FaSCinating Clubs

With over 49,000 students at USC, it may seem hard to find your home on campus, but with over 1,000 clubs and organizations, there are so many ways to build community. With service organizations, cultural clubs, intramural sports, professional clubs, and so much more, you can truly find your home away from home and passions beyond the classroom. Below are just a few of USC’s most “faSCinating” clubs that can help students get involved, explore their passions, and have some fun along the way! 

840 West USC 

Music is the universal language for this club! 840 West is a student-formed and operated record label out of the University of Southern California, with the mission of supporting USC artists in recording, marketing, licensing, and distributing their music to the world. They are open to all majors and since it is a student run label, there is greater flexibility and financial support from USC. They can then focus more on the music, creativity, and community, instead of focusing on financials and outside influences. Check out their Instagram and follow their bio to listen to their most current singles released by this amazing club!  

Haute Magazine

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Haute Magazine (@hauteusc) • Instagram photos and videos

Fashion, design, photography, writing, and creativity all in one! Haute Magazine is the University of Southern California’s student-run art, fashion and culture publication. It is a team of students who are writers, designers, photographers, and fundraising extraordinaires that collaborate to make something truly groundbreaking. They feature the work of current students, USC alumni, artists in the surrounding Los Angeles area, and noteworthy national/international creators. They have over 480,000 views to date and the numbers are truly growing every day. The publication is awe inspiring and helps draw the most creative minds at USC to the forefront. Check out their most recent issue on their website.  

Troy Camp

Troy Camp is one of USC’s oldest and largest student-run philanthropies. USC students engage in educational, extracurricular, and leadership programs to foster personal growth and instill the value of learning with local youth spanning from 3rd-12th grade. Troy Camp members help tutor, mentor, host a weeklong summer camp, and hold monthly events for returning mentees around LA. Troy Camp is a fun way to get connected with the local LA community and inspire the youth of South LA. If you want to have some fun, do some good, form long lasting friendships, and become a mentor, Troy Camp may be for you! Find out more on their website and check out their Instagram to see what fun events they are up to.

Break On 2 

Have you ever wanted to learn how to salsa, but didn’t know where to start? Break On 2 has your back! Break On 2 is USC’s Latin Fusion dance team with a performance team and a club annex for individuals that want to start from step one. Not only will students learn how to dance salsa for performances, but they will also learn how to dance socially. One of the team’s staple events is their monthly Salsa Night hosted on the first Friday of every month. Salsa Nights start off with salsa and bachata lessons followed by lots of social dancing – no experience necessary! You can catch all of the fun on their Instagram. 

Peaks and Professors 

One of SC’s most popular organizations, Peaks and Professors brings students, professors, and the great outdoors together. Established in 2013, the organization’s focus is to create a space for students to engage and have conversations with professors while also asking them to “Think Outside” (get it?) and ensure trips are economically friendly for all students to join. Held weekly, students can participate in a variety of trips that can range from short one-day hikes to several-day packing trips. Although the majority of the trips are located in SoCal, some are farther including out-of-state. Some of their previous trips have included Mishe Mokwa to Tri-Peaks and Sandstone Peak with Professor Michael Thom (Public Policy), Wattles Garden Park Loop with Jesus Fuentes (Dance) and more. Want to learn more? Check out their website – which includes a difficulty rating scale, and their Instagram.  

USC Bullet Journal Club  

Do you like to journal? How about bullet journaling? How about with a supportive group of people that meet weekly? Well, the USC Bullet Journal Club has you covered! This club was established for any student that wants to journal, draw, and study. The best part is that you don’t have to be a pro! The great thing about the club is that all you need is a journal, communal supplies are provided as well as snacks (who doesn’t love a good snack?). Interested in learning more and seeing real life journals – check out their Instagram! 

Cardinal Divas of SC

Cardinal Divas of SC is USC’s first and only Majorette Team celebrating culture and diversity through dance! Making their debut at a home football game in September 2022, team president and founding member Princess Isis Lang wanted to create a space to uplift and celebrate USC’s Black female students through dance. Majorette Teams originated in the ‘60s at HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), and team members of the Cardinal Divas ensure their movements remain true to the majorette tradition. For information on performances and ways to get involved, follow the Divas on Instagram or TikTok, and check out their GoFundMe page to help support!  

USC Hillel

USC Hillel is a safe, welcoming, and inclusive community for all Jewish students of a variety of Jewish backgrounds. Located adjacent to USC’s campus and the Village, Hillel offers a space to hang out with friends, get some school work done, and attend a variety of events. Some of the most popular events include FreshFest, Friday night Shabbat dinners, and High Holy day services and meals. Students can join small group activities or take on leadership roles to help organize events! For more information, check out USC Hillel’s website, Instagram, or Facebook

USC Star Wars Club

In a galaxy far, far away…or rather, a club meeting right here on campus, this club is for all USC Star Wars fans. (Fun fact: George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, attended USC and graduated in 1967.)   So, this club celebrates all things Star Wars right where it all began! Club events include watch parties, discussions, hands-on activities to learn how the movies were made, game nights, USC Star Wars merch, and much more! This club also hosts Q&A sessions with some very special guests, including Daniel Logan who played Boba Fett and Maurice Bastian who has worked in special effects and feature animation for 20+ years. Meetings are held on Mondays at 8 PM in TCC 350. For more information about club meetings and special events, follow their Instagram!  

From Troy Camp, to Break On 2, to USC Hillel, the possibilities truly are endless. These are just a quick snapshot into some of what USC and its students have to offer. Feel free to dig deeper and take a look at our campus activities website for more  recognized-student-organizations. Lastly, if none of these faSCinating organizations sound like your jam, you are more than welcome to build your own little community on campus and start your own club! 

Written by: 

Jennifer Donis Gonzalez – Assistant Director, USC Office of Admission

Audrey Burba – Assistant Director, USC Office of Admission

Jennifer Price – Assistant Director, USC Office of Admission 

USC FAST Facts: Your Guide to Financial Aid at USC 

After putting tireless hours into your college essays over the long summer months (or entirely fall months), you finally hit submit on your USC application! You pat yourself on the back and lean back in your chair. Time to enjoy the rest of your senior year.  

But WAIT… there’s more! What about financial aid? Now if you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re familiar with the term “financial aid”. I’m not even going to bore you talking about the FAFSA or CSS Profile or California Dream Act (if those terms/acronyms look unfamiliar to you, check out USC Financial Aid Glossary). Most schools have their own financial aid portal separate from their applicant portal. This is your guide to the resources and financial aid process at USC.   

Our financial aid portal is called FAST. FAST stands for USC Financial Aid Summary and Tasks. It is your one-stop shop to apply for need-based aid at USC. You’ll get access to it after you submit your USC application and will find a link to FAST through your main applicant portal.  

Before you receive your financial aid package, our Office of Financial Aid will ask for some additional financial documents to get a clearer understanding of your family’s finances beyond what the CSS Profile and FAFSA provide. This can take a lot of different shapes: from requesting your parents’ full tax return, to rental property documentation, to written statements. If you receive a request, you’ll get an email letting you know that you have a request on your FAST portal. 

All requested documents can be found in the ‘Required Info and Forms’ section of your FAST portal. One of the tabs next to ‘Required Info and Forms’ is the ‘Document Library’ that contains a variety of documents. Many of these forms may not be specific to your situation, but it is still useful to know where to go when our Office of Financial Aid references it! Anything that you need to submit to the Office of Financial Aid can be done through the FAST portal. 

 All simple right?

So, let’s talk about a couple common questions we get. Because yes, even our beautiful FAST portal can be confusing. If the next two paragraphs don’t apply to you, feel free to skim forward and not read every single word of this blog like I know you have been up to this point. 

Here is the most common issue: You access the FAST portal and it says nothing has been received although you’ve already completed the FAFSA and/or CSS Profile. The most common cause of a “missing” FAFSA/CSS Profile is that we are missing your Social Security Number. In order to get this on file, you can send a Student Social Security Number Information  form, which is located in the ‘Document Library.’ After submission, your FAFSA/CSS should show as received in a week.

Please actively protect yourself and your personal information by never sending your Social Security Number via email. 

Another main question we get concerns the Noncustodial CSS Profile. If your parents are divorced or separated, in financial aid terms one is “custodial” and one is “noncustodial”. Basically, the parent you live with the most is your custodial and the other is noncustodial. We ask for a CSS Profile from both your parents. If you have no contact with your noncustodial parent, you can complete a waiver so that you don’t need to submit one. Our waiver is called the Noncustodial Parent Waiver / Appeal Form and is located in the “Document Library” section of FAST. We don’t review waiver forms until after students receive admission decisions, so your FAST portal will still show the Noncustodial Parent CSS Profile as “Required” until the waiver is approved.  

Finally, let’s talk general financial aid resources! The Financial Aid Office has a great website and is available through phone and email. If you want to get an idea of what your financial aid package may look like, check out our Net Price Calculator. The Net Price Calculator will estimate your costs for undergraduate tuition and expenses, as well as your potential eligibility for need-based financial aid based on individual circumstances. Please be aware that these estimates only and are not a guarantee of the financial aid you may actually receive. Financial aid may seem complicated or overwhelming, so don’t worry if you need to reach out for help!  

Written by:  

Alex Castro – Assistant Director, Office of Undergraduate Admission 

Happy Women’s History Month!

Women’s History Month is an annual celebration in which we honor the impact and achievements of women past and present. Women’s History Month began as “Women’s History Week” and was officially declared a month-long celebration by Congress in March 1987 to become what we know it to be today. This year, we’re highlighting just a few of the many incredible organizations and events that contribute so much to our campus, and create space and learning opportunities for our female-identifying and non-binary Trojans.  

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Girl Up USC (@girlupusc) • Instagram photos and videos

Girl Up USC

Girl Up USC is a regional affiliate of the internationally recognized leadership development organization, Girl Up, which focuses on equity for women and girls in spaces where they are underrepresented. Girl Up USC hosts a number of offerings throughout the year, including feminine product drives and weekly conversations surrounding different kinds of health, such as mental and reproductive.  

Marshall Women’s Leadership Board

MWLB is a student-led organization housed under the USC Marshall School of Business, but is open to women and non-binary individuals of all academic interests. MWLB is focused on professional development, seeking to prepare students to be leaders in their desired fields and today’s world of business. Common events MWLB hosts include networking nights, professional workshops, and various guest speakers. Please note: this organization does require an application to join.  

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USC OWN IT (@uscownit) • Instagram photos and videos


USC OWN IT serves female and non-binary individuals looking to build their leadership skills through a Women’s Leadership Summit held each spring. This annual event celebrates new connections as attendees share their own experiences and uplift the voices of those around them. Some of OWN IT’s main themes include empowerment and representation, and you can keep up to date with all things #2023USCOWNIT via their website: uscownit.com.  

Trojan Women’s Network

The USC Trojan Women’s Network (USC TWN) is just one of a few female-specific subsets of the USC Alumni Association. This organization engages in multiple events throughout the year, focusing on personal and professional development, most notably hosting the annual USC Women’s Conference. This year, that event falls on Friday, March 3, and is open to the public. You can keep up to date with all the details of the day at @uscwomensconference on Instagram.  

Women and Youth Supporting Each Other

WYSE is a nationally recognized mentorship program, providing young women with support and resources as they make important decisions about their future. USC WYSE specifically serves four schools in the Los Angeles area. Current USC undergraduate students work closely with these middle school students to build trusting relationships and empower them to make informed decisions in their daily lives.  

Women in Science and Engineering

The Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) program at USC spans the undergraduate, graduate, and faculty/staff levels of the university. WiSE is focused on increasing the representation and success of women in STEM, and has tremendously contributed to the increase in female faculty in science and engineering fields on campus. WiSE hosts a number of programs and series throughout the year, including WiSE Researchers, which aims to provide undergraduate students with hands-on research experience.  

Upcoming events
March 3, 2023

USC Women’s Conference 

Hosted by USC Trojan Women’s Network, the USC Women’s Conference brings together women, non-binary and transgender people of all ages and backgrounds—alumnae, parents, students and friends—for a day of programs and activities designed to inspire and empower them to create positive change in their personal lives, their communities, and the world. All members of the Trojan Family are welcome to register and attend. 

March 3, 2023
March 8, 2023

USC Visions & Voices presents: Birds of No Nation 

A Visions & Voices event: Birds of No Nation is a three-part series celebrating International Women’s Day that explores the powerful role the arts and creativity play in global struggles for women’s rights. The public is invited to create art with globally known feminist street artist, Shamsia Hassani, if they wish, and chat about the process and purpose of her work, the power of creativity and communication, and more. 

March 8, 2023
March 25, 2023

Young Women’s Leadership Conference 

This annual conference is designed for high school girls in California who have leadership potential and an interest in politics and civic engagement. Young women will meet with and learn from elected female officials and professionals and learn valuable communication and relationship building skills. 

March 25, 2023

Please join us this Women’s History Month in celebrating the vital role of women in our society! 

Written by: 

Natasha Hunter, Assistant Director – USC Office of Undergraduate Admission