A scholarship fully funded by the USC Student Body
The NTSAF Goals

The NTSAF strives to encourage and support Scholars in their academic achievements as well as their involvement in community service. The ultimate goal of the Fund is to help develop a sense of community within the university for all Scholars. To achieve this goal, the NTSAF provides the following services to the Topping Scholars:

  • To create a deepened sense of community among Topping Scholars
  • To empower Topping Scholars to take on the challenges they face by providing quality programming and student-centered service
  • To encourage Topping Scholars to eagerly embrace the responsibility of student service at the University of Southern California
  • To maintain the integrity of the Governing Board as being primarily student administered
Programs and Services

The NTSAF strives to encourage and support Scholars in their academic achievements as well as their involvement in community service. The ultimate goal of the Fund is to help develop a sense of community within the university for all Scholars. To achieve this goal, the NTSAF provides the following services to the Topping Scholars:

New Scholar Welcome Breakfast

The New Scholar Welcome Breakfast officially welcomes the new Scholars and their families to campus as Topping Scholars. It is an opportunity for the new cohort to meet and become familiar with the Topping Family as a primary resource in their college success. Topping Scholars and their guests are treated to breakfast, a presentation about the Norman Topping Student Aid Fund and guest speakers associated with the Fund, including remarks by current and past scholars.




Topping Scholar Retreat

The Topping Scholar Retreat is an opportunity to spend a weekend to familiarize the incoming cohort of scholars to the Fund, update continuing scholars on changes to the Fund or its policies, and serve as an avenue to connect all scholars to the academic mission of the university. The retreat is an opportunity for community building among all scholars and USC campus colleagues; to establish our Topping Family and kick off the new academic year.


 

Academic Success Seminar Series

The NTSAF offers a series of academic seminars to facilitate the transition of incoming Topping Scholars to the University. The goal of these seminars is to fully integrate scholars into university life while at the same time introduce them to the wide array of resources available on campus.


Fall and Spring Faculty-Student Luncheons

Faculty members play an integral part in the retention and success of college students. As such, our luncheons are an opportunity for students to interact with faculty members outside of the classroom in a comfortable environment.




Safe Halloween

The Norman Topping Student Aid Fund, in collaboration with the City of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation, organize the annual Safe Halloween event to provide a safe celebration for children in the local community. In coordination with the Hoover Recreation Center's staff, the scholars annually plan and provide a one-night extravaganza with a haunted house, inflatable rides, candy and treats for neighborhood youth.


Fall Study Breaks

The final exam period can be a stressful experience for many students. The NTSAF provides dinner, snacks, masseuses, and academic materials to help Topping Scholars take a relaxing, fun break from studying before that final study push.




Eggster: Egg Hunt & Spring Learning Festival

Topping Scholars and the USC Volunteer Center have joined together to create the annual Eggster event. Eggster is a non-denominational celebration of the rites of spring. Topping Scholars and other student volunteers come together to plan and carry out a day filled with educational booths, inflatable rides, various performances and Egg Hunts for families of the local surrounding community.


 

Annual Recognition Banquet

For over 45 years, the NTSAF has celebrated the accomplishments of our USC Topping Scholars.  At the Annual Recognition Banquet, Scholars, their respective family members and friends gathered to celebrate the successful completion of another academic year as a community. In addition, graduating Scholars are honored for their tenure with the Fund.


 

 

Fall & Spring Semester Community Service Hours

To encourage Topping Scholars to eagerly embrace the responsibility of student service at USC, they are required to complete 20 hours of community service each semester. From tutoring students in neighboring elementary schools to providing support through such programs as the USC Mobile Clinic and local homeless shelters, Topping Scholars offer hundreds of hours of service to the communities surrounding the University Park and Health Science campuses.


High School/Community College Visits

Outreach is an integral part of the Norman Topping Student Aid Fund’s commitment to offer supplemental scholarships to incoming students, particularly those from the surrounding community. The Topping Scholars and staff volunteer their time and efforts to promote the Fund and the University by visiting high schools and community colleges immediately surrounding the University Park and Health Sciences Campus to promote the NTSAF scholarship as well as higher education in general.


General Academic, Financial, and Personal Advising

Topping Scholars receive academic, personal, and financial guidance as well as personal referrals to professional counseling, academic advising, financial aid counselors, and other university offices throughout their tenure with the program. The Norman Topping Student Aid Fund serves as a home base for Topping Scholars. Our office has a Scholar lounge and computer lab for student access throughout the day.




Exceptional Funding Program

The purpose of the Exceptional Funding Program is to provide financial assistance to Topping Scholars as they advance in their chosen field of study. Exceptional Funding encourages Scholars to take full advantage of University sponsored opportunities to enhance their higher education experience. Such opportunities include funding for conference travel, study abroad airfare, and honor society membership fees.

 

 


 

Emergency Loan Program

In collaboration with USC Financial Services, the NTSAF offers an emergency loan program. Scholars are able to borrow money without interest for two months to cover any unexpected expenses.


Summer Immersion Program (SIP) - Japan

SIP aims to increase student understanding of social issues, culture and community through a month long immersion program in Los Angeles and Japan. SIP participants have the opportunity to establish relationships and gain invaluable experience under the supervision of USC faculty and NTSAF staff. SIP participants begin the program with five intensive days in Los Angeles that include seminars and field trips in preparation for the two weeks in Japan. The first week in Japan is based in Tokyo with the second week spent traveling to other prefectures. Seminars and trips are conducted in collaboration with Japanese faculty. The program concludes with two days of debriefing in Los Angeles. SIP is a USC Maymester course offered to a select group of Topping Scholars every two years.


Topping Mentor Program

We believe that mentorship is essential to the personal, educational, and professional success of students and that NTSAF alumni serve as the ideal conduits of social capital-sharing to encourage scholars to exercise their own potential regardless of social and economic constraints. The Topping Mentor Program aims to empower current scholars personally, educationally and professionally by connecting them with a mentor that will provide support and guidance. The mentors are former Topping Scholars, USC alumni and working professionals seeking to share their experiences and expertise through one-on-one meetings and participation in workshops.


Approximately 15% of USC undergraduate students are the first person in their family to attend college! Check out some of their stories below and visit the USC First Generation College Student website.

Topping Scholars volunteer at the annual Safe Halloween, a collaborative event with the Hoover Recreation Center where neighborhood youth enjoy a haunted house, inflatable rides, candies, and treats.

America in Japan USC Dornsife students travel to Japan as part of the Norman Topping student program.