A scholarship fully funded by the USC Student Body
Prospective Students


Eligibility Checklist:

  1. If you answered yes to all of the questions below (a-c), please proceed with steps 2-6 followed by our online application:
    1. Are you applying for USC admission for Fall 2017 as a full-time freshman, transfer, or graduate student?
      OR Are you a USC spring 2017 admit?
    2. Do you have high financial need (expected family contribution less than $20,000) and eligible for federal, state, and/or university funding including:
      1. Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
      2. Pell Grant
      3. Work-study
      4. Cal Grant (including the California Dream Act)
      5. University (USC) Grant
    3. Do you demonstrate community awareness and contribute to the betterment of a community through volunteer efforts?

      NOTE: Applicants who reside in the local USC community and first-generation college students are given primary consideration in the selection process. However, selection is not limited to these populations.
  1. The Topping Scholarship is renewable during the student’s tenure at USC by fulfilling all scholarship requirements which include: maintaining a minimum USC cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (3.0 for graduate Scholars), continual full-time enrollment, full attendance at all NTSAF required events, and completing 20 hours of community service per semester.



Dear USC Topping Scholarship Applicant:

Thank you for your interest in the Norman Topping Student Aid Fund at the University of Southern California. Please review the following instructions before you proceed with our online application process:

  1. The USC Topping Scholarship application consists of an online application, two letters of recommendation and an autobiography. Incomplete and/or late applications will NOT be reviewed. All components of the application must be submitted online by 11:59 pm PST on the appropriate scholarship deadline:

    Freshman Applicants – Tuesday, February 21, 2017
    Transfer & Graduate Applicants – Sunday, May 21, 2017

  2. Familiarize yourself with the Topping Scholarship application by reviewing our USC NTSAF Application Instructions (Hint: understanding the selection criteria will help you when writing your autobiography).
  3. Identify two individuals who will write a letter of recommendation on your behalf. When completing the application, you will be required to submit the contact information (name, position/title, organization/company, email address and phone number) for each recommender. An email will immediately be sent to each recommender giving them the opportunity to upload your recommendation letter to your scholarship file.
  4. You will be notified via e-mail after each recommender uploads his/her letter of recommendation. If you do not receive an email confirmation at least one week prior to the deadline, it is your responsibility to follow up with your recommender. Please note that both letters need to be submitted by 11:59 pm PST on the appropriate scholarship deadline.
  5. You may save and update your scholarship application as many times as you would like. However, once you submit the application with your electronic signature your application is final and you will not be able to make any other changes.
  6. You will receive a confirmation notice when you submit your final application. This notice will time stamp your application and allow you to print a copy of your final application submission. Please print the confirmation for your records.

If at any time you have any questions regarding our online application process, please contact the NTSAF at (213) 740-7575 or ntsaf@usc.edu.


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.