Apply: Test Optional FAQ

USC’s 2022 and 2023 Test Optional Policy

Although SAT/ACT scores are optional, may they still be submitted, and if so, will they be considered?

Under this policy, the applicant decides if they’d like their SAT or ACT scores to be considered. When students apply to USC for fall 2022 or 2023, they will be asked to indicate whether they plan to submit scores; if they do, we will wait to receive them. Applicants will not be penalized or put at a disadvantage if they choose not to submit SAT or ACT scores. USC’s student selection process has always been holistic, and we are confident in our ability to identify student potential using the totality of what’s presented to us. 

Does this apply to international students?

International applicants will not be required to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their 2022 or 2023 USC application. However, those whose native language is not English will still be required to submit test results from the TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo English Test or PTE Academic English proficiency examinations.

Does this apply to home-schooled applicants?

Yes, the application process will be test-optional for home-schooled applicants as well.  However, we find it helpful to have work that is externally graded or examined, so we recommend submitting either SAT/ACT results, AP exam results, transcripts from college courses or other accredited online schooling programs if possible.

How will this impact USC’s merit scholarship process?

Like with admissions, USC’s merit scholarship selection process is holistic. Our scholarships are awarded based on all-around excellence, and we have never awarded merit aid based on formulas or test score/GPA cut-offs. To be considered, students should apply by our Early Action deadline of November 1, or by December 1 if applying to a major that requires a portfolio or audition. Please refer to the Dates and Deadlines page to learn more about which deadline applies to you.

What about students who will be applying to USC for the fall of 2024 and beyond?

The COVID-19 pandemic is but one of the many challenges that our families and communities are enduring. The pandemic, the economic downturn and our country’s anti-racist social reckoning all require us to pay greater attention to how our processes can best serve the diversity of students and families that we seek to add to the USC community. Over these next two years, we will review the impact of our test optional policies and decide by spring 2023 our long term position on standardized testing.