Financial Resources

Applying for Financial Aid

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The California Dream Act of 2011 allows students enrolled in eligible California Colleges, Universities and Career Education Programs to apply for state financial aid. To learn more about the California Dream Act and review available resources please visit the California Student Aid Commission's website. You should also note that the California Dream Act remains in effect for all eligible recipients and is not affected by the recent changes to DACA. Please click here for details from the California Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (CASFAA).

  • Students who have graduated or will graduate from a California high school who qualify to apply for a Cal Grant under the California Dream Act of 2011 must apply online at
  • Students who graduated or will graduate from a high school outside of California who meet all of the criteria (outlined below) may qualify for institutional financial aid. Such students must apply by downloading the USD Dream Act Application paper application, completing it by hand, and submitting a hard copy to the USD Office of Financial Aid.
  1. Attend a high school in the United States (US) for three or more years (9th grade counts)
  2. Graduate (or will graduate) from a high school in the US or the equivalent(a High School Equivalency Certificate issued by a US State GED Office or a Certificate of Proficiency resulting from the US High School Proficiency Exam.)
  3. If applicable, complete(d) an affidavit to legalize immigration status as soon as you are eligible, AND 
  4. Do not hold a valid non-immigrant visa (F, J, H, L, A, B, C, D, E, etc.)

Students who submit the California Dream Act application may also be considered for USD Merit Scholarships; however, they will not be eligible for Federal Student Aid (FSA) Funds or student employment.

For additional information on applying for financial aid at USD, please review the Guide to Applying/Reapplying for Financial Aid for Undergraduate Students. Guide to Applying/Reapplying for Financial Aid at USD for Undergraduate Students.

Scholarship Opportunities

Outside scholarships are an excellent source of funding. The Office of Financial Aid has put together some helpful tips to guide you through the process of finding and applying for scholarships.

Scholarship Application Tips

There are so many outside scholarships out there! As a result, the search process can sometimes feel overwhelming. Immigrant Rising’s List of Undergraduate Scholarships contains scholarships for undergraduate studies that don’t require proof of citizenship or legal permanent residency. Additionally, here is a List of Graduate Scholarships that don't require proof of citizenship or legal permanent residency. This up-to-date list, organized by the deadline date, contains scholarships at the local, state and national levels.

If you are the lucky recipient of an outside scholarship and you have received a check that needs to be applied to your student account please feel free to bring the check to the One Stop Student Center in UC 126 or mail your check directly to:

University of San Diego

Office of Financial Aid

Hughes Center 319

5998 Alcala Park

San Diego, CA 92110

Have additional scholarship questions? Visit our Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions page.

USD Research Grants and Scholarships

Educators for Fair Consideration Scholarship Opportunities