Undergraduate Admission Blog

Follow the Official USC Undergraduate Admission Blog for information, advice, and a behind-the-scenes look at our process

All posts by: Hillary Higgins

December 8, 2017

I’m Not a QuestBridge Match, What Does This Mean?

This time of year can be stressful if you’re a high school senior. You’re trying to successfully balance school work, your home life, and college applications. Some of you applied to USC through the QuestBridge National College Match process, but have recently been notified that you were not selected in the match. Not being a match with the college you wanted can be disappointing, but you should be very proud of all the work that it took for you to apply through QuestBridge, considering that this process requires that you be a bit more transparent and vulnerable about your background and story. If you ranked USC as one of your colleges, rest assured that we took the time to thoroughly review your QuestBridge application; we took the time to get to know you, your story, and your accomplishments. However, this process is extremely competitive and if you were not selected as a match that doesn’t mean that we didn’t like your application – it just means that we have a very limited number of spots for QuestBridge matches.

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November 30, 2017

You’ve Submitted Your Application…What’s Next??

It’s that time.  Your finger is on the mouse.  You’re pressing the “Submit” button on the common application for USC!  You’re done!  And then…

Nothing?  No celebratory band?  No confetti? Not even a “congratulations!” email from us?!

I know – you’ve been spending hours on this application, and it can all feel a bit anti-climactic when you submit and nothing happens.  And, in a world where everything is instantaneous, it can be scary when you don’t immediately get an email from us telling you that we have your application.  But, don’t worry!  This is normal.  We get a lot of questions around this time of year about your application: what we have, what we don’t have, and where you are in our process.  Because I love writing manuals (please, don’t judge my hobbies), I wanted to walk you through what it looks like to actually process your application, as well as how to begin using the YouSC portal.

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October 27, 2017

National Coming Out Day

USC is a pluralistic community, welcoming students from every race, creed, and background. And in honor of LGBT History Month and National Coming Out Day, we interviewed a current student who self-identifies as part of the LGBT community on campus. Adriana describes her coming out experiences, identity, and life on campus. Our LGBT Resource Center is located in the Student Union, which is also the home to other cultural resource centers – El Centro Chicano, the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs (CBCSA), and the Asian/Pacific American Student Services Center (APASS). All of USC’s resource centers provide students, parents, faculty, and staff with programming, mentoring, education, and support. The LGBT Resource Center coordinates the following events and resources throughout the year: Lavender Graduation, Queer Rising Fall Retreat, LGBT Peer Mentoring Program, Safe Zone Training, and more!

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October 12, 2017

The Greatest Marching Band in the History of the Universe

At the end of my first week at USC, my alarm blared to life at 5:30am on a Saturday and I had to wonder if I was making a huge mistake.

It wasn’t the first time the thought had crossed my mind – from the moment I signed up at orientation, during the grueling 7:00am to 10:00pm camp just before school began, and while juggling my first week of classes and practices. I had a sinking feeling I was in over my head. However, if there was one mantra drilled into me throughout the course of the week long camp, it was that Trojans never quit. It was with this logic that I soon found myself surrounded by over 300 USC Trojan Marching Band members on an already blazing hot September morning, ready to embark on a four-year journey.

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October 5, 2017

3.876 – The High School GPA

Weighted, unweighted, academic – there are so many versions of this little number.  Some schools even calculate the GPA out to the thousandth place as if there were any material difference between a student with a 3.876 and a 3.877.  Some students even believe they don’t have a GPA simply because their school does not print it on the transcript (here’s a hint: if you get grades, you have a GPA, it’s just math).

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September 30, 2017

GUEST BLOG: My Road to OT

For my first blog post, I am going to share a little about how I discovered occupational therapy! Now, I would be lying if I said that I had always known that this was my dream career. In fact, I spent most of my life dreaming of becoming an elementary school teacher. This dream may have been slightly influenced by the fact that my Mom and Grandma were both elementary school teachers—but, regardless, I was confident that I would follow in their footsteps. With a love for working with children and a desire to make an impact, I figured this was the most practical career for me to pursue.

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August 31, 2017

Exploring Exposition Park: The California African American Museum

The city of Los Angeles provides many opportunities for our students to experience impactful cultural experiences, and it is a priority for us to highlight this in our admission presentations around the world. Exposition Park, just south of USC, houses a few venues that USC students, faculty, and staff can enjoy. In addition to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – where our Trojans, and as of this past year, the Los Angeles Rams, face off against visiting teams – the area is currently home to three museums that offer fun and thought-provoking exhibits.

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August 24, 2017

GUEST BLOG: Family’s first day back

After Wednesday’s return to the USC campus, my textbooks are finally stacked, notebooks labeled, pencils sharpened, and of course, pointe shoes sewn. Trademark college adjustments (groceries and laundry, check) have dominated my schedule, but finally settling in has given me the chance to look forward to the best part of being back: creating with my family.

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August 11, 2017

Guest Blog: Stacy Smith Is Not Your Average Professor

Class starts at 12:00. She enters at 11:59:25 with a coffee in one hand, blazer sleeves rolled, glasses perfectly askew and staple hoops shimmering. With an anecdote about a candid phone conversation with a high-profile media outlet or a funny, animal-centered YouTube video, she’s off. Inexplicably, Stacy (That’s what she’ll ask you to call her. She’ll learn your name and you’ll learn hers) is knee-deep in a presentation of her team’s research by 12:04. Your pen furiously  scribbles across the page as Stacy, with her collar popped, insists that evidence for her arguments are “in the research.” Invested in the lecture, you fail to note that 200 of your peers are now looking at you in the back row as Stacy Smith, from 70 feet away, has briefly paused her lecture to inquire about your new haircut.

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July 13, 2017

GUEST BLOG: Hello from Taipei!

If you had asked me three years ago, Hey Alex-where do you think you’ll be July 2017?, I don’t think I would have even come close to saying Taipei.  It’s hard to even pick a place to start describing how unique and eye-opening this summer has been for me.

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