I have had a TTP thread for the last few years, the most recent got closed, so starting it up again with results coming out…
For those who got TTP in their denial letter - it is not offered to everyone. Some people think it is for legacies, but it goes well beyond that. It is often for great students that they just don’t have room for, particularly in certain majors. As space opens up after that first year, they are able to fill it with very well qualified transfers who they know are very likely to attend. So in a sense, you are “denied” this year but encouraged to apply next year as a transfer. You have a very good chance of being accepted (almost a guarantee so I wish they would make it one) as a sophomore transfer if you have a good gpa and take the right classes. You can attend a CC, a state school or any 4 year university for your first year. You can do study abroad through universities that USC partners with. They have more articulation agreements (a list of courses that are acceptable at USC from another school) available from CC and state schools, but there are plenty from 4 year universities as well, and it is completely acceptable to come from any 4 year. Obviously you may attend your 4 year and decide you want to stay, and say heck with the TTP. If you decide to go for USC as a sophomore TTP applicant, you will need to apply as a transfer applicant before February 1st during freshman year (back to the common app again, weeeee).
How does this differ from a regular transfer applicant? The difference - you are given the opportunity to meet with a USC advisor in June or July BEFORE freshman year to make sure you understand what is best for you to take during that first year at your other college - you find out what looks best to increase your transfer chances. They do not go over specific courses at your college, but just an idea what fits into their GEs, and what is good to get over with and bring to USC. They do not offer this consult to “regular” transfer applicants. It may be a way for them to meet you as well, but it is more to go over stuff with you. Apparently, if you meet a 3.7-3.8 recommended gpa first year and get the credits you need (30), you are almost guaranteed a spot. Note almost. It means you may have an edge over those applying as a transfer without TTP. Nothing is ever guaranteed in college admissions till you get your packet!
You plan on attending another school first. Then you can pursue the TTP by expressing interest and signing up for meeting in summer. Then go to your other school. If it is a CC (2 year), you can work really hard to make the transfer happen. If it is a big 4 year school, I would embrace it, commit to it, and give it a chance. If you don’t love it after first semester, you can apply by February 1st for the transfer as a TTP applicant. If you have adjusted, love your new school and forgot about USC - then just don’t apply. It’s that simple.
Personal thoughts - for those that are 100% committed to graduate from USC it can work out and let you still have your dream, and even save a good amount of money (if you go to a cc for a year for example), or study abroad. Some kids feel if they didn’t want me the first time, I don’t want them later. For others, it’s not a bad back up plan - you can go to another school and if you don’t like it, go for this. For some, it can turn it into a hostage acceptance and because they hang in limbo for a year while trying to meld with the other school and don’t because they still dream of USC. How you treat it is up to you. I would strongly think about whether you really want to change plans or give up another great 4 year college and the freshman experience you could have on a maybe from USC. It is stressful all over again. They go through the acceptance cycle again in the spring. Frankly, I wish they were guaranteed with a GPA, or even a date of acceptance, the stress is unnecessary. Some advisors will be positive and reassuring, others will treat them like they are lucky to even be in this pool and tell them it’s not guaranteed over and over. Not a fan of that.
Point is, some will say heck yes, and some will say, heck no, it is an individual choice. Biggest thing to keep in mind is it doesn’t matter if you are coming from a 2 or 4 year. So don’t feel like you have to attend a cc or state school, or something other than you intend currently, to make USC happy. It doesn’t matter. Make yourself happy. GPA and the correct classes (and re correct classes, still less so compared with regular transfers) are what matter for the Trojan Transfer Plan.