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USC Class of 2024 Applicants Thread

onlyworthypotatoonlyworthypotato 117 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
Figured that since the Common App officially launched today, so did the USC application and in honor of that (and the fact that I didn't see anything else on this site) I'm starting this thread for applicants to discuss anything related under admissions to the University of Southern California. Here's to the start of a (hopefully) wonderful admissions season!
edited August 8
19 replies
Post edited by skieurope on
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Replies to: USC Class of 2024 Applicants Thread

  • WWWardWWWard 2691 replies15 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    And so it begins again. In the past few years, so many have come to CC asking about their application's chances for success only after actually applying. But it is instead much more important to think about those chances and what USC is actually seeking from you before you apply and hit send within the Common Application.

    In terms of getting "Chanced" for USC, it is virtually impossible for others to predict what may or may not occur in your specific case. With an admit rate now below 13% and falling, and with 4K+ applicants with 4.0 unweighted GPAs and test scores in the 99th percentile among those not gaining admission, your success will instead likely depend on too many potential factors for anyone to correctly evaluate... making predicting admission nearly impossible. But this also shows that they admit many without perfect grades or test scores. They are after all seeking to craft a well-rounded and diverse freshman class comprised of those who actually have a strong affinity for or connection to USC. They do aim to admit those who they project will thrive well at USC and bring something unique to the campus environment.

    So your individual admission decision will likely come down to a composite and holistic analysis of your stats coupled with writing ability / essays, ECs, potential leadership roles, potential other unique qualifiers (URM, First Gen, geography, demographics, etc.), your Why USC? explanation/reasoning, etc. And that "Why USC?" explanation is likely the most important single component of your application. You do need to provide a well-thought out and well-researched answer as to why attending USC is truly significant and important to you specifically. And moreover, USC does want to gain a sense as to what you will be uniquely contributing to the greater USC community if admitted.

    Before applying, I suggest reading through the very helpful insider's guide to USC admissions...

    https://tfm.usc.edu/a-guide-to-uscs-college-admissions-process/

    Both of my daughters gained admission to USC and attended. One remains there as a rising junior. So if you have questions about the process or anything USC, feel free to ask.

    Good Luck...
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  • onlyworthypotatoonlyworthypotato 117 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @WWWard Thank you for the insightful input! I did have a question though, concerning interviews. They have recently been discontinued, to my disappointment, given that I always thought of them as ways to distinguish yourself and make a mark on admissions officers in person, to make connections and to amplify the ideas that words can only do so much to communicate. In your opinion, what, if any, are other ways to make this kind of impact outside the applications borders?
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  • WWWardWWWard 2691 replies15 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You're welcome.

    Well... neither of my daughters interviewed. Even before, most successful applicants did not do so. Some schools like the School of Cinematic Arts do still request some faculty interviews by phone or skype.

    My daughters essays aimed at demonstrating a very strong and well-researched commitment to USC and to the specific School within USC that they were applying to. They provided specific reasoning for why USC was their top choice by far. It is not enough to simply label any college or university a dream school scenario. Applicants need to go beyond that and explain why such is the case.

    And then, in early to mid February, they also sent one short email to their specifically assigned admission officer, copying the specific School's admission email too, reaffirming that USC was their top choice and that they would in fact commit and enroll if admitted. If that is unequivocally true, there is no harm in an applicant doing so. In fact, they suggest such in that Insider's Guide to Admissions. It is not necessarily true that USC is overly concerned about yield protection, but they do wish to admit applicants that are firmly committed to attending USC if admitted. Most importantly, they want to admit applicants that they perceive will be a good fit. It is hard for them to ascertain such in a vacuum, so the best way to render them that confidence is via your written words while applying and that one key follow-up thereafter. As they are overwhelmed by applicants, I do not recommend more than one such follow-up email however unless something truly significant has occurred after you apply... like winning a major award, for example.

    Good Luck...
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  • californiababycaliforniababy 3 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Hey everyone!! I've been following these USC threads for the past 3 years now and I'm pretty excited that my year to apply has finally come :D good luck everyone
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  • Racingfan53Racingfan53 69 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @WWWard, thank you so much for all your helpful insights. I'm going to keep that in mind and definitely tell USC that they're my top choice. I hope I can illustrate how I think USC is a perfect fit for me in my application :)

    Good luck to everyone else applying for the class of '24!! Where else are y'all applying? What major? I'm sending good wishes your way and can't wait to embark on this journey with everyone!!
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  • CADREAMINCADREAMIN 5459 replies102 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Here we go again! Good luck to all applicants!
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  • WWWardWWWard 2691 replies15 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Racingfan53 You're welcome. Good luck...
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  • youngsinatra301youngsinatra301 1 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Hey guys. Are they still doing scholarship interviews this year? I’m applying to Marshall and most likely a minor in SCA
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  • CADREAMINCADREAMIN 5459 replies102 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 17
    @youngsinatra301 I know they were doing them in 2017, but I have seen it posted that they aren’t doing them any longer. To be sure, call admissions and/or the school within USC that you are applying to and verify with them. Ya never know if someone posted they don’t do them because they asked too late, or if they stopped, they could start them again. Best to verify with USC. If they do, it is great to do one. Registration use to open up mid summer.
    edited August 17
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  • VryCnfsdVryCnfsd 128 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I said I wasn't going to follow this year's thread, but I am weak. D20 will definitely be applying and is super excited after our visit to USC this summer. She's been able to find a couple of other colleges she likes, but if she gets in and it's affordable then I'd be shocked if she doesn't attend.

    One thing we learned was that courses at USC are either 4 credits or 2 credits for the most part, with most requirements being 4 credits. So over the course of her 8 semesters, she can expect to take a maximum of 32 four credit courses and up to 8 two credit courses. The GE requirements are 10 four credit courses (which must be taken at USC or before enrolling at USC), which means she will have 22 four credit courses left over for major/minor, which isn't a whole lot! Even with some AP credits, it is going to be a tight squeeze for her to do what she is interested in.
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  • honeymaidyumhoneymaidyum 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Hi guys!
    I was wondering if any of you could tell me what my chances of being admitted to USC were. I have a 1300 SAT and 3.92 unweighted GPA, 4.3 weighted GPA, numerous extracurriculars including 3 high school sports, involvement and executive positions in 3 clubs, and I am the Editor in Chief of yearbook.
    Thanks in advance!
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  • WWWardWWWard 2691 replies15 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @honeymaidyum I suggest reading post #1 above regarding your chances.

    @VryCnfsd Every full time student can take 18 units per semester at the same base cost. Some can be granted the right to take 21 at the same cost via AAA - the academic achievement award (requires 3.75 gpa + trying to double major or major/minor). My older daughter had one major and two minors. My younger daughter has one major and one minor. But many have graduated with double majors plus a minor or various combinations. Most majors require the completion of 120-128 semester units for the degree, but that factors in the GE requirements and is not just major specific requirements. For example, my daughter's major only requires 52 major-specific units. B.S. and B.F.A. degrees can be more. But B.F.A. degrees also have less GE requirements, like waiving the foreign language requirement. You can research them all via this link: https://catalogue.usc.edu/content.php?catoid=11&navoid=3699 My point is that many... if not most... at USC accomplish graduating with at least one minor or extra major during their four years there.
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  • VryCnfsdVryCnfsd 128 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @WWWard thanks! I have looked carefully at the requirements, and I believe she *can* do what she wants to do, it is just going to be tight.
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  • CADREAMINCADREAMIN 5459 replies102 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 19
    @VryCnfsd To add to above, my student's major requires 72 (that's a lot) and the other's engineering degree was 68 units plus 29-30 pre-major requrirements of math, bio, stats, physics (that's a whole lot), so the APs come into play, but regardless it is a ton of units required, not leaving room for playtime, that's for sure. But they did do double majors or minors by taking advantage of AAA mentioned above (my engineer took 21 units almost every semester) and managing their course selection really closely, making sure GE's counted twice or even three times in terms of checking off requirements (major/GE/diversity requirements) etc. And this has to be done from the first semester, not figured out junior year if you want to do a major/major or major/minor. But there are certainly majors that give you more flexibility (less required units) than music industry, engineering & business, etc.

    I do think this is one of the things that isn't really understood going into college for many students/parents - that in many majors there isn't much time to explore and take cool/fun or just plain interesting classes. Manage that class schedule well! And it helps if you are certain of your major going in, but many student's aren't 100%, and the later one changes and enters a major, the more challenging it is to get in all the requirements.
    edited August 19
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  • VryCnfsdVryCnfsd 128 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks, @CADREAMIN it is good to know that D20 can take up to 5 four credit courses per semester if she qualifies for AAA. I also see that there are exceptional funding opportunities for up to 8 credits, at least for presidential+ scholars. It appears those would also be allowable for summer credit?
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  • WWWardWWWard 2691 replies15 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @VryCnfsd You're welcome. Yes... it just takes a little pre-planning for those that are trying to maximize the college experience in terms of major(s) / minor(s). But most find a way to accomplish their goals. Academic advisers are a real valuable ally once you know what you are seeking to accomplish while at USC.
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  • Safalm2019Safalm2019 36 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hey! I was accepted and am currently in USC’s class of 2023. If you ever need any help please don’t hesitate to HMU, this process is very stressful and I want you to know that you have resources here for you to help ease the stress. Good luck and fight on!
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  • een222een222 32 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Just another class of 2023 student checking in on this year's thread and reflecting on my experience with the admissions process last year!
    While CollegeConfidential can be extremely helpful in finding the information you're looking for, don't get too caught up in it-- I found it contributing to a lot of anxiety, especially when nearing the end of the process.

    If I could tell myself one thing about the process while I was going through it, I would say not to get caught up in "statistics." You'll hear it a lot, but USC's admissions process really is wholistic. If you don't have the highest GPA or test scores, you can make up for it by showing the admissions team your personality and passion for the school through your essays and common app.
    (Also, reach out to your admissions counselor as well as the counselors for your selected program. Get to know them, give them an opportunity to get to know you!)
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  • CADREAMINCADREAMIN 5459 replies102 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^^^Great point @een222. It really is that simple. "What are your stats?" is a question whose answer is often the least helpful to getting into USC.

    Good stats are a given but there is so much more than that. Understand what the school you are applying to is really looking for.
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