I really like the perseverance and dedication displayed by the members here on this thread. That said, I want to wish you all the best of luck during this incredibly stressful but exciting process. I was accepted as a transfer student for Fall 2012, so if any of you have questions for me, feel free to ask away here or PM me.
Here's my testimony:
-High school gpa: 3.4 unweighted (my school did not weigh)
-SAT/ACT: 1800/27 or 28 (I forget)
-ECs: I don't think this really factors much for transfer students but I was involved in your typical high school activities like FBLA, newspaper, etc.
-College: Penn State UP
-GPA at time of application: 3.73; 3.75 after spring semester
-ECs: Reporter for newspaper, Film Organization, LGBT
As you can see, I wasn't, by CC's definition, a "stellar" student. But it's not always about the numbers. My essays were extremely focused on my aspiring career in Entertainment Business and Journalism. If you're serious, USC will take you seriously. It wont hurt to start your essays early, and most importantly, just be honest with yourself in your essays. I didn't think I was "good enough" for USC, but was pleasantly surprised by my acceptance. I believe letters of rec are optional, but it never hurts to get at least one from your favorite professor (some colleges require them, though).
Also, here are some things you guys should know:
-The writing requirement that's listed on the USC website is NOT actually required. They recommend it, but if you don't have it satisfied, it's not a big deal so don't stress over it.
-Same applies to the math requirement, unless you're going into engineering/business.
-Make sure you check the college/major you want to apply to in order to satisfy what they need.
-You don't NEED at least 30 credits to be able to successfully be a transfer candidate. SC recommends you have 30 by the end of your academic year at your current university before you transfer if you don't want your high school grades to be weighed more heavily in the reviewing process. So, it's okay if you only have 15-18 credits when you apply because it is assumed you will have at least 30 by the time you matriculate there.
-I strongly suggest you guys to look at the GE requirements on SC's website to articulate successfully. Here's an extremely useful site: https://camel2.usc.edu/articagrmt/artic_hist_range.aspx
If your classes do not show up here, it doesn't necessarily mean that they wont accept them.
-As far as scheduling classes go, pick classes that are both challenging and fun for YOU. Don't try and work your way around through the "easy" classes because SC will check the rigor of courses.
Good luck everyone, and fight on!