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We know this is a stressful time of the year, so we want to address the most pressing and common question we’re receiving these days from First-Year applicants who applied by December 1st: “When will I hear back?”

The Answer: Mid-February

In Mid-February, the university will notify all applicants who submitted their application by December 1st of an admission status.  Notifications will be made via email and will be visible in your admission portal.  A small percentage of applicants will be admitted and chosen as one of our merit scholarship finalists.  Those students will have further instructions about next steps in advancing through our scholarship selection, including a mandatory video interview.

Those that are not selected as scholarship finalists will receive an indication that their application is still being considered for admission.  All admission decisions will be released prior to April 1, 2021.

Keep in mind that need-based financial aid is a completely different process, so if you don’t hear back from us about scholarships, this has no bearing on your eligibility for need-based financial aid.

We’re Still (and will continue) Reviewing All Applications for Admission

If you aren’t invited to interview for a scholarship, you are still being reviewed for admission – nothing has changed. All applicants who applied by January 15th will hear from us about admission decisions prior to April 1.

If you haven’t done so already, please login to your admission portal –  go to There you can make sure we have all of the necessary documents for a complete application, update us with additional information (hint – your fall grades from senior year should be uploaded as soon as you have them!), and see updates from us when they are made.

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.

Financial Aid

If you don’t get invited to interview for a scholarship, that doesn’t mean you won’t receive need-based financial aid. USC will still meet 100% of your demonstrated financial need. You can learn more here.

Senior Grades

If you haven’t done so already – please use your status portal to submit your senior year grades to us when you get them.  We likely need 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!

Michael Cox

Michael was born and raised in a small island town off the coast of Seattle. He went to USC, but he’s still a Pacfic Northwesterner at heart—he loves hiking, reading, and watching the Seattle sports teams disappoint him. At Viterbi, Michael counsels high school and transfer students in the application process.

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