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Pending Cinematic Arts Decision... Opinions?

WollafWollaf Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
Hey everyone,

I was very happy to receive an acceptance package from USC earlier today (with what I assume will be eventually the Dean scholarship). However, the letter noted that I'd been accepted as an English major (my second choice), and that my application for the highly competitive Cinematic Arts school was still under review, and that I'd receive a decision later.

So... for anyone who has experience with USC's admissions process in these scenarios, what are my odds on actually being accepted as a Film Production major at this point? Will I learn the results in late March/early April? My stats can be found in the thread here:

(post #29)

Thanks for any opinions. My family and I are trying to determine if a trip out to California to visit (we live in Florida) is wise, since more than likely we won't take out student loans if I can't major in film.
Post edited by Wollaf on

Replies to: Pending Cinematic Arts Decision... Opinions?

  • ZucchiniSkyZucchiniSky Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I was selected as a Presidential scholarship finalist and I remember my letter explicitly stated, with no mention of my second choice or that SCA had/hadn't reviewed my portfolio,
    "College: School of Cinematic Arts
    Major: Film and Television Production"

    Correct me if I'm wrong (and I could be terribly wrong), but I can imagine that USC's admissions board sent over only the Presidential and Trustee nominees to SCA for preliminary review (considering that they were up for interviews by the department), and that the rest of the applicants are still in line for SCA's regular admissions. If that's the case, your chances are as good as everyone else's.
  • madbeanmadbean Registered User Posts: 3,219 Senior Member
    I've been watching how the scholarship situation plays out at the SCA for 4 years since my S became at Trustee scholar in that school (VERY happy day!). I've taken note of reports here on Cc each year and it is really hard to say how the talent-based majors that require portfolios, interviews, and/or auditions make their selections for Trustee/Presidential and Deans. The criteria for admission to these majors (including cinema, theatre, Thornton, architecture, Roski and others) have traditionally weighed the talent-materials heavily. Yet Presidential and Trustee Scholars tend to be at the top of the academic pool at USC and so we have little idea how those traditional criteria like gpa, SATs, APs, etc. are factored in and at what stage in the process they are counted.

    Does the general admissions department screen all early deadline applicants for top grades/scores/essays, ECs and send a subset off to the various talent based Schools' admissions groups to then select their allotment of T/P scholar candidates? Or does each individual School do a pre-screen of all their applicants for talent/accomplishments andpotential and then somehow factor in their grades, etc to come up with that final invitee list? Don't know. But I suspect it's this second version. Schools like SCA look for leadership, extraordinary results in international/national competitions, success in the field outside of school, and extreme independent passion and artistic vision in T/P candidates and it is doubtful the general adcom would come up with the same list if mostly looking at SAT scores and such. But when SCA is screening for scholarships, the must also make sure the students fall within an overall expected standard of academic achievement. This is true for all admissions to SCA, but I suspect the bar is higher for top scholar candidates.

    It makes sense to me (but I cannot prove) that the general adcom simultaneously reviews all eligible-date applicants from their region and may choose some of those with excellent records and wonderful service/ECs or essays (even if they have not landed in the short list made by their major). To invite those few, they send them admissions to the Dornsife major they listed as 2nd choice, or to Dornsife Undecided if the student did not list a 2nd choice major. The student will, in time, be reviewed for admissions to their college of 1st choice (SCA) and may certainly find they get admitted but not until all applicants are reviewed. Sorta weird, I think, but in the massive procedure of reviewing thousands of applications, each School has to hit certain targets by certain dates and that's how this may play out.

    This may or may not be what happened in Wollaf's case. But I recall a few other students in past years who were surprised (and maybe concerned) to find they had been invited to interview for such a high scholarship, but not by the major of their first choice! My advise would be to go to the Explore interview and wow them. Some students are actually bumped up to full-tuition scholarships. Hard to beat that! And if you get the scholarship and then get admitted to SCA a little later, all the better. If you are not admitted to SCA by April, you have a big decision. If the $$ is outstanding and makes attending USC viable, you can consider trying to transfer to SCA once you are a (well-tuition-paid) scholar at the University. There is no guarantee, so some find that frightening. But we have seen many who are successful at transferring to the School from within if they are determined and bright and go-getters.

    Best of luck.
  • alamemomalamemom Registered User Posts: 6,384 Senior Member
    And just to mention - if you are awarded a Trustee/Presidential/Dean's for one school/major and later are admitted to a different school/major or decide to change your school/major, your scholarship goes with you :) .
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