January 26, 2017
An Update on Updates
Last month I explored some ideas about how you could best use your time as you wait to hear back from USC. But I just wanted to update you all on something I thought of in the meantime…and that would be updates (and check-ins and communiques of all sorts)! The proverbial phone works both ways here: we may need to be in touch with you, and you may need to be in touch. Let’s explore the when and why of college applicant communications!
After you completed your Common Application and sent it our way, you should have received an email from us that included your USC ID number and instructions for logging on to the youSC portal. This is the best place for you to keep track of your application status, though we will also send you a letter/email if there is something missing from your file. If you think your file may not be complete, you should first check the portal (and keep in mind that it can take a few weeks for things to process). If you submitted something a while ago and it’s not showing up in your portal, it’s completely appropriate to then contact us to see if we can track it down (an email with your USC ID number is usually the most efficient way to get this done). At this point, you should have submitted all of your application materials with one possible exception: your mid-year grades. Once those become available, you can input your grades via your portal and you high school should follow up by sending us an official copy.
We in the Office of Undergraduate Admission are busy reading your applications right now, but you will likely hear from other USC folks, like our academic departments, as they seek to provide you with information that will be useful later on in the admission process (e.g., setting up an audition time, applying to the Thematic Options program). Pay special attention to any communications from the Office of Financial Aid—their deadline is coming up (a very romantic February 14th), and they may request further information even after you submit your FAFSA and CSS Profile.
In turn, you may find that you need to send us an update. As your senior year progresses, you might have to make an adjustment or addition to your application. In general, these updates need only be made if you think the change will have a significant impact on your application (e.g., you changed your mind about what you want to study at USC, your family moved to another state, etc.). USC does not track demonstrated interest, which means we don’t factor things like visiting campus or the number of times a student emails us into our decisions. If you need to give us important information, please don’t hesitate to write us an email; otherwise, your time would better be spent writing Sherlock fan fiction (I’m completely serious here—I’m already having show withdrawals)!