December 1 Application Deadline Frequently Asked Questions for Fall 2022 Applicants

The first application deadline is around the corner. Have questions? We have answers! Check out the list of questions you might have about submitting your USC application for Fall 2022. 

As a reminder, we do not offer Early Decision or Early Action at USC. December 1 is the deadline for first-year applicants to be considered for USC Merit Scholarships. It is also the final deadline for some programs in both the first-year and transfer process (see more information on USC’s Admission Dates and Deadlines.) Transfer applicants will be considered for the Transfer Merit Scholarship as long as they apply by February 15.  

Q: I submitted my application on December 1 before midnight, but my confirmation email says I submitted on December 2. What’s going on? 
A: The Common App timestamp is on Eastern Standard Time, so depending on where you live, it may look like your application was submitted on December 2. That’s okay! We still consider applications received in the early morning of December 2 to be on time. 

Q: Do I need to submit anything extra to be considered for the Office of Admission scholarships? 
A: Nope! Just submit all required application materials by December 1.  

There are some organizations at USC that offer additional scholarships you may be eligible for that require an extra application. Please review our full list of scholarships for more information.  

*Note, USC is test optional for Fall 2022 undergraduate applicants. Applicants who indicate on the Common App that they do not wish to have their test scores considered are not required to submit test scores in order to be considered for a merit-based scholarship. 

Q: I submitted my Common Application at 11:59 PM on December 1, but my USC Supplement was submitted at 12:01 AM on December 2. Will my application still be considered for scholarship? 
A: Yes! The Common Application and USC Supplement must be submitted individually. Not all students realize this right away, so we do see this happen sometimes. Totally fine! We will consider your application on time for the scholarship deadline. 

Q: My test scores and transcript won’t arrive until after the deadline. Is that okay? 
A: If your Common Application, USC Supplement, and any required department supplements (e.g., SlideRoom) are submitted by December 1, your application will be considered on time. If school documents such as transcripts or letters of recommendation trickle in a little after the deadline, that is okay, but be sure those are sent as soon as possible! 

Q: My transcript and test scores were sent, but they haven’t shown up on my portal checklist. What do I do? 
A: If the USC Applicant Portal indicates that your test scores (if you chose to submit scores) or transcripts are not yet received, please verify that your name on the item matches exactly your name as it appears on your Common Application. If you have only recently requested your scores to be sent to USC, be sure to allow at least two weeks for processing. 

Q: What is the applicant portal and how do I access it? 
A: A couple of days after submitting your Common Application, you will receive an email with instructions to access your portal, so make sure to check your inbox! The subject of the email is “USC Admission Has Received Your Application – Set up your applicant portal today!” Your portal is where you can check on the status of your application, including information about any missing items. You are welcome to check the status of your submitted application by logging in to the USC Applicant Portal. The portal is updated as materials are processed into our system.

Q: What application items need to be submitted by the application deadline? 
AFor your application to be considered on time, you will need to submit your Common Application, USC Supplement, and any supplemental materials required by your department (for example, a SlideRoom required portfolio) by the deadline. If transcripts, letters of recommendation, or test scores come in after the deadline, that is okay! Just be sure they are on their way. 

Q: When will I get a decision? 
A: All first-year applicants will have an admission decision by April 1. Applicants who apply by December 1 will be notified in mid-February whether they have been selected to interview for a scholarship. Those that are not asked to interview are still being considered for admission, so they will not receive an admission decision at this time. 

Transfer applicants will receive an admission decision or a request for their spring grades by May 31.  

Q: I received an email about signing an Affirmation, how do I do this? 
A: You will need to login to your USC Applicant Portal and navigate to the Application Affirmation section. This is an electronic signature acknowledging that everything in your application is truthful, correct, and yours. This is required for all USC applicants. You can preview the affirmations here

Q: If I decide to report my SAT/ACT scores, do you require the official test score report? 
A: You can send us your official score report or (in the meantime), upload an unofficial copy of your SAT and/or ACT scores through the USC Applicant Portal.  

*Note, all students who ultimately enroll at USC, and chose to have their scores considered, must submit an official score report directly through the testing agency.
USC SAT code number: 4852 
USC ACT code number: 0470 

Q: I am not going to submit official test scores, but my portal notes that the SAT/ACT score report is missing. What is happening? 
A: This data comes from the SAT/ACT question on the Common Application. If you indicated that you would like to consider your official test scores, we will wait for the score report in order to complete your file. If you are no longer interested in submitting your test scores, and we have not already received your scores, you can update your testing plan in the Applicant Portal.   

Q: I used a different website when I registered for a virtual USC information session. Is this the same as the applicant portal? 
A: No, the USC Applicant Portal is separate from the Discover USC site. You will be able to create your USC applicant portal after you submit your Common Application. The USC applicant portal will be helpful to track the status of your USC application. 

Q: My recommender submitted their letter of recommendation on my behalf, why don’t I see this as a checklist item on my USC Applicant Portal? 
A:  Your USC Applicant Portal checklist will not list letters of recommendation as items. Rest assured, if a recommender has submitted a letter on your behalf, they have been added to your file.    

Q: I have additional letters of recommendation I want to add. How do I do this? 
A: Additional letters are not required for admission to the University, but you can submit them for consideration. Recommenders may email their letters to the appropriate USC admission counselor and should include your full name and birthdate or reference ID (found in your applicant portal) in order to match them to the correct application. Please note that quality is more important than quantity! 

Q: Paying the USC application fee is a financial hardship for me and my family. Can I have the Common Application fee waived? 
A: If paying the application fee would cause you a financial hardship, utilize the Common Application fee waiver option. 

First-Year Applicants will find this option in the Profile section of the Common Application. School-specific fee waiver options can be found in the USC supplement to the Common Application. You can watch the video below about how to do this! 

Transfer Applicants will find this option in the “My Application” section of the Common Application. School-specific fee waiver options can be found in the Program Materials section of the Common Application. 

Q: How do I log in to my FAST portal? 
A: FAST (Financial Aid Summary and Tasks) is a website where students can access their Financial Aid Summary and determine the current status of their application and aid. You will have access to your FAST portal a couple days after we receive your application. Please log in through the USC Applicant Portal

Q: I just submitted all my USC application materials. Now what do I do? 
A: Nice job! Want to know what to do next? Take a look at the admission blog article Top 5 Things to Do After Applying to USC” as a final check to your USC application. 

Q: I have more questions. Who can I talk to? 
A: If you have any questions, or wish to email the Office of Admission, we invite you to askUSC. Applicants can also call the Admission Contact Center at (213) 740-1111.

You can also contact your Admission Counselor. Find out who your counselor is by visiting: 

Follow USC Admission on social media (@USCAdmission on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube) We will post application tips and reminders, as well as answer any final questions you may have.  

Good Luck and Fight On