Financial Aid Guide

How to Pay for your USF Education

The Financial Aid Guide is a tool for students and parents to gain a basic understanding of the financial aid process at the University of San Francisco. Detailed financial aid policy information is retained internally with the Office of Financial Aid. For timely processing of your continuing financial aid, submitting a FAFSA or a CA Dream Act application beginning October 1st, will help to provide time for your application to be reviewed for any outstanding requirements. To access your financial aid information, click student under your MyUSF self service portal, and then click on the financial aid tab.

How to Apply For Financial Aid

To be considered for federal, state, and institutional aid, you must complete a FAFSA or a CA Dream Act application every academic year. Undergraduate university grants and scholarships require a FAFSA or CA Dream Act upon initial entry into the university as a first year student.

Completing Application/Aid Requirements

After your financial aid application is received, you may need to complete outstanding financial aid requirements. In some instances, "expected aid" doesn't become "actual aid" until specific documents are completed and submitted to USF or to other grant or lending agencies. After accessing your financial aid via the MyUSF student self service portal, go to the "Home" tab and navigate to the "Student Requirements" section. You may also complete verification by logging in to student forms. If your dependency status changes at any time during the award year, you must update your FAFSA information (ex. you become a graduate student), except when the update is due to a change in your marital status. 

Please allow time for processing, which may vary in length throughout the year. Requirements Include:

  • Tax Verification: If you are selected by the U.S. Department of Education for verification, the procedures and documents involved must be completed before any federal funds become actual aid. You will be required to provide tax information for the student (if applicable) and the parent(s). We suggest using the link to IRS option on the FAFSA to avoid ordering tax forms from the IRS.
  • Citizenship Verification: If FAFSA is not able to verify your citizenship status you must provide proof of your eligible noncitizen status (for example, an alien registration card or other documents designated by the Office of Financial Aid) before they can receive federal funds. You may also provide proof of citizenship by submitting a legible copy of your passport, certificate of naturalization, or US birth certificate.
  • Outside Scholarships: USF's Office of Financial Aid coordinates all of your outside aid awards as part of your overall financial aid package. Before those awards can be released to us, scholarship sponsors will typically require you to verify your registration or GPA. It's your responsibility to get that proof from USF's registrar in a timely way. If you receive an outside scholarship check directly, you'll need to forward it to our Student Accounts Office: Attn: Student Accounts, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton Street LMM- 203, San Francisco, CA 94117. If we don't receive the expected outside funds, your aid award will be adjusted.

Sources of Financial Aid

Your financial aid package may include money from a mix of sources:

  1. Gift aid: This can include federal and state grants (for example, a Pell Grant or Cal Grant) and need-based university grants, all of which are awarded based on your FAFSA. It can also include merit scholarships that USF awards based on the strength of your admission application. Gift aid does not need to be repaid. Learn more about gift aid
  2. Student employment/Graduate Assistantships: Your package may include either a Federal Work Study or Campus Employment offer. These are part-time positions that pay you directly for hours worked. View Student Job Listings
  3. Federal loans: These can include undergraduate subsidized loans (where the government pays the interest on the loan while you're enrolled at least half time) or unsubsidized loans (Accrues interest while enrolled in school from the time the loan is disbursed). The amount you can borrow varies, depending on your family's circumstances and grade level. Visit for more information and the required forms to complete if you plan to accept your federal loans or apply for a Parent PLUS loan.
  4. Outside scholarships and resources: Money from private sources—for example, tuition grants from your parents' employers or scholarships from organizations or clubs—are coordinated with the rest of your USF aid. This may also include veterans and ROTC benefits. We use them first to reduce the gap between your financial need and total aid awarded, then to replace any campus employment award. If your private funds exceed both of these amounts, any USF scholarship you'd received is reduced by the remaining portion of the outside award.

View and Accept Your Financial Aid Offer

Access your financial aid awards through the MyUSF student self service portal. Navigate to the "Award Offer" tab. Once you review the terms and conditions of each award, you may review and accept/decline your awards. Monitor the student requirements section for additional items that may need to be completed in order for your financial aid to process. Use your View & Pay portal to resolve any outstanding balance not covered by your financial aid.

Navigating the Student Self-Service Financial Aid Portal

Renewing Your Aid in Future Years

Because USF offers federal need-based financial aid as well as our own merit scholarships, students are required to reapply for assistance each year via the FAFSA. This allows us to assess your family's financial need based on the most current income information available. As a result, your aid may increase or decrease each year.

Which Financial Aid Application Should I File

Application Who Should File
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Domestic students who are U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens and meets general eligibility requirements. Federal School Code: 001325
California Dream Act  Undocumented and DACA students who are California residents and do not meet FAFSA filing requirements. FAFSA vs CA Dream Act. School Code: 00132500

Priority Filing Deadline

The priority filing deadline is to ensure timely processing of financial aid and for our office to get you your aid package in a timely manner for the next academic year.

Early Decision/  Early Action November 1
Regular Decision February 1
Transfer Students March 1
All Continuing Students  March 2
Graduate/ Professional Students February 23

For California residents applying for the Cal Grant award, FAFSA or CA Dream Act application must be submitted by March 2nd for Cal Grant award consideration. Due to the delay release of the 2024-2025 FAFSA and CA Dream Act applications, the priority deadline for 2024-2025 Cal Grant has been extended to April 2, 2024.

Your Responsibilities to Maintain Your Aid

Enrollment requirement: To be eligible for certain federal financial aid (for example, Direct Loans), you must be enrolled at USF at least half-time. To retain your federal and state aid, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) as defined for federal student aid and as described in USF's SAP policy.

Satisfactory academic progress: Our SAP policy is designed to ensure that you are making adequate progress toward completing your degree program with a goal of graduating in four years. Financial aid recipients must maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA and earn 16 credits each fall/spring academic year of enrollment. Academic progress is monitored yearly, although you may be contacted sooner if current enrollment is not meeting the standard progression.

Cost of Attendance

There is a limit to the amount of total awards (financial aid, loans, outside scholarships, other resources, etc.) a student can receive for the academic school year. Your financial aid budget is based on an estimated cost of attendance that includes both direct and indirect costs.

Direct costs include estimated amounts for tuition, fees, room and board, and health insurance.

Indirect costs consist of estimated amounts for books, personal expenses, and travel. The total cost of attendance is what we work from when determining the amount you and your family will be expected to contribute toward the cost of attending USF.

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