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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- All the materials for the Common Application (and SlideRoom application for applicants to majors that require a portfolio or audition).
- An official high school transcript directly from your school.
- Official SAT or ACT test scores (if you are choosing to include a test score).
- 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:
- FAFSA (code: 001328)
- CSS Profile (code: 4852)
- USC 2020 Tax Information or Non-Filing Statement Form – Parents
- 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.
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