What’s the Status of My First-Year Application? (AKA – should I be worried?)

Well, we are seeing a good amount of email and phone traffic – not to mention watching online bulletin boards – since the end of last week with a ton of questions, rumors, speculation, and honestly – a number of worried applicants and parents.  We realize this time of year is incredibly stressful – and mostly stressful for one reason:

“I heard some people have been admitted – when will I hear?!”

  1. Yes – a small amount of students have received offers of admission.
  2. Yes – some have also been named Presidential or Trustee Scholarship finalists.
  3. No – we are not done with reading applications and making decisions. (not by a long shot!)
  4. The overwhelming majority of our freshman class for Fall 2012 hasn’t even been admitted yet
  5. Only about 15% of our total offers of admission have gone out as of today.*

Here are some details regarding what is going on right now:

Late last week the university sent out letters to those applicants who have been admitted and chosen as finalists for the Presidential and Trustee Scholarships.  For those who applied by December 1st we have a small number of students who are moving to the next stage of scholarship consideration.  If you did not receive one of those packets – I am sorry to say you were not selected for further consideration for either of those scholarships.

All applications filed by the December 1st deadline are still being considered for other scholarships.  All applications are still under review and being read very carefully. Every applicant is being considered for admission.  Additionally, anyone who is named a National Merit Finalist, and selects USC as their first choice institution will receive a USC Presidential Scholarship (1/2 tuition).

I know this is a very stressful time.  Checking the mailbox every day isn’t the best way to spend an afternoon.  Please know that everyone involved in admission at USC is working diligently to review each and every applicant.  We are reading everything you submitted, and taking great care to make decisions.

All applicants will hear from us via mail sometime in late-March/early-April.  If you want to check online in the meantime – go to www.usc.edu/USConnect.  There you can also make sure you have completed everything for applying for Financial Aid.  Getting all of your financial aid paperwork done now will definitely help you once you have been admitted.  So – get all that stuff in, now!

Finally – if you haven’t done so already – please submit your senior year grades to us at www.usc.edu/USConnect.  We may want to see those before making any admission decisions – and you can have them waiting for us ahead of time!

Thanks again for all your patience as we get through this process.  If you have any questions, or would like to discuss your concerns – please feel free to contact us at any time!


*Update – typo in original post said 5%

Paul Ledesma

About Paul Ledesma

Paul is currently the Director of Undergraduate Admission at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering. Although he is not an engineer, he loves working with engineering students and secretly wants to be one (they do so much cool stuff!). He watches way too many movies, is a self-admitted gadget-freak, comic book aficionado, and avid fan of all things Apple. Paul studied Psychology at the University of Southern California and "fell into" the college admission field after graduation in 2000.


  • david says:

    Hi, I was wondering what it means if I was accepted but didn’t get a Trustee/Presidential interview.

  • Paul Ledesma Paul Ledesma says:

    all finalists for the Trustee & Presidential scholarships were notified in their letter of admission of their status. Keep watching the mail for additional information in the coming weeks/months…

  • david says:

    Okay, does that mean that I might still be up for a smaller scholarship, and what are the chances of that? I heard that everyone who was accepted by the scholarship deadline received the Dean’s scholarship if they weren’t invited for Presidential/Trustee’s.

  • Paul Ledesma Paul Ledesma says:

    Davis – this process ain’t over yet! 🙂 All applicants are still being considered for other awards and considerations. Keep watching your mail as the coming weeks and months go on in this admission process.

    Everyone should keep in mind that the admission process just started. The majority of info and “events” will all occur in the month of April. Hang in there, everyone!

    As always, should anyone have any specific questions or concerns – leave ’em here, or call us 213 740 4530

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