Returning Student Checklist
Consult with your department of study about applying for Departmental Scholarships.
- Apply for Non-Institutional Scholarships.
- State scholarships (LIFE and Palmetto Fellows) will be awarded automatically provided tht you meet all renewable requirements.
Complete the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application is required for federal financial aid, including student loans.
- When completing the FAFSA, you will need a Personal Identification Number (PIN). If you need to provide parent information on the FAFSA, your parent will also need a PIN. It is important to remember your PIN as you will use it frequently.
- USC-Columbia's School Code is 003448.
Check your Financial Aid Eligibility and Requirements on Self Service Carolina (SSC) once our office has received your FAFSA. Federal aid will not be awarded until your application is complete and all requirements are satisfied.
- Visit https://my.sc.edu/ if you have problems accessing the SSC link.
- Remember that it could take 1 to 2 weeks for USC-Columbia to receive the results of your application.
- Make sure all requirements are satisfied before April 1st. This is USC-Columbia's Priority Deadline. If all requirements are not satisfied by April 1st, then you may miss out on awards that have limited funding. However, you may continue to apply after April 1st to receive a Pell Grant and Federal Direct Loans.
- If you are a first-time user of SSC, set your SSC PIN.
Check your awards. You will automatically be considered for federal grants and loans. After you have been awarded, use our cost estimator to help you decide if other aid is needed.
- USC-Columbia begins awarding Federal Aid on April 1st.
Parents of dependent undergraduate students may apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan if more aid is needed.
As a last resort, you may consider applying for a Private Educational Loan.
Review and Finalize Your Awards
Review and Accept, Decline, or Make Changes to your awards on SSC by clicking on the Financial Aid tab, Award, and then Aid for Award Year.
- If you wish to make any other changes to your awards, submit a signed copy of your award letter to our office with the changes listed.
- If you have been awarded the South Carolina Palmetto Fellows, LIFE, HOPE, or State Need-Based Grant, complete the State Programs Certification on SSC by clicking on the "Terms and Conditions" tab under "Aid for Award Year."
Complete Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling by signing in at http://www.studentloans.gov.
- This step is only necessary if you haven't completed entrance counseling within the last 10 years.
- If you are not sure whether or not you have completed entrance counseling, sign in to your account at http://www.studentloans.gov to check your counseling status.
Complete your Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) by signing in at http://www.studentloans.gov.
- This step is not necessary if you have already completed the MPN with in the last 10 years.
- If you are not sure whether or not you have completed an MPN, sign in to your account at http://www.studentloans.gov to check your completed loan documents.
If awarded a Federal Perkins Loan, complete your Promissory Note and other loan requirements at http://www.sc.edu/bursar/studentloan.shtml (click on the "Initial Loan Processing" tab).
If you have been awarded Federal Work Study, you may click here to search for job postings. If you have not been awarded Federal Work Study and you wish to be considered for it, please contact out office.
Read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for detailed information about your awards and how to use them.
Make sure any Non-University Scholarship checks are sent to:
Bursar's Office · 516 South Main Street · Columbia, South Carolina 29208.
- You may need to endorse a check if it is made co-payable to you and the University.
Receiving Your Financial Aid
Confirm you have completed all financial aid requirements on SSC.
- The Title IV Fee Authorization must be completed on SSC by clicking on the "Resources/Additional Information" tab under "Aid For Award Year."
- Once fees are calculated and the bill is created, funds will begin disbursing to the student's account. It is your responsibility to ensure that all requirements for financial aid are completed so that aid can be used in the disbursement process and that any remaining charges are paid to fully satisfy your bill.