Undergraduate Admission Blog

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

April 5, 2018

Making the Most of Explore USC

April is an exciting month–the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, and college-bound seniors have a big decision to make!  There are many factors that go into the final decision of where enroll, and we find one of the best ways to gather information is by going to admitted student events.  USC offers a variety of programs–full day on-campus Explore programs (including those specifically for students admitted to the spring semester), part day Preview events, 2-hour admitted student tours, evening receptions in cities all over the world, and a huge Admitted Student Day to wrap things up.  We highly recommend attending one of these events as you weigh your various offers of admission. Here’s how to make the most of them…

  1. Talk to Trojans!  There are, frankly, some questions that current students and alumni can answer better than admission counselors.  Being on campus is an excellent time to hear it from the horse’s mouth (that horse, obviously, is named Traveler). Asking current students about their experiences will give you a clearer view of whether USC is a place you will thrive academically and socially.  Though no two students are alike, you will get a sense of what you can expect from the classroom to the dorm room. Our tour guides and ambassadors will be easily visible during our on campus programs, but visitors always comment on how friendly our entire student body is, so don’t hesitate to reach out.  If you’re attending one of our off-campus programs, you’re much more likely to meet an alum than a current student (school is still in session, after all).  Our alumni are always happy to share their experiences with our network and welcome you to the Trojan Family!  If you won’t be able to make it to campus, you can message current students during our Multi Cultural Chat Sessions or by emailing the admissions officers for your academic department and asking them to connect you with Trojans who share your major. 
  2. Find out about the student experience!  If you want to hear from current students, but you don’t know what questions to ask, you can attend one of our many student panels on campus.  They cover a range of topics, but some of the most insightful discussions occur during our Explore program for spring admits. Hearing about what current students did in the fall and how they transitioned to USC in January can be incredibly helpful in deciding if this path is the right one for you! 
  3. Attend a financial aid program!  Let’s be real: finances are a defining factor for most families as they make the final decision.  In order to fully understand your need-based package, our colleagues in financial aid will both be giving presentations and meeting with families individually (individual meetings are held on the first floor of John Hubbard Hall).  Check that you have uploaded everything required of you in the FAST portal, and then check in with the experts. 
  4. Get to know our campus resources!  There are many ways that USC supports its students (from putting a roof over their heads to providing counseling).  All of our spring programs provide some information about housing and student life, but the on-campus programs also allow you to learn more about wellness and safety, visit our multicultural centers, pop into the career resource center, etc.  There’s a lot to navigate in the transition to college and now is a great time to meet the people who can help you. 
  5. Become familiar with USC/Los Angeles!  If you haven’t made it to campus yet (or if you’ve never seen more than the admission center), now is the best time to physically explore USC.  You are likely choosing between colleges that have some similarities–location can be an incredibly influential piece of the student experience.  Our programs not only allow you to get familiar with the campus, but our neighborhood bus tours also allow you to see our community and how our students interact with the city.  If you have the time, explore outside of the USC bubble by taking the metro to Downtown LA, Santa Monica, or many of the other wonderful areas in this exciting city. 
  6. Meet your admission counselor!  Your admission counselor works with students from your area of the world and will likely know a student whose high school experience was similar to yours.  They can provide some context as you consider what the transition to USC will look like. (Selfishly, we also want to meet you in person now that we’ve read so much about you!)
  7. Make friends!  The feeling is pretty universal–you learn as much from your classmates as you do from your classes.  Meeting other prospective Trojans is not only fun, it shows you what kinds of folks will live down the hall from you, work on your group projects, and invite you over for Thanksgiving break.  We think we’ve admitted a pretty amazing group of students, and we can’t wait for you to meet one another! 

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