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Financial Aid


The mission of the Financial Aid Office at Utica School of Commerce is to assist students and their

parents in financing their education. Our main goal is to ensure access for all who desire to pursue

higher education.


Awarding of funds is based on "need," which is the difference between the Cost of Attendance

(COA) and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).




The Cost of Attendance includes direct expenses such as tuition and fees, and also incorporates

estimated costs for books and supplies, room and board, transportation and personal expenses.

Standard Budgets are constructed annually for those students living with a parent and for those

students living off campus and are prorated based on the student's enrollment status. Student budgets

are available from your campus Financial Aid Office.


The Expected Family Contribution is determined by using the federal need analysis formula when the

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is completed and processed. . The EFC is an index that

represents how much you and your parents have available to contribute to your educational expenses.

However, it does not represent how much you and your parents will have to pay for school. 



Every effort is made to provide a student with a personalized Financial Aid package

that takes into account the family's ability to contribute and the resources available

from federal, state, institutional, and private sources.


Financial Aid Eligibility

In order to be eligible for financial assistance at USC, the applicant must:


  •  Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.

  •  Have a high school diploma or equivalent.

  •  Not be in default on a student loan or have borrowed in excess of established Title IV loan limits.

  •  Not owe a refund on a Federal or State grant received at any previously attended school(s).

  •  Be registered with Selective Service, if a male.

  •  Be accepted for enrollment at least half-time in an associate degree or certificate program.

  •  Complete the required Federal, State and Institutional aid applications.

  •  Meet the academic progress and program pursuit standards for the purposes of determining

  • eligibility for student aid at USC.



Personal Interviews

All students are encouraged to complete their financial aid applications with a USC Financial Aid Officer.

Students will be assisted in completing the required applications, their awards will be estimated, and a

financial plan will be discussed to assist the students in meeting their educational expenses.

Appointments are available at the student's convenience.


Application Review

If students are unable to make a personal interview, they may mail their completed

Financial Aid Forms with documentation of income (taxable and nontaxable) to the Financial Aid Office.

Applications will be reviewed, copied and forwarded to the appropriate processors.

Students may need a one-in-one appointment for signatures to finalize the process.



Financial Aid is intended to assist students in financing their education when family and

personal resources are not adequate to meet their total educational cost.

The principal forms of Financial Aid are as follows:


Grants and Scholarships

Financial Aid is awarded to students based on merit, financial need or specific criteria.

They are typically funded by the Federal or State government, institutions and/or private sources.

Grants and scholarships are free. No repayment necessary.



Employment enables students to earn money while attending school. Full-time students wishing to

work part time during their enrollment at Utica School of Commerce may contact their campus

placement office for the availability of on- and/or off-campus employment.



Educational loans are awarded to students or parents to help meet education-related expenses. An educational loan is a loan that must be repaid with interest.


These three forms of assistance at USC are combined within the student's Financial Aid package to meet his/her financial needs. The Financial Aid Office makes every effort to help students with limited financial resources obtain needed funds. Some Financial Aid programs are subject to the availability of funds (first-come, first-served); therefore, aid applications should be completed as soon as possible.


Federal Programs


Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is funded through the Department of Education to provide assistance to eligible students for their college education. Based on the Federal formula, awards from $602 to $5,730 (2014-2015) are made to eligible students to help defray the costs of tuition, fees, and books. The grant amounts vary depending upon student and/or parental financial need and annual government appropriations.


Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

 The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program (FSEOG) provides additional financial assistance for students with exceptional need. The amount of this award at USC ranges from $100 to $2,000 per academic year based on Federal regulations and annual government appropriations.


William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Programs

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans, low-interest loans made available through the U.S. Department of Education, are self-help aid programs students are required to repay. Direct loans are awarded to students and parents of students who are admitted as matriculated students attending school at least half time. Loans are limited to the student's Cost of Attendance less other financial assistance (including Federal, State, Institutional and Agency funding). Requested loan amounts may be reduced if the student's financial resources exceed his/her Cost of Attendance.


Types of Federal Direct Loans include:


Federal Direct Subsidized Loan (Need based)

A Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is for students who demonstrate financial need as determined by the information provided on the FAFSA. Loan limits are based on the student's financial need and academic grade level.


The Federal government subsidizes (pays the interest) for the student during the following periods:

•             While he/she is enrolled in school at least half-time (six credits).

•             During the six-month grace period after the student continues to be enrolled at least half-time.

•             During a period of authorized deferment.


Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

A Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is awarded based on the student's Cost of Attendance less other financial resources, dependency status and academic grade level.


Students are responsible for the interest on this loan from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Students may defer interest payments while they are in school and during their grace period. If interest is deferred, the accumulated interest will be capitalized (added to the principal of the loan) when the student enters repayment.


Borrowing Limits for Federal Direct Student Loans:



















If a Federal Direct Student Loan (subsidized or unsubsidized) has been offered to you as part of your Individual Financial Plan (IFP), you can accept or decline any portion.


Intrest Rates
























 *Graduate and professional students are not eligible to receive Direct Subsidized Loans for loan periods beginning on or after July 1, 2012.




Repayment on Federal Direct Student Loans begins following a six (6) month grace period. Your lender/servicer will send your repayment terms at least a month prior to your first payment. The repayment terms will outline the total amount you owe, your monthly payment, the monthly payment due date and where to send payments. You are responsible for beginning repayment on time even if you don't receive this information. There is no penalty for early repayment or prepayment.


Federal Direct Student Loans have a standard 10-year repayment term, but there are other repayment option plans available that can increase the term.


For more information on loan consolidation, contact your lender or the Federal Direct Loan Origination Center's Consolidation Department at 1-800-557-7392 or go to


Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan is a low-interest program offered by the U.S. Department of Education that enables parents or step-parents of dependent undergraduate students to borrow directly from the Federal Government to help pay for the student's educational expenses.


The Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan is an unsubsidized loan, meaning the borrower will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full.


The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan requires a separate application in addition to credit approval by the U.S. Department of Education. If a PLUS loan is denied, the student may be eligible for additional unsubsidized loan money.


State Programs


NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)


Associate Degree/Certificate students are only allowed 6 full TAP payments up to 36 points of eligibility, including points used at other institutions or while enrolled in other programs. Each full-time TAP payment (semester) uses 6 points of eligibility.


For a student to be eligible for three consecutive semesters of TAP (Accelerated Study), he or she must earn a minimum of 24 credits applicable to his/her degree or certificate in the prior two semesters. The equivalent of three credits per semester may be remedial courses. Therefore, a student that has successfully completed three equivalent credits of remedial work in each of the prior two semesters would be eligible for an accelerated payment after having earned a total of 18 credits in the preceding two semesters.



The Tuition Assistance Program is a grant funded through the New York State Education Department to provide assistance to students who meet New York State residency requirements and who enroll as full-time, matriculating students. Awards are based on the student's and/or parent's New York State net income. Awards range up to $4,000 per year, pending legislative approval each year.


Other State Programs

Additional information is available from the Financial Aid Office on the following programs:




USC Institutional Grants and Scholarships


USC offers a number of institutional scholarships and grants for new and continuing students attending USC as full-time matriculating students. All scholarship/grant recipients are required to maintain a 2.0 overall GPA for awards to be renewed each semester unless stated otherwise. Awards are made for up to four consecutive semesters unless otherwise specified by the Director of Student Financial Aid.


Continuing students are required to complete their FASFA prior to May 1 each academic year to be eligible for the renewal of their award.


USC Educational Opportunity Grant

Recent NYS High School graduates who enroll full time at USC and who complete their FAFSA prior to May 1 of their senior year will be offered a Financial Aid package covering 100% of USC's commuter budget.


The USC Educational Opportunity Grant will be endowed with institutional funds and funds from the USC Foundation to cover the remaining financial need of qualified students after federal, state and private financial assistance has been awarded, including Federal Student Loans and Institutional Work Study.


Roger L. Williams Presidential Scholarship

Recent New York State High School graduates who rank in the top 10 percentile of their class at the end of their junior year and enroll full time in any associate degree program offered at USC will qualify for the Roger L. Williams Presidential Scholarship.


The Roger L. Williams Presidential Scholarship will cover full tuition and fees at USC after eligibility for federal, state, institutional, and private grants and scholarships has been considered.


Students must complete their program of studies in four (4) consecutive semesters (not including summer) and achieve a 3.0 GPA at the end of their first year to maintain their scholarship for their second year of studies. Priority consideration will be given to students who apply for admission by March 1 of their senior year.


USC Award for Excellence in Business

The USC Award for Excellence in Business will be presented to the top graduating business student at each participating high school or BOCES in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Herkimer, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Otsego and Schoharie counties. Click here to read more about this award.


The USC Award for Excellence in Business recipient will be selected by representatives of the student's high school based on his/her student academic achievement and his/her potential to succeed in business.


Students will be recognized with a plaque to commemorate their award. Students choosing to attend USC full time will be awarded a scholarship based on merit totaling $5,000 to be disbursed equally over four consecutive semesters. Students are required to maintain a 2.0 GPA.


USC Adult Education Scholarship

The USC Adult Education Scholarship is a need-based scholarship awarded to new and continuing adult students demonstrating a substantial financial need after all federal and state resources (including FederalStudent Loans) have been taken into account.


Recommendations from the USC Campus Director will be made for full-time students who demonstrate outstanding business qualities and will take into account the student's career goals, current GPA, previous education, work experience and remaining financial need.


Scholarships will range from $300-$1,500 annually, divided equally over two (2) consecutive semesters. Awards are not renewable or transferable.

USC Matching Scholarship

Students who have received academic or service recognition from an approved scholarship program are eligible to have their awards matched by USC up to $500 per academic year, not to exceed tuition, less other aid. Awards must be paid directly to USC. Matching awards will be credited to the student's account for the semester in which the grant is received.


Utica School of Commerce is a member of the Citizen's Scholarship Foundation of America-Dollars for Scholars program. USC will match up to $500 per year of scholarship funds a student receives from any business or organization that participates in Dollars for Scholars ® .


USC Leadership Award

The USC Leadership Award will be granted to incoming USC freshmen who have demonstrated leadership qualities by serving as a class officer or participating at the chapter, district, or state level in any recognized leadership club, including FBLA, DECA, VICA, 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, or Junior Achievement during their Junior or Senior year of high school. Awards of up to $1,500 will be divided equally over two (2) consecutive semesters. Students must provide the USC Financial Aid Office with verification of their eligibility from their club or class advisor.


Award for Scholastic Excellence

USC believes that students who demonstrate academic excellence during their first year of study at USC should be rewarded. First-time, full-time students enrolled for 2 consecutive semesters (excluding summer) continuing in any associate degree program at USC, who have maintained a minimum GPA of 3.25, are eligible for awards up to $1,000 toward their second year of studies. Recipients must maintain full-time enrollment; awards are not renewable and must be used for the semester(s) for which they have been awarded. The number of awards and the dollar amount of each award will be based on the funds available.


Vision 2020: Entrepreneurial Spirit Scholarship

 Entrepreneurial Spirit Scholarship is for new student who enroll in the Business Administration-Entrepreneurial option at USC as a full time student. Ten $10,000 scholarships per year will be awarded.

Five awards will be offered for the fall semester, three for the spring semester and two for the summer semester .The award would be a maximum of $10,000 per student. The $10,000 will be distributed in equal installments of a maximum $2,500 per semester over the 4 semesters. The award will no exceed the full amount of tuition after all grants and awards have been applied to the students' financial aid package. The students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.


Legacy Award

Utica School of Commerce (USC The Business College). Students that can document their relationship to a great grant parent, grandparents, parent, brother or sister that has completed a certificate program or associate degree at USC The business College will qualify for the award.  Step-relationships of the aforementioned genealogy will also qualify for the award. The award will be $750 per semester for a maximum of four (4) semesters. The student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.


Transfer Scholarship

Utica School of Commerce (USC The Business College) is pleased to offer a transfer scholarship.  Any potential student that has a minimum of 15 college credits accepted (transferred in towards a degree program at USC The Business College) may potentially qualify.  The student must a combined cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher from any and all colleges attended prior to enrolling at USC The Business College.  The award will be $500 per semester for no more than four consecutive semesters. The student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.


Deferred Payment Plans

USC provides an interest-free payment plan to cover any balance due after all other financial aid has been awarded. One-quarter of the outstanding balance is due prior to the first day of classes with the remaining balance due in three equal payments over the remaining three months of the semester. This payment plan is for convenience of payment; if the student withdraws or leaves school for any reason, the balance due or the portion due based on USC's refund policy becomes due and payable immediately.



Summary of Student Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

A student who receives financial aid from Utica School of Commerce has the following rights:


To know the costs of attendance to the institution; to know all available sources of financial aid; to speak with a Financial Aid Officer who evaluates the student's need; to be informed of all aspects of the financial aid package awarded including special dispersal of aid; and to know the academic expectations of the institution.


A student who receives financial aid from Utica School of Commerce also has the following responsibilities:


To apply for financial aid by the established deadline as determined by Utica School of Commerce; to report to the Financial Aid Office any awards received from agencies outside the College; to maintain satisfactory academic progress; to comply with established loan repayment schedules; to report to the Financial Aid Office any changes in family or student financial status.


The student's financial aid awards may be cancelled or reduced if:


Any of the information on the financial aid applications is erroneous; requested documents are not provided to validate eligibility; enrollment status changes; the student's program of study changes.



Private Scholarships

Business Management Scholarships


There are many private scholarships available to students that take into consideration their particular eligibility qualifications and education goals. Many of these scholarships are awarded in recognition of special skills, talent and/or academic ability and are not awarded based on the student's financial need.


Sources of private scholarships are available from many sources including:

Private Foundations

Honor Societies

Service Organizations

Youth Groups

Local Governments

Professional Organizations



Religious Affiliations

Leadership Organizations



Some scholarships and awards with which USC frequently participates include:

The Clark Foundation Scholarship

McDonalds Scholarship

American Red Cross

Dollars for Scholars®

AC Molinari Foundation



NYS & CSEA Partnership for Education and Training

USC, a partnership-approved education and training provider, participates in the NYS & CSEA Partnership for Training Tuition Voucher System. CSEA-represented NYS employees are required to apply to the Partnership for a voucher for any approved course offered at USC. Students are responsible for any balance plus books, supplies, and student fees.


Employer Reimbursement

A number of area companies will pay at least a portion of the tuition for an employee taking a course that is job related, pending successful completion of the class. USC offers students an interest-free deferral of tuition with evidence that employer tuition reimbursement will be paid directly to USC. Students are responsible for any tuition charges not covered by their employer.


Alternative Loans

Alternative Loans help bridge the gap between the student's educational costs and the availability of federal, state and institutional financial aid. These loans are designed to enable students to meet their education financing needs only after all other resources have been exhausted.

Information regarding Alternative Loans can be obtained from the Financial Aid Office.


Credit for Financial Aid

Tuition and fees are due and payable prior to the start of classes each semester. For your convenience, USC may defer payment based on estimated Financial Aid.


Students will be given credit for Financial Aid if:

They have submitted a valid Student Aid Report and/or a TAP Award Certificate.


A copy of the student's original application for Financial Aid is on file with the Financial Aid Office.


If the student's estimated Financial Aid is reduced, or if the student leaves school for any reason, he/she is responsible for any balance due as determined by the school's refund policy.

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