4 Best USC Merit Scholarships for Students

The USC Merit Scholarships are a set of merit-based scholarships by the University of Southern California for both local and international students. The University of Southern California (USC) is not the cheapest in the country. However, the university administers several prestigious (and generous) scholarship programs for incoming undergraduate students.

These USC merit scholarship programs vary greatly in terms of both the number of available scholarships and their monetary value. However, regardless of the scholarship amount, it is important to note that, unlike loans, scholarships do not have to be repaid. They are given out based on academic achievement, leadership, talent, and service, so this is essentially free money for your studies!

To give you an idea of what’s available, here are USC merit scholarship programs.

The 4 Best USC Merit Scholarships

The following are the 5 Best USC Merit Scholarships;

1. Trustee Scholarship

The USC Trustee Scholarship is a USC merit scholarship award for incoming freshmen.

Candidates for the program are chosen from a competitive national pool by USC staff and faculty. According to USC, successful applicants pursue a demanding academic curriculum and work hard to achieve the highest academic level possible.

Only about 100 Trustee Scholarship awards are given out each year, but it’s definitely worth applying if you think you’re qualified. Each award is equivalent to a full-ride scholarship, with all tuition fees paid.

To put it another way, earning a Trustee Scholarship is one of the best ways to go to USC for free.

2. Presidential Scholarship

The USC Presidential Scholarship is another USC merit scholarship program available at the university. Candidates are evaluated and selected in the same manner as for the Trustee Scholarship program.

The Presidential Scholarship, on the other hand, has twice as many awards available—and they’re still worth half of your annual tuition fees. Every year, USC awards approximately 200 Presidential Scholarships.

3. Dean Scholarship

The Dean Scholarship is a competitive USC merit scholarship program for high academic achievers offered by USC. However, in addition to academic criteria, candidates must demonstrate talent, innovation, perseverance, or leadership to be considered for the scholarship.

Each year, approximately 100 Dean Scholarship awards are given out, with the scholarship amount equal to one-quarter of your annual salary.

4. Leadership Scholarship

The Leadership Scholarship at USC is another USC merit scholarship in which candidates are evaluated based on their academic performance. However, unlike some of USC’s other scholarship programs, the Leadership Scholarship focuses on each applicant’s demonstrated leadership skills in their respective schools or communities.

Each year, approximately 30 Leadership Scholarship awards are given out, each worth $10,000.

Do you want to know more about the USC merit scholarship? It’s important to remember that there are a lot more external scholarship options available besides the USC merit scholarship. We got more scholarships for international students here.

Tips for Getting USC Scholarships

1. Choose your recommender carefully

Successful USC merit scholarship recipients have recommendations that speak to their genuine desire to learn more about the world. A strong recommendation will honestly vouch for your character and back up any claims you made in your application. You should select someone who knows you well both inside and outside of the classroom. The USC merit scholarship committee may use the recommendations to eliminate applicants who appear good on paper but not so much in person.

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Your choice of a recommender is critical for the USC merit scholarship where demonstrated personal qualities take precedence over test scores. Find a trusted adult who knows you well enough to write a personalized and unique recommendation.

2. Be sincere

Any strong college application should tell a story about who you are and what you want to become. The college application process, in many ways, boils down to storytelling: your ability to tell a consistent and genuine story about yourself. Essays, test scores, extracurricular activities, and transcripts are all plot points in this story about who you are.

This is especially true for the USC merit scholarship application’s “short questions” essay section. Questions such as “what is your favourite movie, and why?” or “what TV show do you want to binge-watch next?” may appear silly or difficult to answer correctly, but they are intended to elicit an authentic snapshot of your personality and character. Your response must be unique and true to yourself.

Your sincerity will always shine through to the college application committee.

3. Create enthralling essays

The USC merit scholarship committee prioritizes essays and extracurricular activities over standardized test scores. Understanding that the USC merit scholarship committee seeks students with leadership and change potential is critical.

Your extracurricular activities should be highlighted in your essays as meaningful and functional experiences. They should explain why you are participating in these activities and how they may influence your future endeavours. Describe how you intend to continue these activities at USC. Specific programs, faculty, departments, and clubs that you intend to utilize will help validate your genuine interest in what USC has to offer.

Requirements for the USC Merit Scholarship

Other than applying to gain admission into the university before December, there are no special requirements for the USC merit scholarship.

You can visit the University of Southern California website for courses they offer

How to Apply for the USC Merit Scholarship

There is no special application process for the USC merit scholarship. All you need to do is to ensure you gain admission. You will automatically be considered for the scholarship.

The Selection Procedure

The Office of Admission is in charge of the USC Merit Scholarship. The benefit is collected, reviewed, and decided upon by the Office of Admission.

Deadline for the USC Merit Scholarship

This USC merit scholarship remains available until December 2024. You have a chance if you apply for admission to the University of South California before December 1st.

Other USC Opportunities

USC Student Loans

Many USC students and their families take out loans to supplement their college education. Fortunately, you do not need to depend on a USC merit scholarship as there are a variety of loan options available.

Before we get into the specifics, let’s take a step back and define student loans.

Simply put, a student loan is a money borrowed from a lender to pay for your college tuition right away. After you graduate, you must repay all of that money to your lender over time, with interest.

The amount of money charged by a bank or lender for the privilege of borrowing their money is known as interest. Interest rates on federal loans guaranteed by the US government are typically fixed.

Federal student loans also include consumer safeguards such as repayment grace periods, deferred interest accrual, income-based repayment plans, and more.

If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, all you have to do to apply for a federal student loan is fill out and submit a FAFSA.

Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Direct Plus Loans, and Federal Direct Grad Plus Loans are all accepted at USC.

A private loan is another option.

But be cautious if you go this route: each lender has different eligibility requirements, such as US citizenship, degree status, and enrollment status, as well as different loan rates, repayment terms, and other conditions.

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To make matters worse, some lenders may require you to pay interest while you are still enrolled in school. That means you could be struggling to make payments before you’ve even graduated.

That is why, if you qualify, it is generally advised that you seek a federal student loan.

About the University of Southern California

The University of Southern California, founded in 1880, is home to more than 22 academic schools, has an endowment of $8.1 billion, and welcomes nearly 50,000 students each year.

USC has two main campuses. The 229-acre University Park Campus is home to the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, the Graduate School, and the majority of USC’s professional schools. The USC Health Sciences Campus also houses the Keck School of Medicine, the School of Pharmacy, and three teaching hospitals.

If you like sports, USC has won 110 NCAA national championships—you get the picture. USC is internationally renowned for its academics as well as its athletic prowess.

  • Acceptance rate: 16.1%
  • Average GPA of accepted student: 3.74 – 4.0
  • Demographics: 48% male, 52% female
  • Key dates and deadlines (2022)
    • Application: January 15
    • Financial aid deadlines: February 11
  • Ranking: 27th nationally
  • Size: 49,500
  • Tuition: $63,468

University of Southern California Campuses

The University Park campus is two miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles in the University Park district. The campus is bounded on the north and northeast by Jefferson Boulevard, on the southeast by Figueroa Street, on the south by Exposition Boulevard, and on the west by Vermont Avenue. The University Park campus is close to Los Angeles landmarks like the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the Shrine Auditorium, which is run and managed by the University.

Widney Alumni House, built in 1880, is Southern California’s oldest university building. The campus has been renovated in recent years to remove the remnants of old roads and replace them with traditional university quads and gardens. The main campus’s historic site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

USC, in addition to its main campus at University Park, operates the Health Sciences Campus, which is about 2 miles northeast of downtown. In addition, the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is staffed by USC faculty from the Keck School of Medicine and is frequently referred to as USC’s third campus.

USC also has an Orange County pharmacy, social work, business, and education centre in Irvine, as well as the Information Sciences Institute, which has locations in Arlington, Virginia, and Marina del Rey. USC has the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies on Catalina Island, which is just 20 miles off the coast of Los Angeles and home to the Philip K. Wrigley Marine Science Center, for its science students.

A satellite campus of the Price School of Public Policy is also located in Sacramento. The Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research (IPR), the Primary Care Physician Assistant Program, and the Masters in Public Health Program are all located on the Health Sciences Alhambra campus.

In September 2014, the university began construction on USC Village, a 1.25-million-square-foot residential and retail complex on 15 acres of university-owned land directly adjacent to USC’s University Park campus. The USC Village has over 130,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and four floors of student housing above. The $700 million project is the largest in USC history, as well as one of the largest in South Los Angeles history. The USC Village, which opened on August 17, 2017, includes a Trader Joe’s, 400 retail parking spaces, a fitness centre, a community room, restaurants, and outdoor dining, as well as housing for 2,700 students.

Faculties and Degree Programs at the University of Southern California

USC has approximately 4,706 full-time faculty members, 1,816 part-time faculty members, 16,614 staff members, and 4,817 student workers. More than 800 medical residents work alongside 350 postdoctoral fellows. USC faculty members include 37 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 17 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 97 members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 16 members of the National Academy of Medicine, 34 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 5 members of the American Philosophical Society, and 14 members of the National Academy of Public Administration.

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There are 95 undergraduate majors and 147 academic and professional minors available at the university. The “comprehensive” graduate program offers 134 master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees through 20 professional schools.

Financial aid at the University of Southern California

The majority of the grants, scholarships, and loans included in a USC financial aid package can be applied for by completing the FAFSA.

Every year, the FAFSA application season begins on October 1. Normally, the FAFSA deadline is June 30 or the end of the current academic year (whichever comes first).

If you are a US citizen, national, or permanent resident, you should be able to apply for federal student aid by filling out the FAFSA.

After submitting your application form based on your eligibility, you will receive a financial aid offer from USC that includes all applicable federal loans, grants, and scholarships.

What is FAFSA

The FAFSA is the universal financial aid application form used by the US Department of Education. Students can use it to apply for federal student loans, grants, and work-study assistance.

However, completing and submitting your FAFSA will not only result in federal student aid. State governments and USC will review your FAFSA to see if you are eligible for additional state aid or school-specific grants and scholarships.

However, keep in mind that some USC scholarships may require you to complete a separate application form, so make sure you do your research and understand all of the application requirements for relevant scholarships.

University of Southern California (USC) Student Grants

A grant is a type of financial aid known as gift aid—free it’s money that you don’t have to repay.

Grants and scholarships can be obtained from a variety of sources, including federal and state governments, USC, community groups, businesses, and others. However, if you want to apply for a grant from one of USC’s grant programs, you have several options.

The first is the USC University Grant. This is a needs-based grant for full-time bachelor’s degree students. However, half-time and three-quarter-time students can apply for limited grant funds if they demonstrate financial need.

Tuition, administrative fees, books, housing, and meals are all eligible for the USC University Grant. Every year, you must reapply.

The Cal Grant is another popular grant among USC students.

Cal Grants are only available to California students, and the funds can only be used to cover tuition and mandatory administrative fees. Cal Grants are classified into two types: Cal Grant A and Cal Grant B. To be eligible for one of the grants, you must meet general eligibility requirements and provide information about your family income, GPA, and other factors.

A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required to qualify for the Cal Grant A. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required to be eligible for a Cal B grant.


What is the University of Southern California known for academically?
The University of Southern California is also well-known for its Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, as well as its highly regarded School of Cinematic Arts, from which directors Judd Apatow and George Lucas graduated. Scenes from films such as “The Graduate,” “Legally Blonde,” and “Forrest Gump” were shot on the USC campus.

What kind of students does the University of Southern California look for?
The University of Southern California also considers personal qualities such as community involvement, leadership, and accomplishments. By studying across disciplines and taking advantage of the variety of programs available, USC students pursue ambitious intellectual and professional goals. They are open to stepping outside of their comfort zones.

Is the University of Southern California a prestigious institution?
You are not alone in your curiosity about the University of Southern California. Many students consider USC to be a dream school, and it is one of the most prestigious schools in California.

What makes the University of Southern California a good university?
The University of Southern California takes pride in combining the resources of a large research university with the student-centred culture of a liberal arts college. Despite having a relatively large undergraduate enrollment of 19,500 students, it has a class size of 26 students on average and an 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

[USC Merit Scholarship]

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