Undergraduate Admission Blog

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

Category Archives: prospective student

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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November 22, 2017

Let Us Give Thanks

All of my favorite activities happen on Thanksgiving: spending time with your nearest and dearest, eating more than would be considered decent or even civilized by most, pretending to actually like football so you can get out of doing dishes, and—most importantly—taking time to reflect on what you are thankful for.

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November 9, 2017

Addressing Difficult Topics in Your Application

Your college application is the place for you to document your hard work and accomplishments so that you can make your case for why you would be a good fit at the school of your dreams. For some students, however, there are parts of the college application that may bring up issues or struggles that are difficult to write about. Here are some thoughts on how to address a few of these unique factors in your own application.

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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 21, 2017

How to Take Control of the College Application Process


At times, the college admission process can seem confusing, overwhelming, or even nonsensical, leaving students to feel out of control as they struggle to manage their various applications, deadlines, contacts, and so on. Your friendly neighborhood admission blogger will try to provide some helpful tips to make this application season more manageable and bolster your confidence to take the admission process by storm!

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September 14, 2017

A Major Decision

Whether at a college fair, high school visit, or in our admission center, we in the Office of Admission often get the following question from students—does it matter which major I choose when I apply? Sometimes what students are really asking is whether we have any impacted majors (the answer to that question is no). But in some ways, it does matter which major you apply to, so let’s take a look at how major selection works in the USC admission process.

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