Undergraduate Admission Blog

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December 8, 2017

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 school work, 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. Not being a match with the college you wanted can be disappointing, but you should be very proud of all the work that it took for you to apply through QuestBridge, considering that this process requires that you be a bit more transparent and vulnerable about your background and story. If you ranked USC as one of your colleges, rest assured that we took the time to thoroughly review your QuestBridge application; we took the time 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.

The good news is if you applied through the QuestBridge process and ranked USC for the College Match but did not match to a binding college we will automatically move your entire application into the USC Regular Decision process. You will want to submit an updated official transcript that includes recent grades, official test scores if you have new scores to report, and a midyear report once your fall semester grades are available. Having already submitted all of your application materials before our December 1st scholarship deadline means that you will also be considered for USC Merit Scholarships that are awarded through the USC Office of Admission.

If you applied through the QuestBridge process and did NOT rank USC you will have to do the following: you will have to use the QuestBridge Regular Decision form found on your Application Management page to select USC and have your QuestBridge application forwarded. The deadline to complete the QuestBridge Regular Decision form is December 11th. Once you have completed that form you will also have to submit the following materials: the Common Application and USC Writing Supplement, an official high school transcript, official SAT or ACT test scores, and a midyear report once your fall semester grades are available. The USC first-year deadline for submitting your application is January 15th.

As someone who did not rank USC in the QuestBridge process, you will also have to submit the appropriate financial aid materials. You will have to submit the following: the 2018-2019 CSS/Financial Aid Profile, 2016 federal tax returns and W-2 forms, the 2018-2019 FAFSA, and the USC Parent Income and Expense Form. If you are an AB-540 eligible California resident you will also have to submit the Dream Act application instead of the FAFSA. The USC financial aid deadline is February 13th.  You want to make sure that you 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.

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. All you have to submit to be granted the fee waiver is a letter from your counselor verifying that paying the application fee would be a financial hardship for you.

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 the USC Office of Admission – you can contact your USC admission counselor and they will be more than happy to make sure that you are submitting all of the appropriate materials.

If you are a QuestBridge Finalist and are admitted to USC through our regular decision process, we want to ensure that you feel supported and part of the USC community. Scholars are coming from all across the country and are bringing 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 students that are QuestBridge Finalists and are admitted to USC, 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, mentoring opportunities, and study days during finals with free food! At USC we have the largest chapter of QuestBridge Scholars which means that you will always have resources and a support system available to you.

BY: Maria Rodriguez
Senior Assistant Director of Admission


  1. Mohammed says:

    How many questbridge finalists match with USC?

  2. Teresa says:

    How many students are accepted thru Questbridge regular decisión?

    • Brittany Baker-Brousseau says:

      Hi, Teresa! It varies every year, but we admit many more Questbridge applicants in our regular round than we are able to in the match process.

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