I’m Not a QuestBridge Match – What Does This Mean?

This time of year can be stressful if you’re a high school senior. You’re trying to successfully balance schoolwork, your home life, and college applications. Some of you applied to USC through the QuestBridge National College Match process but have recently been notified that you were not selected in the match. Although not being matched with the college you wanted may be disappointing, you should be very proud of all the work that it took for you to apply through QuestBridge and share your story with the colleges you ranked! If you ranked USC as one of your colleges, rest assured that we took the time to thoroughly review your QuestBridge application; to get to know you, your story, and your accomplishments. However, this process is extremely competitive, and if you were not selected as a match, that doesn’t mean that we didn’t like your application – it just means that we have a very limited number of spots for QuestBridge matches.  

If you applied to USC through the QuestBridge College Match process and you completed all the USC Match Requirements (either the USC QuestBridge Writing Supplement or the Common Application), but did not match to a binding college, you’ll have three options: 

  1. For students applying to majors in Art and Design, Architecture, Music, Cinematic Arts, and Theatre – you may select for your application to be considered in our Regular Decision process. If you submit your application and supplemental materials by December 1st, you’ll be automatically considered for USC merit scholarships that are awarded through the USC Office of Admission. 
  2. For students applying to all other majors – you may select to have your application considered in our Early Action process (and for major merit scholarships) or in our Regular Decision process. If you select Early Action you will also be automatically considered for USC merit scholarships that are awarded through the USC Office of Admission. 
  3. For students who no longer want their application to be considered in our process you may withdraw your application to USC entirely. 

If you applied through the QuestBridge process and did NOT rank USC, you will have to take some additional steps to be considered for admission to USC.  You must submit: 

  1. All the materials for the Common Application (and SlideRoom application for applicants to majors that require a portfolio or audition). 
  1. An official high school transcript directly from your school. 
  1. Official SAT or ACT test scores (if you are choosing to include a test score). 
  1. A midyear report once your fall semester grades are available.  

The USC first-year regular decision deadline for submitting your application is January 15, the regular decision deadline for majors that require an audition or portfolio is December 1st, the same day as the QuestBridge College Match Day. Note, some academic departments only have a single December 1 deadline.  

A student who did not rank USC in the QuestBridge process will also have to submit the appropriate financial aid materials:   

  1. FAFSA (code: 001328) 
  1. CSS Profile (code: 4852) 
  1. USC 2020 Tax Information or Non-Filing Statement Form – Parents 
  1. USC Parent Income and Expense Form 

After you submit your application for admission, you will receive an email with instructions on how to set up your Applicant Portal. You can access the USC-specific forms and check on the status of your financial aid application on the USC FAST portal which is accessible through your USC Applicant Portal.  

Applicants who identify as undocumented should submit the following documents to begin their financial aid application: the CSS Profile, 2020 tax return, and a third-party letter confirming undocumented status. California residents will also be asked to complete the CSAC Dream Grant application requirements.  

The USC financial aid deadline for regular decision applicants is February 10th.  You must submit all of your financial aid materials by the deadline to ensure that you are fully considered for financial aid. At USC, we meet each student’s full demonstrated financial need – this means that your financial aid package will cover the full cost of attendance through loans, grants, and work study. In February 2020 we launched the Affordability Initiative which states that incoming first-year students from U.S. families with an annual income of $80,000 or less with typical assets will attend USC tuition free. Read more about the Affordability Initiative on our website.  

We understand that paying college application fees can get expensive.  If you feel that paying the application fee will be a financial hardship for you and your family, you can select the fee waiver payment option on the Common Application. Watch this video for instructions on how to use a fee waiver.  

All of this information can also be found on the QuestBridge website. If you find this process confusing or have questions about what you need to submit, please do not hesitate to contact your  USC admission counselor with any questions.  

If you are a QuestBridge Finalist and are ultimately admitted to USC through our Match, Early Action or Regular Decision process, we want to ensure that you feel supported and part of the USC community. Scholars come to USC from all across the country and bring their incredible achievements, talents, and experiences to campus where they have the opportunity to connect with other amazing Scholars through the USC QuestBridge Scholars group. All QuestBridge Finalists that are admitted to USC — either as a Match or through our regular decision process — are welcome to join the USC QuestBridge Scholars group. This group puts on a variety of events throughout the year to bring Scholars together. Events like a Welcome Back BBQ at the beginning of the school year, mixers, movie nights, mentoring opportunities, and study days during finals with free food!

At USC, we have the largest chapter of QuestBridge Scholars of any university, which means that you will always have resources and a support system available to you. 

Fight On!

Written by:

Maria Rodriguez, Associate Director of Multicultural Recruitment – USC Office of Admission

Kelsey K. Bradshaw Carroll, Associate Director – USC Office of Admission

Isaiah Sneed, Senior Assistant Director – USC Office of Admission

Simply, Thank You! 

This is the time of the year where we take time to reflect and think about the many acts of bravery and the selfless sacrifices that our men and women in uniform have made for this great country. Today, November 11, represents a day that we honor you, a community who not only heard the call of duty, but have also answered it. This is the day that we honor those who placed their lives in danger and performed their duties with acts of bravery and courage. Initially, this day was meant to acknowledge and celebrate world peace and the end of World War I in 1918. It has evolved to a day which celebrates you, current and former members of our military, –those who sacrificed all in the name of liberty and justice for all. This is a day where veterans across the nation come together to support and honor each other–all those who served, and those who are no longer with us. This is the day we salute you and honor you for your prodigious deeds.  

Initially known as “Armistice Day”, to later be renamed “Veterans Day”, I am reminded of the words of President Woodrow Wilson who proclaimed: 

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…” 

To my fellow Veterans and to all of you who are currently serving, this is the day I say thank you for the many freedoms that you continue to provide, and to say how proud I am of you and your commitment to this country and to yourselves. This sentiment is shared by my colleagues in the Office of Undergraduate Admission as well as the entire community at the University of Southern California. With a proud tradition that extends back to 1914, our commitment to you has remained unbroken. At USC, we recognize your strengths and contribution to our institution. We remain steadfast in our support to you and we aim to empower you-the student veterans through the various resources that are in place to aid you in your success and experience as students at the University of Southern California. Because of your experiences, perspectives, skills, and contributions, USC is greatly enriched by our student-veteran population.

To continue to support the transition and success of our veterans, USC continuously creates new programs and resources for our student-veterans, active service members, and ROTC students – including academic, financial, and wellness support. Here is a list of resources to address the needs of this student population.

Departmental Support

Since 2014, the   USC Veterans Resource Center(VRC) has worked to support student veterans in all endeavors of campus life, including everything from outreach and admission to graduation and job seeking. The center collaborates between multiple student affairs offices and administrative divisions and helps serve nearly 1,200 veterans who enroll in USC classes each semester. The VRC provides students with a variety of benefits:

  • Study space with access to computers
  • Opportunities to socialize with fellow student veterans
  • Information about on-campus services
  • Check-ins with a designated veteran certifying officer on campus
  • Special programs, such as the advisement luncheons offered at the beginning of the semester
  • Professional advisement (resumes, cover letters, networking, and interviews) and a job recruitment fair
  • Other perks like catered luncheons and complimentary tickets for sporting events!

Clubs & Organizations

To help student veterans establish relationships and build social and professional networks during their time at USC and after graduation, there are multiple student and alumni associations to join. The USC Veterans Association is a student organization composed of undergraduate and graduate students and keeps members informed of various opportunities and resources. On their active Facebook page, students can find out about upcoming social events and workshops, job openings, and research opportunities and apply for leadership positions within the group. The Marshall Military Veterans Association is a group for student veterans pursuing their MBA at the Marshall School of Business. To provide ongoing support for student veterans in their transition to USC, the USC Student Veterans Support Network mission is to help current and former students, staff, and faculty connect with students. Lastly, the USC Alumni Veterans Network is open to all USC alumni who are veterans and are interested in staying involved with the Trojan Family long after graduation.

Financial Benefits

In addition to their G.I. benefits, student veterans have access to the same scholarships and financial aid resources utilized by all USC students. USC’s Office of Financial Aid and the Veterans Certification Office work with military veterans to help them understand their educational benefits and provide assistance with financial aid and other funding. Check out this video that explains this process more in-depth.

USC is also proud to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which is open to post-9/11 GI Bill recipients and covers up to one-half of tuition and mandatory fees matched dollar for dollar by the V.A. The Schoen Family Scholarship Program for Veterans was established in 1986 by William J. Schoen, a former U.S. Marine and USC alumnus (’60, MBA’ 63), to provide additional funding for student veterans at USC. This scholarship is available to new and continuing students in the Marshall School of Business and the Viterbi School of Engineering who have served a minimum of three years of continuous, full-time, active duty in the past ten years.

Research & Practice

With the desire to meet the needs of our student veterans on campus, the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families (CIR) is also committed to research, education, and outreach for all veterans and their families. The CIR conducts a wide range of research projects, provides training seminars to behavioral health providers and clinicians, and works with community partners to address the issues that face today’s veterans and military families.

The University of Southern California has continued commitment and dedication to assisting veterans, service members, and qualified family members. USC is committed to providing the tools to successfully assist student veterans in navigating and integrating into the college environment while creating a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable campus environment for veterans. With this said, please take the time to review the resources in this blog post. Should you have any questions regarding the number of resources available or questions regarding admissions and the application process, please feel free to email me at emejia17@usc.edu.

USC Veteran Resource Center

ROTC & Veteran Benefits

Veteran Housing

USC Admission Contact Information

Transfer Tools

Transfer Information Session

For further information on USC’s Veteran Resource Center, check the FAQ’s – USC Veterans Resource Center.

Semper Fidelis and Fight On!

Written by Eric Mejia, Assistant Director

USMC Veteran

EdD Candidate

Highlighting USC’s Native American Student Assembly (NASA) – Fall 2022

What a year since our previous highlight on USC’s Native American Student Assembly (NASA)! Here at USC, we work hard to make sure our students can find communities and have safe spaces for them to be themselves. Although the cultural club for our Native American students may be relatively new, we are growing and progressing exponentially!  

NASA provides an intimate space for Native American students to authentically be themselves and to be supported in their endeavors. They are supported by Native American USC staff and faculty like me – Dylan Goodwill (Diné/Hunkpapa Lakota/Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota). Although it has been a bumpy ride, NASA has been thriving and striving. 

For example, NASA has fully moved into our culturally affirming lounge in the Student Union for our Native American and Pasifika students.  Today, you can find the Native American and Pasifika Student Lounge (NAPL) alongside other cultural centers like La CASA, the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs (CBSCA), and others in the Student Union. The lounge has become our home away from home and a place where our students host events, talk with support staff members, study, or just relax!  

Our NASA student leaders have persevered and continue to work hard to create events and spaces for their voices to be heard at USC. NASA meets once a week and hosts amazing events.  Currently, they are actively coordinating the with the university to celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November. This will be the first year that USC will celebrate Native American Heritage Month university-wide!   

In addition to this upcoming celebration, USC has created many wonderful changes in 2022 for our Native American students. For example, this past April, USC dedicated one of its most landmark buildings to Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow, the first Native American USC graduate. Our NASA students were heavily involved in the building dedication, and it was a beautiful sight to see allies from across the university come to support them. It was a monumental moment to see so many Native Trojans in their traditional regalia during the dedication ceremony, and to hear Crow honor songs echo across campus as the banner fell to reveal the new building name, the Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow Center for Intenational and Public Affairs

Along with the building dedication, USC launched the Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow Native Leadership Scholarship in January. By April 2022, our first Native Leadership Scholarship cohort was admitted to USC and invited to attend the building dedication ceremony. From this, we are truly excited to continue the scholarship which is available to first-year applicants who identify as American Indian/Alaskan Native/Native Hawaiian and have applied through the Common Application by our Early Action deadline of November 1.  

Overall, NASA hopes to gain more Native students so they can continue to grow and thrive. We are very excited for what the future may hold! So, do you know any Native American students?  Let them know about NASA at USC.   

To receive further information on upcoming events, be sure to follow the Native American Student Assembly on all social media platforms (@uscnasa). 

Written by: 

Dylan Goodwill, Senior Assistant Director & NASA Support Staff member