Why ask for financial aid info before acceptance

Anyone know what it means that USC is asking for more financial aid info - a week before decisions come out? Is this a good sign, since they wouldn’t be bothering with a package if not accepted? Or is it a test to see who will actually complete the assignment by sending in the new info? Anyone survive this before today?

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Send them what they are asking for from financial aid…and just wait (patiently) to hear from admissions.


Done - just wondering why they would ask if not accepting?

I don’t know…but USC is need blind for admissions so the financial aid department and admissions don’t chat about student outcomes. Each does their own thing.

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Most college admissions offices and financial aid offices work independently. FA offers need to be ready to go for all students when it is time. They can’t possible get offers together at the last minute for those that are accepted.


I have the same question. Did you notice the disclaimer basically saying this request in no way indicates an acceptance? I received the email request a week ago, and everyday since then, but I still haven’t filled it out. They’ve had my FAFSA and CSS for months, and they want this ASAP with decisions coming in a week? Just strange IMO. The lady in the FA office said it’s a requirement for everyone hoping for need based aid…


@PepperJo so,why aren’t you doing this if you are applying for need based aid? Not wishing to highjack this thread, but college financial aid offices often ask for additional forms or info…and sometimes at what seems to be the 11th hour.

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I don’t get it either - but I sure did it ASAP, just in case! I can’t imagine why they would be working on a financial aid package for a student who wasn’t accepted, particularly since their acceptance rate is so low. 74,000 students applied last year and 8,400 were accepted - did they really create 74,000 financial aid packages and just use the 8,400 they needed?

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#1 We won’t qualify for need based aid
#2 The school isn’t high on her list at this point
#3 If admissions & financial aid are truly independent, not filling it out won’t change the outcome.
#4 The woman in FA couldn’t explain why they needed a digital copy of our 2020 return when I used the IRS data retrieval tool to fill out the FAFSA.
Will I
Fill it out? Most likely lol


We were still supplying supplemental materials 48 hours before decisions with D20. We had submitted FAFSA, CSS profile, and additional paperwork through IDOC. One school was requesting additional letters from us detailing DH’s consulting gigs and one particular investment. They asked, we provided everything. I didn’t want to have to tell D she couldn’t go to a school because we didn’t submit FA paperwork and couldn’t afford it.


For you…no….since you don’t qualify for need based aid. For the OP, not completing the request from financial aid could absolutely affect awarding of need based aid.

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Did she get accepted after all that?

Received another email from USC requesting additional financial documents this morning, but when I logged into FAST, there’s nothing there. Left myself a note to contact them on Monday morning, because I, too, knowing full well that Admissions & Financial Aid are 2 separate entities AND we don’t qualify for need-based aid, would feel guilty IF my son was denied admission because I will subconsciously think it was because I did not turn in that “much needed” financial document 6 days before releasing decisions. :see_no_evil:


It won’t change the admission decision, but who’s to say they won’t give out all the financial aid to those who sent in the requested information immediately? Some schools do run out of money.

You never know how a school is going to use those documents. This year schools were given CARES funds. Some dispersed $$ to students who had completed the financial aid documents regardless of whether or not they qualified for need based aid.


Well my husband and I submitted the necessary documents tonight even though we know we won’t get need based aid from them. In 6 days we’ll know the admission outcome. Had this been in her top 3, we would have done it right away. But handing over your tax returns for the past one to three years to a third party seems a little invasive IMO.

Is this the only private school she applied to?

No, in addition to USC, she applied and has been accepted to 8 schools so far—3 private, 1 public in-state, and 4 public OOS. We sent the FAFSA to all but the in-state public. I also have a 3rd year at a private university with an $80K COA. She received a full tuition merit award, so we only pay room/board/fees for her. I was hoping #2 would get some need based aid, but all of our financial aid “packages” to date say we are full pay or can take out a loan to fund #2.

She did…but a classmate (who didn’t have the investment or consulting issues) did not. They were gathering things within the last few days, too, so you never really know.

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I am a parent of a ‘23 HS grad who applied to USC EA. I’m curious whether those who were asked for FAFSA info before decisions were released ultimately got accepted?