Weird Extra Steps for USC Application

USC seems to have some unique extra forms (i.e., hoops to jump through) that other schools do not have. For example, a few days after my son loaded his application portal, there was an extra form he had to complete that basically said the application was his own work. Just yesterday there was an email from financial aid that requested completion of extra USC forms through their web portal, despite the fact we submitted both the FAFSA and CSS Profile weeks ago. The financials forms were very brief and duplicated information already in FAFSA and CSS.

I thought the financials request was especially odd because every other school that I’ve dealt with in the process for two kids requests extra forms through the CSS Profile/IDOC process. When my older daughter was finalizing her aid package at a different school after she was admitted, they requested a letter. They would not take it directly, and I had to upload to IDOC.

Has anyone run into any other extra weird steps we should watch for?

I agree. I have not seen the “Applicant Affirmation and Notice of Potential Audit” form for any other universities. I might be wrong but it could be related to the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal.
Each private school can have from zero to multiple additional forms through the CSS profile/IDOC. So, it is not surprising.

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Yes, I have seen these other requests through IDOC, as I said. It was unusual that USC’s additional forms were directly through their own financial aid portal, which we accessed through my son’s application portal. Had it been an IDOC request, I would have seen it as I complete the financial aid forms and I monitor that portal just in case.

He would not have thought to monitor the USC financial aid portal in addition to the application portal. We only knew about it because USC sent him an email. It’s the kind of thing we easily might have missed since we did complete the FAFSA and CSS Profile already. In fact, the email he received was titled just “Apply Now for Financial Aid.”

I have advised him to “click around” the various portals just in case something pops up. It’s stressful to realize how easily we might have missed this step.

We had the same experience when our son applied in 2019.

USC doesn’t use IDOC, so you need to manage your FA forms in FAST. Once you get used to FAST, it’s easy to navigate. Whenever you get the missing docs email, login to FAST, click Required Docs & Info link at the very bottom, and it will show you exactly which docs are missing.


Haha. My son got another email today that directed him to the USC financial aid portal to upload documents. We followed the specific directions. No missing documents were listed in the portal, but it did show that the forms I completed yesterday were received.

I can only guess that the email was generated based on the documents that they requested several days ago, which we had already submitted yesterday. I am sharing this only to point out to others that monitoring the financial aid portal specifically is an additional necessary task for USC that most applicants could easily miss.