Undergraduate Admission Blog

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

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.

Submitting Your Application

When you submit a common application, it goes through a whole bunch of steps before it’s complete.  Sometimes, it can take up to 2 weeks for everything to be done!  To get a better sense of why that is, here are those steps:

You Submit Common Application: You submit your common application and the USC supplement (remember to press “submit” for both!).

Common App Sends Confirmation Email: Common App sends you an email confirming that your application was submitted, and a second email confirming that your USC supplement was completed.  Whew!  You know that it went through.

USC Downloads Application: Here it is – the waiting.  USC does not have your application in hand yet – it’s stored with Common App for now.  We have an automatic system that downloads the applications from Common App every weekday, so your application will be in our system in one or two business days.

USC Sends Confirmation Email: Now that we have downloaded your application, you will receive an email verifying we received your application and telling you that you can access your YouSC portal (you.usc.edu).  Again, this will be about one to two business days.  The portal allows you to keep track of your application and make note of what we have or need for your application to be complete.

USC Gathers Your Application Materials: Once we have your application in our system, that doesn’t mean it’s automatically ready to go.  Your test scores, letters of recommendation, and other materials may have all been sent before this.  We have to match all of the different pieces of your application that we currently have with your new common application – this can take anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks, depending on how many applications we are getting (as you can imagine, we have higher volume right around our application deadlines).

  • Tip: Make sure that your identifying information (name, birthdate, address, etc) match across all application items. For example, if I apply to USC as Tyler-Rose but my SAT or ACT score is under Tyler Rose, my test score might take longer to be matched to my application.  It seems like a small issue, but these are ultimately different names, and figuring that out slows down the process.  If you know there is some mis-match, let us know early!

Students often ask if there is anything they can do to speed up this process.  Unfortunately, no – you just have to wait a bit.  Keep in mind that we get over 55,000 applications every year, each of which needs to be downloaded and matched with SAT scores, letters of recommendation, and transcripts.  With so many documents going through our processing center (most of them right around our application deadlines) we just aren’t able to put everything together instantly.  If it’s been a couple of weeks and something is still missing, then let us know!  But if you only submitted something a couple of days ago, please give us some time.


The YouSC portal is designed to help you track your application status.  You can access campus tours, financial aid, and admission application information.  We’re going to focus on the “Applying to USC” section of the portal, so that you know how to keep track of your application.

Setting up your account:  Go to you.usc.edu and click “register now” or “create a new account.” You then enter the same email you used for the Common Application to create YouSC account.  Once you register the email address, you’ll receive an e-mail with a link to create a password and finalize your registration, at which point you can login and use the portal.

Applying to USC

Check your application status: This is where you will see any recent emails/letters related to your application.  If we send an email requesting additional materials for your application, a copy of that email will appear here.  When decisions are posted online later in the year, this is where they will be posted.  If our emails are getting lost or going to your junk folder, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on this section for any messages we send about your application.

Submit application documents: There are three components to this section –

Required Documents: All the documents missing from your application.  If it is blank, then we have everything we need right now.  Keep in mind that some items might just be in processing, so don’t panic if you know you’ve sent something but it’s showing up as a requested document.

Received Documents: All documents that we have received and processed/matched with your application (remember, this can take 1-2 weeks!).

Document Library: A list of documents you can submit if necessary.  These are not materials that we have or need, it’s just a list of items you can submit if you needed to upload anything additional. It looks the same for every student throughout the application process.

Submit your mid-year grades: Part of a complete application are your Fall Quarter or Semester grades.  We encourage students to submit updated transcripts, but you can also self-report those grades here.  Most high schools will automatically submit updated transcripts once those mid-year grades are available, so check with your counselor before you use this tool.  If we get those mid-year grades from your high school already, then you don’t need to self-report.

Withdraw your admission application: If you choose to go elsewhere, are admitted Early Decision to another institution, or simply decide you no longer want to be considered for USC, you go to this page to withdraw your application.

Find your admission counselor: You can go here to access our “Find Your Admission Counselor” page, where you can get the contact information for your admission counselor.

Common application: This simply links back to your Common Application account if you need to return to your application.

While the YouSC portal might seem confusing when you first look at it, you can see that it’s actually a pretty simple and useful tool once you know what all of the components are.  I encourage you to open different links and play around with it so you can get familiar with the different options here.  And if you’re ever confused or have questions – ask us!  Just understand that we are working with a lot of different pieces and some things will take time.

BY: Tyler-Rose Veguez
Senior Assistant Director of Admission


  1. Reece Marcelle says:

    Thank you so much!

    Fight On!

  2. Roselyn Romero says:

    Thank you for this information – it’s super helpful!

  3. Emily Searson says:

    Thank you for explaining the portal! I appreciate the help!!

  4. Rachel Ombok says:

    Thanks so much! I was getting worried about not getting a confirmation email, now I’m so excited for my decison!

  5. Evan says:

    Thank you for the summary! Looking forward to an exciting future at USC.

    Fight On!

  6. Matthew Burgnon says:

    Thank you! I didn’t see my you.usc.edu portal update so I was a little confused but this reassures me. Will all applicants who applied by December 1st get a letter of their scholarship status or just those who have been selected for a scholarship?

  7. Mattia Bruscella says:

    Thank you so much! You couldn’t explain the process in a better way!

  8. Olivia Kepler says:

    Thank you for explaining the process! It was very interesting & helpful to read! Have a wonderful holiday season.

  9. Yvette Moore says:

    Is the admissions counselor assigned to ones school the person who actually reviews your application?

    • Hillary Higgins says:

      Hi Yvette, Admission counselor’s will conduct the initial review of all applications in their respective territories.

  10. Anthony Merriweather says:

    Hello there,

    I submitted my Common application along with my USC supplements and information on December 1st at 4:00 PST. I received the confirmation email and everything.

    Several hours later, I logged back into my Common App and it says, “Downloaded – December 2, 2017 ET “.

    Does USC know that I submitted on December 1st and will I still be taken into consideration for a Merit Scholarship?

    Fight on,

    • Gabriella Contratto says:

      The same thing happened to me, I submitted at 9pm PST on Dec 1 and the receipt says it was downloaded Dec 2 ET. Really hope this question get answered.

    • Trishay Bazari says:


      Thank you for the article! It was really helpful.

      I submitted my application and as you said, received the link to set up my youSC account. However, when I log in to the account and go to applicant status check, it does not display the screen you uploaded. Instead, it gives me three options:

      Respond to a communication from USC, join a mailing list, and to sign up for a campus tour.

      A message also pops up on the top right corner saying if I’ve already applied, I should register for a new account with the same email ID, almost as if my application has not been linked to my account.

      It would be great if you could tell me steps I need to take to view my applicant status as I wish to confirm the status of various documents as well as my application.


    • Hillary Higgins says:

      Hi Anthony, As long as you submitted your application before midnight in your own timezone on December 1st, you will be fine.

  11. DW says:

    I applied by the Dec 1 Scholarship Deadline. I am extremely sorry that I entered wrong scores (entered from exactly same looking 7th grade transcript) of one subject under the Courses and Grades and submitted before adding the last two activities I was meaning to add to the activities’ list.

    I know this is very irresponsible of me but is there any way that I can correct the error, now that I have already submitted?

Leave a Reply

Submissions are moderated.