February 8, 2018
FAQs on Scholarship Decisions
A couple of weeks ago, USC sent out notifications about our merit scholarship decisions. We know that students and parents might have some questions about our process and possibilities moving forward, so I would like to take this opportunity to explain our decision-making process a bit more, answer some frequently asked questions, and discuss the next steps in your application process.
Is there a reason I wasn’t selected as a scholarship finalist?
This year, we received approximately 39,000 applications by the scholarship deadline and were able to invite only 3% of those students to continue in our interview process. Scholarship decisions are not made by algorithms; we do not simply take the students with the highest GPAs and test scores. We in the Office of Admission, along with our colleagues in the academic departments, read applications thoroughly and take into account each facet in order to make our decisions. Sometimes students worry that they should have changed something about their application or wonder if there was a specific reason they did not become a scholarship finalist. The truth of the matter is that we receive many outstanding applications that are deserving of recognition–we simply do not have enough scholarships for all of them.
Is it still possible to get a scholarship?
Frequently, students wants to know if there is still a possibility of receiving a scholarship further on down the road. There are some smaller scholarships still on the table (you can learn more here), but we do encourage all families to apply for financial aid by our February 13th deadline. USC is a need-blind institution, which means there is no disadvantage if you apply for financial aid. If you are concerned about financing your college education, now is also a good time to begin applying to outside scholarships that will travel with you to whichever school you attend. College Board’s Big Future site is a good place to start, and your college counselor can likely provide you with resources as well. If you have further questions about financial aid at USC, I encourage you to check last week’s blog about financing your education as well as our financial aid website.
If I don’t get a scholarship, do I have less of a chance of being admitted to USC?
At this point in the process, no students have been denied–the only decisions we have made so far pertain to scholarships. We are now looking at the applicant pool as a whole so we can craft our first-year class, and we will be admitting the majority of our students a couple of months from now. Because we are still considering your application for admission, please send a copy of your midyear grades through your portal (you do not need to self-report them, however, if your school has already sent us an official copy).
We know the college application process involves a lot of work and a lot of waiting. We appreciate your patience as we continue to consider your application and encourage you to contact us with any lingering questions. Best of luck and Fight On!
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