Thought I had a chance! Is USC's merit scholarship really that competitive?

<p>Hi, I just got my nice rejection letter from USC for their merit scholarship.</p>

<p>I was wondering how competitive their merit scholarship was, I thought I had a chance at the merit scholarship [SAT: 2370 ACT: 35] but I guess not ):</p>

<p>Is there a specific cutoff for their merit scholarship?
What are the typical scores needed for their scholarship?</p>

<p>Thanks!!</p>

<p>You didn't get rejected from USC, just didn't make the cut for the scholarships. If you want some numbers, apparently 27,000 applied, and just 1,000-1500 were accepted early. That's less than <5% of the applicants!</p>

<p>It doesn't rule out the National Merit Presidential scholarship if you qualified for that.</p>

<p>It does not rule out any of the other scholarships I posted on another thread including leadership, alumni, Associates, etc.</p>

<p>"Is USC's merit scholarship really that competitive?"
yes and the selection of who to invite is not only numbers based.</p>

<p>I posted something like this on another thread. Each department/school chooses their own trustee and presidential interviewees. Making the academic cut, I'm sure counts for a lot. But so do other factors: talent, demonstrated passion for something, an interesting background, or the need for an extra X<Y Z. I'm sure the top schools could fill their entire class with near perfect scorers on multiple tests. But that alone would make for a very uninteresting mix of students. For whatever it's worth, I believe the ADCOMS try to create a diverse group, not JUST the top scorers. On another day, student X might have been chosen over student Y. Maybe X played tuba, but they wanted a bass, etc... It is SO hard when you are the one turned down to see why they didn't choose you. But it may not be YOU, just that they didn't need another student like you AT THAT MOMENT. On another day or another year, you might have been the one chosen. I'm sure with your stats you will be accepted at many fine schools and you are likely to end up happy at whichever one you choose.</p>

<p>@maddenmd The OP simply stated they were rejected from receiving a merit scholarship at USC, not a rejection of admittance. </p>

<p>The issue with your confidence in getting the merit scholarship based on test scores alone is that merit is not just scores, it includes your GPA and other factors.</p>

<p>S also was not offered a merit award & had very good test scores, comparable or better than yours. His GPA & class rank weren't as high as his test scores. Fortunately, he did get a NMF presidential & a Viterbi award, so was able to matriculate there. It IS very competitive to get admitted & even more competitive to be offered merit $$.</p>

<p>HImom, what kind of aid is available from Viterbi? My was accepted there, he too should qualify for the NMF Presidential.</p>

<p>I can't remember at the moment, but believe it may have been $1000 or $2500/year or something, renewable. We did get an offer from Santa Clara U as well & USC did increase S's merit to be comparable, upon my request. S also got the 1/2 tuition NMF + $1000/year for being a NMF. I believe that was it. It was all renewable every year, as long as the kiddo met GPA & progress toward tuition. One kid we knew transferred out of Viterbi to psychology & couldn't keep the Viterbi award but not sure if he got one from psych. He was also accepted to do research as JR & SR, & was paid for that, I think up to $2500/year in addition, but am fuzzy on these details. Do know our share of his college expenses steadily declined while S was attending school.</p>

<p>PAGRok: Reading over my post, I see where it sounds like I meant a rejection by the school. I did drift in that direction in the end especially. I do think it feels like a rejection to the kids that didn't get chosen for interviews for the big scholarships, and I made the leap into choosing another school prematurely here. Thanks for setting me straight. But... I still think on another day, maybe the OP might have gotten the nod for an interview. And of course, may still get the admission and other perks.</p>