USC among few offering spring admits

Class+of+2021+alumnus+Tyler+Pak+walks+to+class+in+Rome+on+Wednesday.+Pak+was+among+those+who+accepted+a+spring+semester+admission+offer+by+USC.+

Image used with permission from Tyler Pak

Class of 2021 alumnus Tyler Pak walks to class in Rome on Wednesday. Pak was among those who accepted a spring semester admission offer by USC.

Chris Lee

Sunny Hills Class of 2018 alumnus Daniel Briones encountered a surprise after opening his status update on his USC portal back on March 23, 2018. 

It was an acceptance letter decorated with falling confetti, but it was not a normal one. He was offered the opportunity to attend USC in the spring instead of the usual fall semester.

“I was happy that I got in, but I was a little disappointed that I had to wait another semester to start,” Briones said. “I told myself that at least I got in, and that’s what matters.”

However, Briones’ mere disappointment soon faded when his cousin helped him notice some advantages, such as saving money while receiving credits and being able to spend some time for himself.

“Everyone was happy because my family had two cousins that went to USC, so I was just like the next person in the family that got in,” Briones said.

After finding out that his first semester of college was deferred, Briones took advantage of his free semester by taking three classes: math, english, and chemistry- at Fullerton Junior College to gain some general knowledge before going to USC to make up for the empty semester.

“I was a little scared too because I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “I had a gap semester, but it all worked out, and I’m already almost done with school, so I wouldn’t be too worried about it if I got offered it as a senior.”

Briones was able to get the general information he needed from these classes to thrive at USC and saved enough transfer credits to graduate on time.

Similar to Briones, SH Class of 2021 alumnus Tyler Pak also had his admission deferred to spring 2022.

“I had mixed feelings about [my acceptance] as I got into USC, but I wouldn’t be starting until spring,” Pak said. “But as I looked into it, I realized there were more opportunities as a spring admit and decided to make the most of it.”

Pak had two options to spend his gap semester: going to a local community college or studying abroad. He eventually decided to study abroad in Rome where he is currently attending John Cabot University to meet his general education requirements.

“It’s been really nice in Rome, experiencing a different culture and being able to travel around everywhere,” Pak said. “Even though I’ve been studying in Italy, I’ve been able to go and be able to go to other countries throughout Europe, and it’s been a great experience so far.” 

According to Student Development Programs Director Jessica Nielsen, USC students are offered the waitlist option only if the fall classes are full. About 350-500 students are offered a spring semester admission each year and the faculty are supportive of helping them plan courses before their admission.

Pak gives advice to seniors who have been offered this opportunity and to those who accepted it.

“It honestly depends on what the student is looking for,” Pak said. “In my case, it was my dream school [and] getting in meant having to take the gap semester to study abroad,” Pak said.

Nielsen emphasizes to students that taking a spring semester will not affect their college experience and will provide some potential benefits.

“There is no difference in academic performance [between students who are admitted in the fall and those admitted in the spring], and there are welcoming activities to get [spring admit] students to become more acclimated,” Nielsen said. “USC created this program in the 1990s to admit more students who the school wants to offer admission to.”