Filing Your FAFSA: Easy as 1, 2, 3
Each year's FAFSA is used for fall, spring and summer terms. For instance, for the fall 2016, spring 2017 and summer 2017 terms, you will need to complete the FAFSA for 2016-17. Follow the three simple steps below to help you complete your FAFSA application.
Note: While all students are encouraged to submit a FAFSA, USC does not require one
for general scholarship consideration.
Step 1: Create Your FSA ID
Your Federal Student Aid ID is a unique number assigned to you through the U.S. Department
of Education. It provides access to your FAFSA records and serves as your electronic
signature. Once you receive your FSA ID, you have immediate access to your FAFSA,
and you will use the same ID every year you apply for aid. Only one FSA ID and FAFSA
application are needed per student, even if you are applying to multiple schools.
Create your new FSA ID »
Step 2: Complete the FAFSA
Once you have created your FSA ID, you will need to complete the application, which
can be completed online or as a paper copy that can be mailed. This application determines
your eligibility for all forms of financial aid, so it is very important that you
take time to read all instructions carefully and be as accurate as possible. Filing
is free, and your application can be submitted anytime after Oct. 1 each year to be
eligible for aid the following academic year.
Learn more about what to expect and complete your FAFSA »
Step 3: Provide Additional Documentation
Each year, a number of applications are selected for verification, a process required
by the U.S. Department of Education through which information on the FAFSA must be
documented to assure its accuracy. You will receive an email that notifies you to
check your eligibility and unsatisfied requirements on Self-Service Carolina, where instructions for completing your verification responsibilities can be found.
Prepare yourself with the required FAFSA documentation »