USC’s Financial Aid Office will assist you with the financial aspects of taking a leave from the university.  Contact them directly and provide a copy of your leave of absence form.

USC Financial Aid Office
(213) 740-4444
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. M-F

Financial aid application deadlines are posted the December proceeding the academic year of your expected return at

Please read the following points carefully as they may apply to you:

  • Withdrawal During the Drop/Add Period:
    If you withdraw during the published drop/add period for a semester, you may be eligible for a 100 percent refund of tuition. All financial aid funds must be returned to their respective programs. If you were given financial aid funds for other expenses, you will be expected to return those funds to the university.
  • Tuition Refund Insurance:
    If you withdraw from *all* classes after the drop/add period due to illness, injury, or mental health and are participating in the Tuition Refund Plan (TRP), you may be able to file a claim for a refund. To file a claim contact the Registrar One Stop Center by email or by phone at (213) 740-8500. Learn more:  
  • Return of Title IV Funds:
    If you are a recipient of Title IV federal student aid (Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Parent or Graduate PLUS Loan, Federal Pell Grant, and Federal SEOG Grant) and you withdraw from all classes after the drop/add period, you may need to repay a portion of these funds. Learn more: Click on Undergraduate Education, then on Financial Aid for Undergraduate Students. Refer to the “Withdrawal Implications for Recipients of Financial Aid” section.
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP):
    If you withdraw from classes your Satisfactory Academic Progress may be impacted. To be eligible for federal, state and university financial aid, you are required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress toward your degree objective. Learn more: Click on Undergraduate Education, then on Financial Aid for Undergraduate Students. Refer to the “Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy” section.

Student Loans

If you have taken out student loans, notify your lender(s) of your leave of absence. Ask each lender how your leave of absence will affect your grace period and repayment. If you are not in repayment and depending on your loan, you may be expected to enter repayment immediately or after the expiration of the grace period. If you receive loan billing statements, do not ignore them.  Call the lender to inquire about deferment and forbearance possibilities. Keep copies of all correspondence and records of all telephone conversations you have with your lenders. If you are not sure who your lender is, call the Financial Aid Office to get that information. The Financial Aid Office will determine if you need to complete an exit loan counseling session.


If you have work-study, notify your employer with the date your leave of absence begins.  You can no longer earn money through the Federal Work-Study Program (1) past the date of your official leave of absence or (2) if you drop below half-time enrollment (less than 6 units).

Cal Grants

If you are enrolled in less than 12 units, you must request a leave of absence from the Cal Grant program. A leave of absence may be requested by calling toll free at 888-CA-GRANT (888-224-7268) or by visiting Web-Grants for Students:

USC Scholarships

Upon receiving notice of your leave of absence, the Financial Aid Office will put any USC Scholarships you have been awarded on hold. (The USC Merit Scholarships include the Mork Family, Stamps Leadership, Trustee, Presidential, National Merit Finalist Presidential, International Freshman Academic, USC Associates, Deans, International Freshman Deans, Leadership, and Transfer Merit Scholarships). Your scholarship will be on hold for the time period your academic department has approved for your leave of absence. You must contact the Financial Aid Office before you return to USC in order to reinstate your scholarship.  Please note that all USC Merit Scholarships are limited to a total of 8 semesters of eligibility (10 semesters for students in the five-year Architecture program). If you have received scholarships from any other USC organization or academic department, you must contact that organization or department to discuss the status of your award and inquire about reapplication requirements.

Non-USC Scholarships

If you are a recipient of any non-USC scholarships, notify the awarding agency in writing about your leave of absence. Include the reason for your leave of absence and your anticipated date of return. Be sure to notify the awarding agency before you return to USC if they agree to reinstate your scholarship. Recipients of the National Merit Scholarship should contact the National Merit Scholarship Corporation at (847) 866-5100 to request a leave of absence form.