Undergraduate Admission Blog

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

Category Archives: Applying to USC

August 1, 2019

Know Yourself

I know what you’re doing right now. You told your parents that you were working on your college applications. You sat down at the computer, logged into commonapp.org, got a bit overwhelmed…and then promptly opened a new tab so you could distract yourself with an online quiz.

Luckily, there’s a way for you to honestly tell your parents you’re working on your college application AND take online quizzes!

(read more)

July 11, 2019

How I Talk to My Family About College

I’ve been working in the world of college admissions for about 5 years now (four years and eleven months exactly…but who’s counting?)  It’s a great start and the beginning of what I hope to be a long and flourishing career.  My family thinks I have a pretty cool and exciting job…especially my sister-in-law whose son is a junior in high school. My family members frequently ask me about how to get into college.  Many of them assume there is a determining factor in a student’s application that tips the scales in their favor.  Unfortunately, I can’t give them the “secret” to admission, because in reality, there is no precise pathway into a highly selective college.  What I can do is answer all of those terrifying “what if” questions with what I hope are some reassuring and calming truths.

(read more)

June 28, 2019

In My Day….Kelsey Bradshaw Edition

During spring break, my junior year of high school, I took a road trip to California to visit a bunch of colleges. We visited all sorts of different schools – big, small, urban, rural, public private, etc… I started to notice I would perk up when colleges mentioned certain topics, like involvement, student/faculty interactions, and opportunities outside the classroom. Being on a college campus, comparing totally different schools, and getting a better feel for what I was looking for was so valuable in helping me narrow my focus.

(read more)

May 23, 2019

Re-Post: The Skinny on Spring Grade Requests

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?

(read more)

February 14, 2019

Sign Me Up! Introducing Even More USC Clubs and Organizations

As a follow-up to a blog post that was published this past fall, the Office of Admission wanted to spotlight even more of the amazing clubs and organizations that comprise campus life here at USC. Check out these diverse on-campus opportunities along with many, many more that enable Trojans to get involved, develop leadership skills and make an impact on the USC community.

(read more)

January 31, 2019

(Way Back) In My Day…

This year we have decided to get personal with you and share about our experiences applying to college.  I get a ton of questions, when I am talking to applicants, about my student experience at USC.  Except here’s the thing, I have never been a student at USC (hear the audible gasp.)  I know, I know…I just work here.  While I can’t speak from personal experience about student life at USC, I can talk to you about applying to college.  My colleagues and I in the Office of Admission all have our “college application story” and we love to reminisce about those times.  I mean look at what we do for a living…it’s who we are.  A tale of how many schools we applied to, our “dream school,” and in my case, how many college admission counselors we stalked (are you still out there Chris Lucier?)  Please keep in mind as we roll out this series of “In My Day” posts, that this may be a “do as I say, not as I do” type of story.  I regularly counsel students on the college admission process and as the words are coming out of my mouth, I think to myself “this is exactly the opposite of what I actually did.”  Hindsight is 20/20, right?

(read more)

January 24, 2019

Why We Love SCelf-Care (and You Should Too!)

My own wellness and self-care journey is, like most people, a work in progress. In my previous role as a school counselor, one of the major expectations of my work with students and families included developing prevention and intervention strategies that worked for them. In the process of helping others, I too had to balance the multilayered demands of the profession through developing my own prevention and intervention plans for self-care. By day, I taught students different breathing techniques to calm their bodies, to practice strategies for emotional control, and to recognize feelings. By night, I was putting my own teachings to the test. These are still strategies I continue to practice in my role as Assistant Director of Admission through both recruitment and file review seasons. During my work travels, I make it a goal to drink a lot of water, get enough sleep and spend some time outside exploring my territory whether it means hiking the gorge in Niagara Falls or watching the sunset in Monterrey (shout out to Upstate NY and Santa Clara). When I’m feeling off-kilter, I organize my things, make to-do lists and have real conversations with people I love and trust. And on Sundays– I face mask.

(read more)

January 10, 2019

Counting Down to January 15th

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…

(read more)