I had a friend who was ATPS (association of trustee and presidential scholars), and she helped the committee that chose who got what. They bring the candidates on campus around Feb. and divide them into groups. Some groups are trying for trustee, some for presidential, but no one knows which groups are which. In each group, I'm guessing around 6-8? They select around 2-3? for the scholarship. I'm not sure of the numbers I'm not ATPS.
I really don't like how they do it is if you are stellar and everyone else in your group is, you don't have a great chance. You are not compared with the entire applicant pool, just the several in your group. Also, if they designate you a trustee candidate and they don't give you the scholarship (they give out much fewer of these than presidentials), you are not placed in the presidential applicant pool; you receive nothing.
If someone in ATPS has a first hand account please correct me.
I got the Trustee Scholarship, but had to turn it down later on..
It's basically a merit-based (although USC of course says they consider other factors, like leadership and community service) scholarship. You have to go to an on-campus, overnight interview to receive either the Turstee or the Presidential.. i think in February or March.
You can still get the Deans scholarship, which is 1/4 tuition (Presidential : 1/2, Trustee: total tuition).
mt2011: Don't take my word for it, but most of the people I know who got the scholarships had 2300+.. I myself got a 2400. Your extracurriculars might give you a good boost though.
bmanbs2 isn't completely correct - you can still receive a presidential if you were nominated for trustee.
I'm a trustee scholar, I was nominated for presidential. It's merit based, but not just by stats because I was nominated over my friends with better sats and higher gpas than me.
You fly in in late february/early march to interview for the scholarships, and they can either bump you up or bump you down.
I heard each school in usc gets a certain amount of scholarships to hand out, so it might be by school. I might be wrong though. they do separate you by schools at exploreusc (the interview program), though.
My stats: 2180 SAT, 3.5UW GPA from an extremely competitive h.s. in NYC. Majoring in Architecture so I also had a portfolio to show.
When you apply to USC by Dec. 1 you qualify for scholarship review. The process involves a lot of things, each school has their own criteria but numbers almost always take precedence. I actually saw a list once that showed candidates USC had screened from different schools (using National Merit info). A lot of them didn't even apply to USC but were put down as Presidential candidates. These scholarships are recruiting tools so keep that in mind.
The schools have an allotted set of scholarships and they will notify if you were selected as a candidate sometime around January or February. You are invited to an Explore USC session that involves an interview. There are separate days for both Trustee (100%) and Presidential (50%) and you are made aware of the scholarship you are competing for. I've heard numbers are around 2:1 as far as interviewees and scholarships but it is very subjective. You are NOT competing with the other people in your group. Grups vary a lot in size and are separated by school (My group only had 2 people in it). Everyone in my group was given a scholarship so I can't imagine that we were competing with each other. The schools probably have a limited number of scholarships though, so you are competing with the whole pool.
The scholarship is merit based and the interview is very important. It will usually have a faculty member, an admissions officer, and a student. The questions are very much tailored to your major and the interview is pretty easy going (however I've heard some horror stories of Viterbi interviews).
If you do not get the scholarship, there is a chance you will get bumped down to a lesser one (Trustee to Presidential, Presidential to Dean's). However you could also get nothing. There are also cases of people being bumped up (like my other group member and myself) from Presidential to Trustee. It all really depends on the school and I am pretty sure recruiting is a big factor. Your major will really dictate how important GPA/SAT scores will be.
For this year's class (2010) we kept track of what scholarship (if any) was offered to those invited to interview. The results of our small College Confidential (33 candidates) sample showed that most candidates (23/33 ~70%) were awarded the scholarship (Trustee or Presidential) for which they interviewed, about 18% (6/33) were "bumped up" from Presidential to Trustee (congrats, Arctic92 ), and 12% (4/33) were "bumped down" from Trustee to Presidential or Presidential to Director's. All candidates reporting on College Confidential were awarded at least a Director's Scholarship, so none were left empty-handed.
thanks for the info everyone. My 2220 SAT is from a single sitting in march; is it worth it to take it again to superscore for a chance at scholarships? or should my 34 on ACT be high enough? Also, i got a 220 on PSAT in CA, so im praying that holds up to become NMSF and eventually NMF; if you are NMF that is an automatic presidential from USC, correct?
mt2011...your stats are high enough, I don't think increasing them will have an added effect on whether you will be invited for a scholarship or not. Candidates are looked at for more than the numbers. Those who are invited generally have something that makes them stand out over other applicants. This may include exceptional leadership qualities or community service, major awards, a long term and consistent research background, demonstration of exceptional success in HS under adverse conditions, or particular talents which indicate that the candidate will be very successful in some field.
For example, my D is a Trustee scholar and her SATs were not in the 2200s (though she did have an very high GPA and was a valedictorian.) In her case we believe it was her research background and related awards, as well as her chosen major related to that research indicating that she planned to continue in that area.
Looking at previous years' acceptances in Jan/early Feb, you will see that not everyone had the tippy top stats, yet they were invited, Conversely, others who had great SATs in the 2300s were not invited.
Remember also that the essays are very important. Be sure to show who you are. Essays are looked at very carefully and can have an effect of scholarship candidacy.
And yes, if you are NMF, you will receive the Presidential, as long as you name USC as your first choice. (This can be done later on when you come to decide that USC is for you)