June 13, 2019
This June, my father will retire from a 30-year career as a college counselor. His work has been tremendously influential on my career in college admissions, but long before that, he helped me with my own college process (free of charge)! In honor of him, I’d like to share his best lessons as he helped me navigate the road to college.
May 23, 2019
Our notification deadline for transfer applicants is May 31st, and while most students will find out whether or not they have been admitted by that date, many applicants will receive spring grade requests. There’s a lot of speculation as to why we request spring grades (and let’s be honest, online forums are not the place to get accurate information), so let’s get to the heart of it. Why might we want to see how you did this semester?
February 28, 2019
So how have things changed since Bruce filled out his (paper) transfer application?
January 10, 2019
You’re almost there! Just five more days for you to submit your application to USC!
Whether you’re currently tangled up in one of our short answer essays or are zenfully waiting for last minute inspiration/panic to arrive, we figured you could do with a little motivation! In honor of the last five days before our freshman application deadline, here are five reasons to apply to USC…
November 22, 2018
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.
November 2, 2018
As USC’s admission counselors spend the fall travelling to college fairs and visits to your high schools all around the United States and all around the world, we regularly get questions about the history and traditions of USC. This is the perfect time to speak on this subject with Homecoming right around the corner (go Trojans, beat the Bears)!
October 12, 2018
While applying to college requires students spend countless hours navigating university websites and inputting data in the Common App, it is still fundamentally a human process. While the bots might be up to all kinds of things these days, USC continues to employ a large group of humans to serve applicants as admission counselors. Responsible for everything from presenting at your high school to attending your transfer fair to reading your application, the people in our office are happy to meet you and help guide you through this process.
September 20, 2018
While the most obvious and logical goal of applying to college is being accepted to college, I would argue that it should not be your only goal. During the years I worked in a high school, I was amazed by the exponential emotional and social growth I saw in the senior class. Much of this development, I would argue, is supported (if not instigated) by the college process. My colleague Samantha Schreiber, Associate Director of College Counseling & Academic Planning at Milken Community Schools, and I sat down to discuss the ways that seniors grow (whether or not they are aware of it)! In her role as a college counselor, she not only has a “front row seat” but is able to actively encourage and support students as they grow in their maturity and self-knowledge. Our hope is that, by acknowledging these opportunities for development, those who are involved in the college application process (be they student, parent, counselor, or anyone else) can come to appreciate a broader view of what success is and how applicants can gain more from this process than just a place to spend the next four years. Here’s some of what Samantha and I have observed:
September 6, 2018
One of the first things prospective students learn when visiting the USC campus is that almost all of our admitted students are admitted directly into a specific major. We have over one hundred and fifty majors so there’s a lot of variety when it comes to picking one, and often students tell me they are a little overwhelmed with the options. It’s also totally normal for the average seventeen year old to feel uneasy about committing to one academic subject immediately upon entering college. Luckily, the commitment is not one that lasts a lifetime, or even a full academic year. Did you know that USC offers certain majors that aren’t available on the Common Application, because they are programs that students can only internally transfer into once they get here? Many of these programs are pretty focused and specific, so it’s more common to discover these interests while studying for another major at USC. For example….
August 16, 2018
Students frequently ask what they should write about–there is really no way for an admission counselor to answer this question. You know yourself best and you know what is important to share. All college essays must contain two elements, however: the illustration and the insight. The illustration element can take many shapes, but most students use an anecdote or series of moments to illuminate their personality and experiences. The insight element can be separate or intertwined, but a strong college essay always includes some type of analysis. Your goal in a personal statement is not only to introduce us to yourself but to show us how you think. That all sounds very heady, but your high school career has prepared you to write a good essay. Now the trick is to make it personal…which is usually where students start to panic.