The USC Merit Scholarship: Ultimate Guide

The USC Merit Scholarships are several scholarships available to help undergraduate students pay for their education at the University of Southern California. This money originates from several university, federal, state, and private sources, and they are not repaid like loans.

Scholarships are typically awarded to individuals who have exceptional academic, athletic, or creative abilities. Students who are interested in specific fields of study, are members of lower socio-economic backgrounds, or live in specific locations of the country can also apply for awards.

Level/Field of Study

This scholarship is open to students with a strong desire for a bachelor’s degree.

Host Nationality

The USC Merit scholarship is hosted by the University of Southern California in America.

Eligibility for the USC Merit Scholarship

USC Merit scholarship is awarded based on the following criteria

  • Academic performance,
  • leadership,
  • service,
  • talent

Requirements to Apply for the USC Merit Scholarship

There are no special requirements for the scholarship other than applying to study at the university before December.

See Also: Tulane Scholarships: How to Get One and How They Work

USC Merit Scholarships

Trustee Scholarship 

Unfortunately, international students at the University of Southern California are not eligible for need-based scholarships and must instead apply for merit-based scholarships such as the Trustee scholarship. Each year, the Trustee Scholarship provides financial assistance to 100 outstanding first-year students. To be eligible for this scholarship, you must apply by December 1st. They will also notify you if you are one of the grantees by April 1.

Presidential Scholarship

Despite providing half the financial aid as the Trustee Scholarship, the Presidential Scholarship attracts twice as many applicants, or 200 students, each year. Based on their application requirements, students are automatically selected for this scholarship at the University. If a student is chosen, the Office of Admissions will contact them directly.

Dean Scholarship

The Dean Scholarship is a competitive merit-based scholarship program offered by USC for high academic achievers. To be considered for the scholarship, candidates must demonstrate talent, innovation, perseverance, or leadership in addition to academic criteria.

Approximately 100 Dean Scholarship awards are given out each year, with the scholarship amount equal to one-quarter of your annual salary.

Application Process

If you submit a complete application, you will be automatically considered for a scholarship.

Selection Process

The USC Merit Scholarship is administered by the Office of Admission. The Office of Admission collates, reviews and decides on the benefit.

Scholarship Award

The USC Merit Scholarship is administered by the Office of Admission. Merit scholarships range in value from a few thousand dollars to full tuition. The full-tuition, four-year Trustee scholarship, the half-tuition Presidential Scholarship, and the one-quarter tuition Deans Scholarship are included.

Deadline for the USC Merit Scholarship

This scholarship is open until December 2023. As far as you apply to gain admission into the University of South California before the 1st of December, you stand a chance.

How to Win a USC Merit Scholarship

The University of Southern California is one of the few private top universities that grant highly qualified students significant merit scholarships. Students must apply for a USC merit scholarship before the usual decision date to be considered.

Approximately 2% of early candidates are chosen for consideration for a USC merit scholarship. Students may be eligible for one of three USC merit scholarships: the Trustee scholarship (full tuition), the Presidential scholarship (half-tuition), or the Dean’s Scholarship (quarter-tuition).

The vast majority (about 90%) of the 2% of applicants that are chosen will earn one of these merit scholarships. It’s critical to submit a solid writing section of your USC application if you want to obtain a scholarship.


The University of Southern California is a top private research university on the entire planet. USC’s diversified curricular offerings give substantial opportunities for interdisciplinary study and collaboration with top academics in highly advanced learning environments, making it an anchor school in Los Angeles and a global centre for arts, technology, and international business.

The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education scored USC 19th out of over 1,000 public and private universities in their comprehensive 2022 rating. Only USC, Caltech, and Stanford University were among the top 20 public and private universities in California. USC is ranked third overall among the 150 universities examined in the western United States. USC was placed No. 4 in engagement among the top 25 colleges, which assesses how students feel about how their education equips them for the business world.

Since its inception in 1880, USC has evolved into a top-tier private research university with all of the major, urban university facilities and the caring atmosphere of a small liberal arts college. Interdisciplinary, learner-centred curricula help students thrive as they prepare for the challenges of the twenty-first century.

You will have the opportunity to explore, challenge, and distinguish yourself, whether your passion is art or anthropology, computer science or the biological sciences.


Is USC a top 20 university?
Only USC, Caltech, and Stanford University were among the top 20 public and private institutions in California. USC is ranked third overall among the 150 western universities surveyed.

Is it difficult to get into USC?
The admissions process at USC is extremely competitive. Last year, over 70,000 students applied, lowering the USC acceptance rate to 12%. Over a quarter of students admitted to the USC Class of 2025 had perfect high school grades.

Is USC an Ivy League school?
Outside of the Ivy League, USC, UCLA, and Stanford are among the most prestigious universities. These top universities, like their Ivy League counterparts, have challenging classes, distinguished professors, competitive acceptance rates, and distinguished alumni networks.

Why is USC so esteemed?
USC is a top-tier, R1-Doctoral research university with “very high research output,” according to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education (CCIH). Every year, faculty members make significant contributions in a wide range of fields, putting the school in the national and international spotlight.

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