(If you’re looking for information on Tuition Assistance for your child at USC, visit Tuition Assistance – family.)
USC is proud to be a member of the Tuition Exchange (TE) program, offering children of university employees the opportunity to earn an undergraduate degree at one of 700+ member schools at significant savings. If you’re a full-time, benefits-eligible employee, your child may qualify to apply for a TE scholarship.
Please note that this program cannot be used in conjunction with USC Tuition Assistance Benefits (TAB). If your child accepts a TE scholarship, he/she will not be eligible for Tuition Assistance at USC either during or after enrollment at the TE school.
The following eligibility conditions apply:
- Must be a benefits-eligible, full-time (100% FTE) faculty or staff member
- Staff must have completed (or will complete) at least two years of service before July 31 each year to be eligible to submit a TE application for the following school year*
*For example, an employee hired on July 1, 2020, would satisfy two years of service on July 1, 2022. Because they satisfied two years of service before July 31, 2022, they would be eligible to submit a TE application for the 2023 – 2024 school year. Employees hired on or after August 1, 2020, would not be eligible to submit a TE application for the 2023 – 2024 school year.
- Must be your biological or legally-adopted child or stepchild (other children under your legal guardianship are not eligible)
- Must be under age 26 (the scholarship will expire at the end of the semester in which the child turns 26)
- Must not have already used Tuition Assistance or all eight semesters of TE
If you worked for USC before July 1, 2011 and completed 15 years of service, you may be grandfathered into TE eligibility. For more information or to confirm your eligibility, please contact Benefits at firstname.lastname@example.org or (213) 821-8100.
Tuition Exchange at a glance
TE scholarships are granted to undergraduates seeking their first bachelor’s degree (not including progressive degrees) and are awarded based on policies set by each member school.
Depending on the number of requests for TE, a lottery system may be used to determine the number of applications that will be allowed from children of USC employees.
How many semesters are covered?
USC’s TE scholarships are awarded for up to eight semesters, depending on entering class level. For example, a freshman would be granted eight semesters, a sophomore six semesters, a junior four semesters, and a senior two semesters to complete the program.
There is no spring admission cycle for TE, and summer terms are not available. Scholarships are renewed each year dependent upon satisfactory academic progress, good conduct, and continued parental benefit eligibility.
Before you apply
Start by studying the TE website, which includes an informational webinar and a complete list of participating schools. The School Search page also includes detailed information on each member school, including:
- Important deadlines, including the date by which scholarships are generally announced
- What is covered by the school’s scholarship (generally 75%-100% of tuition; in some cases, some other expenses like housing may be included)
- Whether the scholarship can be applied to study abroad programs
- Whether the scholarship is reserved for freshmen only
- Percentage of applicants who are awarded the scholarship
- Minimum GPA required to renew scholarship annually
Understand the process
There are multiple steps to the TE process. Please ensure you begin the application process approximately 12-15 months before your student plans to attend college to meet the various deadlines.
How to apply in three easy steps:
- Step 1: Submit USC’s TE certification form for the 2024-2025 school year by Sunday, October 1, 2023. You will need to attach a state-certified PDF copy of your child’s birth certificate to complete the TE application. Due to the high number of TE requests, we will not be able to consider TE applications submitted after the deadline of 10/1/23. By mid-October, a USC TE Liaison Officer (TELO) will confirm your eligibility and connect with you via email with next steps in the TE process.
- Step 2: Once eligibility is confirmed, the USC TELO will provide you with information on how to complete the TE EZ Online Application (Please note: this form cannot be completed until you receive confirmation of eligibility from the USC TELO).
- Step 3: Apply for admission to the participating school of interest according to the school’s published application deadlines (these deadlines usually fall after USC’s October 1 certification deadline).Admission decisions are made without reference to financial need or TE eligibility, but applicants are encouraged to apply for admission as early as possible since the scholarships are competitive and limited.
Please note that applying for a TE scholarship does not affect your child’s chances of admission to USC and applying to USC does not affect your child’s chances for a TE scholarship.
What happens next?
If your student is granted admission to one or more TE schools, each institution will then evaluate the applicant’s academic merit as a possible TE scholarship recipient. Note that early admission does not mean the TE decision will be made earlier than the published TE announcement date on the TE website.
If your student is awarded a TE scholarship, the school(s) then notify USC and the student. You must notify Benefits of your decision to accept a TE scholarship by emailing email@example.com (note “Tuition Exchange” in the subject line).
If your student is not granted a TE scholarship, you can reapply the following year as long as you remain eligible under the conditions listed above and the member school does not limit the scholarship to incoming freshmen only.