessary documentation (rental or lease agreement). Your financial aid award will automatically be increased to the maximum amount based on need. Many of you have already submitted your documentation, and we are working hard to process your award.
Thank you for your patience as we re-process thousands of financial aid packages. Our goal is to have these updates completed by August 3 for students in confirmed USC housing and those who have submitted their non-USC rental or lease agreement by July 24.
Another financial concern we want to address involves your technology needs, including connecting online and accessing a computer. If you need help in these areas, please contact Student Basic Needs at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can assist with WiFi access and/or loan laptops to students in need.
We’re all in this together, as one Trojan Family. We are listening to your concerns and will be in touch with updates as we have them. In the meantime, information can be found on the Financial Aid site. Please stay safe and well.
Thomas McWhorter, Dean of Financial Aid