The university released their admissions decisions online on March 26. Despite the recent changes, many admitted students are excited about the opportunity to attend USC.
“Not having an in-person tour doesn’t really affect my decision,” Matthew Karkafi, a prospective student from Lebanon, wrote to Annenberg Media. “I admire USC for a lot of reasons.”
Karkafi, who applied as an economics major, said he looks forward to having a virtual tour instead.
Ashli Tobias, from New York, said she was able to have an on-campus tour, but it wasn’t just for her.
“The tour was more for my parents than for me,” Tobias said in an interview over the phone. “It was for them to see that this was the right choice for me.”
Alexandra Hederstrom, from northern Virginia, has been on campus multiple times, but wanted to visit again last week. Hederstrom, a journalism applicant, said that even if she hadn’t come on campus, it wouldn’t have affected her decision to choose USC.
However, for others, having an on-campus tour does play a role in their decision to commit.
“Nothing will ever come close to seeing the building and experiencing the vibes in person,” said Jonathan Lee, a theatre applicant from Chicago, in a call with Annenberg Media.
Lee would have liked to physically visit campus, but he thinks the virtual tour is an adequate alternative.
Lee is also considering UC Berkeley, Macalester College and New York University. Although USC is his number one choice, Lee said it will come down to which school gives him the most financial aid.
Anna Kissel, a biological studies applicant from New York, said a virtual tour doesn’t compare to an on-campus one.
“You can only get so much from seeing pictures,” Kissel said in an interview over the phone. “You really need to go in person to get a real picture.”
Hederstrom said it’s unfortunate that students won’t be able to see campus in person before making their admissions decision, and even mentioned a petition to have colleges and universities extend the deadline for making the decision.
“It puts the class of 2024 at a disadvantage,” she said.
In years past, admitted students posted pictures and videos of their admissions packets online. Due to the changes in regard to the coronavirus, this will not be the case this year. However, this also did not have much of an affect on prospective students’ decisions.
Kissel said she doesn’t need a physical admissions packet to convince her to attend the university.
“Getting into USC is such a big present itself,” Kissel said.
Others were more disappointed.
“I am extremely upset,” Tobias said. “It’s just a material item, but it just would have been nice.”
Hederstrom said she was looking forward to a “mailbox moment”, where she could come home and find the admissions packet on her doorstep.
While admitted students will not be posting photos of their packets this admissions cycle, they have been active in sharing their online decision thus far.
USC hit a record low of 11.4% admissions rate last year, with more than 66,000 prospective students applying. The university has yet to announce admissions data for this year.