Financing Your MSW Frequently Asked Questions


What is the cost of attending the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work?
Please refer to our tuition and fees for more information about the cost of attendance.

How do students pay for their MSW at USC?
Students may be eligible for a Federal Stafford Loan for $20,500 per academic year, a Federal Perkins Loan (up to $3,000) and Federal Work Study (up to $3,000).

In order to pay the difference between what you receive from the Federal Stafford Loan and the cost of attendance, you should consider the Federal Graduate Plus Loan. The majority of students who are enrolled take out a Federal Graduate Plus Loan to help fund their education.

How do I apply for financial aid?
The USC Financial Aid Office website provides detailed instructions for new students and continuing students on how to apply for and receive financial aid.

When should I apply?
We encourage you to apply for financial aid once you have submitted your application for admission.  The Federal Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is available on January 1 each year. To ensure maximum financial aid eligibility, complete all documents by the deadlines posted, regardless of your admission status.

How do I accept my federal loans?
The USC Financial Aid Office website outlines the qualifications for these federal loan programs, how to apply and receive funds, as well as their terms and conditions.

Federal Stafford Loan
Federal Perkins Loan
Federal Graduate Plus Loan

How do I apply for scholarships?
Current students will be offered the opportunity to apply for the next academic year scholarships each spring semester. The Scholarship Programs Office will email instructions on the application process for all awards.

Incoming students will be awarded scholarships based upon their application for admission, and further applicable scholarship applications will be emailed as soon as they are available.

Will I receive Federal Work Study?
Each year, there are very limited positions available for Federal Work Study. When spots available and eligibility are determined, the financial aid packages of eligible students will be updated.  Federal Work Study is available for those who qualify and is usually accessed through a field internship. The USC Financial Aid Office website provides additional information on using your Federal Work Study funds.

When will my loans disburse?
Federal loans typically disburse 10 days before the start of the semester. This varies from year to year and depends on the start date of your semester. Please contact Student Financial Services for more information.

Why hasn’t my scholarship been posted to my account?
All MSW scholarships will be posted by late July, and all endowed scholarships will be posted by the start of classes in August. If it is after this date and you do not see your scholarship listed on your USC FAST account, please contact us via the scholarship programs web contact form.

How do I apply for a one-time emergency scholarship?
If you are a current/continuing student and would like information on how to apply for emergency aid, please complete the scholarship programs web contact form.

I’m a veteran, active duty soldier/spouse or dependent. How do I receive the GI Bill or Yellow Ribbon?
The Veterans Affairs Office certifies enrollment for USC students who apply and are eligible for educational assistance administered by the Veterans Administration. Please contact the office at

When is my tuition bill due?
Your bill is typically due the Friday before classes begin, but this also varies from year to year and depends on the start date of your semester.  Please contact Student Financial Services for more information.

What financial aid opportunities are available for international students?
U.S. government guidelines prohibit international students from receiving federal financial assistance through the USC Financial Aid Office. Scholarships are available, and international students are encouraged to apply.

I have been denied for a Graduate Plus Loan. What can I do now?
Because you have been denied a Graduate Plus Loan, here are a few options. You can find more information at Or by calling the financial aid office directly at 213.740.4444.