Financial Aid Policies

Award Letters

USF no longer sends paper award letters to students, but you can view, and accept or decline your financial aid award on our online portal, myUSF Student Self-Service.

You can access your award by clicking on the link above, logging in with your USF username and password and from the dashboard, click student self service. Financial aid information is found under the financial aid tab.

University Grant, Merit Scholarships, Transfer Scholarships and Institutional Aid

Not available for intersession or summer semesters. Must meet the enrollment guidelines listed below and continued satisfactory academic progression requirements. University Grant and Merit Scholarships are only awarded for up to 8 semesters; Transfer Scholarships 6 semesters. 


  • Less than 6 units - not eligible for any financial aid.
  • 6-8 units is 1/2 time - University aid is pro-rated at 50%; federal and state aid prorated according to federal/state rules. Loans can be disbursed at 100%.
  • 9-11 units is 3/4 time - University aid is pro-rated at 75%; federal and state aid is prorated according to federal and state rules. Loans can be disbursed 100%.

University grant/scholarship is only available for 8 semesters. If a student enrolls half time at any point, that term still counts as a semester of aid used. Thus, the student is still only entitled to 8 semesters, even if enrolled in 10 or more.

Undergraduate students who graduate in Fall semester will have their student loan prorated to match the number of units the student is taking in their final semester.

Cal Grant Recipients: Cal Grant funding is limited to 4 academic years. In order to graduate in 4 years, you must complete 16 or more units per semester. Create a plan with your academic adviser to ensure you will graduate in 4 years. 

Enrollment Census Date and Financial Aid Eligibility

If you are eligible to receive financial aid, and have satisfied all of your financial aid requirements, your grant and loan funds (if applicable) will be disbursed approximately 10 days prior to the start of classes for the semester. If you increase or decrease your enrollment between the disbursement date and the enrollment census date, your financial aid will be adjusted accordingly to ensure that it is the appropriate amount for your enrollment. 

Enrollment Change Timeline

  • The last day to add a course is the Monday in Week 2 of the term
  • The last day to drop a course is the Friday in Week 3 of the term
  • The financial aid census will happen on the Saturday of Week 3 of the term

Enrollment Changes

If you change your enrollment after the census date, with the exception of students who stop attending or completely withdraw, your financial aid will not be revised and you will be responsible for any additional charges. If you have extenuating circumstances as to why you had a change in enrollment, you may complete and submit a Enrollment Adjustment appeal.


When financial aid is paid to a University on your behalf, this is called a "Disbursement." Award funds are disbursed to USF student accounts on a pre-scheduled date each semester, and pay for billed charges such as tuition and fees. If the student's financial aid exceeds their billed charges, the credit balance is refunded to the student (or parent, if requested, in the case of some Parent PLUS loans). Learn more about refunds.

In order for a financial aid disbursement to occur:

  • All financial aid requirements must be satisfied. Most requirements can be completed online, and you will find links and instructions for completion in myUSF Student Self-Service.
  • The student must be registered for classes. Some awards require a minimum registration of half time (6 units for Undergraduates, 3 for Graduates), or full time (12+ for Undergraduates, 6+ for Graduates), and some are pro-rated based on enrollment.

The date must be at or beyond the pre-scheduled disbursement date for the semester. The financial aid office is not allowed to disburse aid more than 10 days before the start of the semester, and usually selects a pre-scheduled date on which financial aid disbursements will take place. This date is chosen based on Federal regulations and your degree program. No aid for the semester may be disbursed before these scheduled dates, and no exceptions will be made. For upcoming disbursement dates, please see our disbursement calendar below.

Graduate Students Direct unsubsidized loans will be offered in equal disbursements between reported terms of enrollment. Students may apply for a Direct Grad Plus loan to cover any remaining balances or living/educational expenses. The office of financial aid reserves administrative authority to decline unequal loan disbursement request. 

2020-2021 Financial Aid Disbursement Dates

Undergraduate and Graduate (excluding law)

Semester Disbursement Date
Fall 2020 August 10, 2020
Spring 2021 January 15, 2021
Summer 2021 (Session 1, 2, and 4) May 14, 2021
Summer 2021 (Session 5) June 4, 2021
Summer 2021 (Session 3 and 6) June 28, 2021
Summer 2021 (Session 7) July 16, 2021
Private Loans* *Varies depending on lender


Students have the right to appeal to the financial aid office, with supporting documentation, regarding their financial aid awards or eligibility. Appeal decisions are final. You may amend a financial aid appeal by resubmitting the appeal with additional supporting documentation. 

Code of Conduct: Education Loans

The University of San Francisco does not participate in any revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender, nor does the University receive gifts from any lender, a guarantor or a loan servicer for providing Loan Funds to its student population.

The USF Private Loan Comparison is a list of lenders that USF has successfully worked with in the past and that USF students have borrowed from over the past five or more years. Students are not limited to these options when choosing a lender. USF approves or denies loan requests based on enrollment only. Any student receiving a private loan must be enrolled in at least one class. Any student receiving Federal Direct loans must enroll at least half time. If these conditions are not met, USF may deny the student loan certification.