Help me understand why my brother and I are paying full tuition at University of Southern California

I was just wondering if my brother and I qualify for any financial aid? We both go to University of Southern California and both of us are currently paying full tuition (120k total each year) at the university which is a lot of money for our parents to pay each year and the university is emphasizing how much extra financial aid they are going to give out to students and I was wondering if we quality for any university/state/federal financial aid? Our family has a combined income of about $200,000. Also, I should state that my brother and I do not have the best grades so I do not think either of us qualify for merit-based scholarships. Thank you for your help!

Should I file an app for FAFSA/Cal Grant and CSS Application?

USC has a Net Price Calculator that will give you a financial aid estimate. Try that first to see whether you are likely to be eligible for any financial aid. Have a parent help you.

If you don’t fill out the financial aid forms, you won’t even be considered for aid. How would USC know how much aid you need if you don’t complete the forms?

I believe the deadline for Cal grants is TODAY. They do not accept late applications.

I filed one the past 2 years and received no aid and nothing about my family’s financials changed.

Something doesn’t seem
quite right.

You have a family income of $200,000? And two students in college at the same time?

But you are asked to pay over half of your income a year for college?

Or do your parents actually earn more, or have large assets, a second house maybe?

So say income is 200 000, but what about assets? Any divorce? Own a business? Own second + property? Lots of savings? You did fafsa and CSS, you should know the answers to these questions, or if your parents did it, and they are not questioning FA, you may not have all the details. Parents who earn 200K are usually smart enough to work out what they might get with FA. What is your FASFSA EFC?

If you file a FASFA you would at least get a govt loan, I really do not see how on the stated income which is high do not get me wrong can you pay 120k for school. IS the 200k after taxes?
As others have said run a NPC for USC and see what it says.

The NPC looks pretty honest LOL, just playing with it for a family if 4 with a gross income of 200000. Guessing at a bit of savings and some home equity, it isn’t exactly mysterious. USC meets need as it sees the need. You don’t even need a ton of assets or savings to get to paying 60K each. COA is $69K, so you are getting some aid? You are now approaching the end of your sophomore year? The best thing you can do to make it worth while for your parents is to knuckle down and get great grades. Transferring if you have poor grades is going to be a problem even at public schools.

the family’s income is way too high for a Cal Grant.

do your parents own other properties? do they own a business or take business deductions?

if your family earns $200k per year, pays taxes, etc, how would it then be able to pay $120k per year for you and your brother to go to college?

And what’s with the grades? your parents are spending hard earned money on your college yet you “do not have the best grades.”

your parents earnings are too high for a Cal Grant.

This is why we didn’t send our son to USC and went with an in-state California tuition - UC. USC is a great school but why get into unnecessary debt if you cannot qualify for funds if your parents make too much money but not enough to afford USC? It’s a shame but lines need to be drawn and it’s up to the student and family how stretched you want to be for the next few years.

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are you saying that your family hasn’t been submitting FAFSA and CSS profile each year?

USC isn’t exactly the most generous with fin aid for the upper-middle class.

This is an odd post. You both go there currently. Why ask random strangers if USC will give you aid? Why haven’t you gone into the FA office to ask this question? And why aren’t your parents the ones trying to figure this out? If I was paying 120k a year I’d sure be doing my best as a parent to get that cost down somehow.

I don’t think this post is real.

@PurpleTitan Why should they be?

You can borrow $7,500 a year and your siblings can borrow $7,500 a year in junior and senior year. That would save your parents $30,000 at least if you haven’t taken your student loans.

You both can get jobs too.

Or you could transfer to a cheaper school for the last two years, share an apartment, etc.

You need good grades and internships, work experience to get a job after graduation.

This is an odd post<<<<


                       Really, kids hear a lot of noise about FA. USC will also be doing damage control from the PR of varsity blues and earning its reputation as the university for spoiled children. All kids are susceptible to hearing from their mates who get a lot of FA without talking about income. Few kids are game to throw in that their parents earn $200 000, have X$ home equity, a 529, mutual fund, yearly bonus checks, etc. We hear the same, kid x has all her room and board payed etc. We KNOW that doesn't apply to us, OPs parent's probably handle the $$.

@TomSrOfBoston, I don’t recall saying they should be. Do you?

This thread has some missing information.

  1. Are these two siblings twins? Or was one already attending USC at full freight when the other enrolled?
  2. Did the family complete the financial aid forms...FAFSA and Profile? Not clear that happened.
  3. Were these students selected for verification? If that wasn’t completed, they would not have received any financial aid even IF they were offered it.
  4. Were the students offered financial aid...and either didn’t see it in their student portal...or didn’t accept it?
  5. Let’s say they did the FAFSA...what was their FAFSA EFC? If it was $140,000 or so...they would not have been entitled to need based aid.
  6. What assets do the family have? Home equity? Savings? 529 accounts? Additional real estate? All of these things count.
  7. Does that $200,000 income include contributions to tax deferred retirement accounts?
  8. Are the parents self employed or do they own a business? If deductions allowed by the IRS can be added back in as income.
  9. What is their primary home equity? IIRC, USC does use this number in their calculations.
  10. Are the parents divorced? If so...remarried?