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Endowment for Student Scholarships

Throughout the past two decades, the caliber of USC’s undergraduate student body has increased exponentially, fueling our skyrocketing prestige and reputation. One factor helping to propel this remarkable trajectory has been our commitment to meet 100 percent of undergraduate students’ financial need through scholarships and other types of financial aid. USC administers the largest undergraduate financial aid program in the United States. However, only a small fraction of undergraduate scholarship aid is provided through endowment. Nearly all of the funds used to make USC affordable come from the university’s unrestricted operating funds or external sources such as student loans.

At present, too many USC students graduate with student loans, a burden that may influence the choices they make after graduation. Additional support from scholarships will decrease the amount of loans in our financial aid packages, making a dramatic difference in the lives of middle- and lower-income students and their families.

Establishing new additional endowed undergraduate scholarship funds at USC is a critical Campaign priority. At the same time, we must increase fellowship support for our Ph.D., graduate professional students, and postdoctoral fellows in all fields.

Because world-class faculty consider the quality of an institution’s Ph.D., graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows when weighing an appointment, the availability of generous fellowships to draw the world’s best students to USC will significantly enhance the university’s faculty recruitment efforts. In turn, these outstanding faculty will attract top students who want to work side by side with them. In this way, providing fellowships for brilliant Ph.D., graduate students, and postdocs will create a positive feedback loop and have a critical multiplier effect on USC.

Priority Goals