If you have questions about your financial aid, you may call the Financial Aid Office at (213) 740-1111. Staff members are available to assist you by phone between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. You may email the Financial Aid Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax documents 24 hours a day (see www.usc.edu/financialaid for instructions). Financial Aid counselors are available in the lobby of Hubbard Hall, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students can also access financial aid information online at My Financial Aid (www.usc.edu/financialaid).
Financial Aid Exit Loan Counseling Requirement
Students who received loan funds for study at USC under the Federal Stafford Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, Health Professions Student Loan or Loan for Disadvantaged Students, must satisfy exit loan counseling requirements when they graduate, withdraw or cease to be enrolled at least half time. You will be notified by mail regarding session dates and times.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress
As you plan your academic courses for spring 2008, keep in mind the number of units you will need to maintain satisfactory academic progress for financial aid. For information on the policy, refer to the most recent USC Catalogue or online at www.usc.edu/financialaid.
Federal Tax Regulations and Financial Aid
The Tax Reform Act of 1986 states that if the total of your grant, scholarship and fellowship aid for a calendar year exceeds the cost of tuition and fees, books, supplies and course-related equipment for that year, the excess is considered unearned taxable income and must be reported if you are required to file a tax return. For more information, please refer to Publication 520, available from the Internal Revenue Service or your tax advisor.
Federal Work-Study earnings are considered taxable income and must be reported if you file a tax return. Every Federal Work-Study employee is sent a W-2 form each January that shows total earnings for the previous year.
The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 created the Hope Scholarship Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit and made student loan interest deductible for some students and families. These provisions create new tax benefits for families who are paying for college costs or are repaying student loans. To help you and your parents file your tax returns and take advantage of these credits, you should save all billing statements as well as your financial aid award letters.
The Taxpayer Relief Act of 2001 raised the income-eligibility limits for student loan deductions and made state-sponsored prepaid tuition and college savings plans (section 529 plans) completely tax-free. This act made the tax exemption for employer-provided educational assistance permanent, and it extended the exemption to graduate-level studies. The legislation also created a tuition and fees deduction for college tuition for taxpayers with income too high to benefit from the Hope Scholarship or Lifetime Learning Credit. The legislation expanded educational IRAs (now called the Coverdell IRA), increased the annual contribution limit to $2,000 and allowed educational IRAs to be used for elementary and secondary-school expenses (including tuition at private and parochial schools).
For further information on all federal tax regulations, contact your tax advisor.