Is all hope lost for my USC MFA application?

amichan

Member
Hey guys sorry for the dramatic title hahaha this is more of a vent because I already know there's nothing that can be done, but just wanted to get it out here.

Before requesting my transcript to be sent to USC, I waited until the last day of my semester (which was also my last semester as I've completed all units) so that it would reflect my graduation. This was mid October of 2020, so it was already cutting it quite close to USC's November application deadline as they usually take around a month (I'm an international student.) Anyway, I assumed my graduation status would be reflected on the transcript. But it seems they had not yet processed my graduation status because of how near it was to my last day of class. I just received this email from USC:

"Greetings from the University of Southern California. We have received your application for graduate study but are unable to proceed because of important items or information missing from your file. These items are listed below:
Final, official university-issued transcript showing all completed course work and the conferral of your degree. The transcript currently on file was issued before the completion of your program.
Please send the requested items within 2 weeks to our office per the instructions posted on our website here."

So after calling my school to order another one that now reflects my graduation status and panicking A LOT, it seems office work and work-from-home arrangements are currently suspended in my Filipino university because of the recent typhoon Ulysses (due to flooding and power outages). The only administrative work and offices that are currently open are finance, ITS, security, health and safety, and relief work.

So yeah I do not believe I would be able to order another transcript that would reach them in time within 2 weeks, as they have not yet announced when office work will resume. Feels pretty bad to be rejected even before they've had a chance to review my application. Oh well :/
 

jsq2103

Member
Supporter+
Sorry to hear about that - that sounds really frustrating considering how much effort goes into filling out the application. Have you thought about sharing that information with the admissions office and providing documentation that your school's offices are closed due to the typhoon?
 

amichan

Member
Sorry to hear about that - that sounds really frustrating considering how much effort goes into filling out the application. Have you thought about sharing that information with the admissions office and providing documentation that your school's offices are closed due to the typhoon?
Hey, thanks for the response. That's a good idea about providing documentation and explaining it to the admissions office, but so far the only proof I have is an announcement on my university's social media:

"In view of the persistent flood and power outages in many areas in Luzon, classes at all levels on all campuses, and office work, including work-from-home arrangement are suspended until November 21. An announcement will be made later in the week regarding the arrangement for next week. The term will be extended because of the suspension. May this period be a time for recovery and renewal for our students, faculty, and other members of the community, especially those who are severely affected."

It's already November 25, but they never released another updated announcement for this week, and their phone lines still give me automated messages saying everything is suspended. So I don't really have any official documentation at the moment but I'm still holding onto the slim hope something more concrete will present itself in the next 2 weeks.

Might just end up explaining this to USC, too. Hopefully they might be flexible! 🙏
 

jsq2103

Member
Supporter+
I feel like that's proof enough because it's a public-facing communication shared by the university and demonstrates how devastating the typhoon has been for some of your school's staff. If you haven't already checked, I would see if your school published a press release about the suspension, but I do think the social media post should count as documentation. Good luck!
 

Abbey Normal

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
Not sure if you attended the USC Grad info sessions, but the Director of Admissions (Susan Park) was very understanding if Transcripts were delayed due to Covid. If possible, maybe have your university send the transcripts electronically to expedite the process? I know we're close to December, but it doesn't hurt to try. Also, reach out to USC via email. If I remember correctly, that was the preferred method since they're all swamped with grad apps. Good luck : )
 

llueve

Well-Known Member
Supporter
I also wanted to voice my support and encourage you to tell USC what the situation is! I have faith they will understand. My transcript was delayed due to covid and I emailed School of Cinematic Arts to let them know and ask if there was anything I could do to prevent my application from being invalidated--I think it helped. They said it was OK.

You can reach out to them at admissions@cinema.usc.edu

I provided my USC ID# and which MFA program I was applying to in the email.
Good luck! I think it will be OK! :)
 
So sorry for the trouble and stress you've gone through! I also had some transcript trouble with sending it internationally, but I've been in communication with the Admissions office and they've been very understanding so far. I would just talk to them and provide documentation. Hope it all works out!
 

amichan

Member
@Abbey Normal @lucychoi97 @CampbellSoup @llueve @nycactor7467 @Chris W

Woke up to all this support from this community, warms my heart reading your replies! Thanks so much everyone I appreciate it! I took all your advice and sent an email to admissions@cinema.usc.edu, just waiting on a reply now. I'll keep you all updated for sure.

Emotion Tears GIF by Droners
 

llueve

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Random update to this post since USC just replied, but I feel like Admissions did not really read my email... haha. 😀
View attachment 2014
What the hey, Admissions Office! Do they understand the circumstances? I agree it almost looks like they didn't read what you told them.

I think it's more than OK for you to write back and say some like, Thank you. Due to [insert circumstances] my school has not given me a timeline as to when they will be able to produce new transcripts. What can I do to avoid having my application invalidated?
Or, you know, a better version of that.
 

amichan

Member
Hey guys super late update to this post. :oops: It's been a weird month and due to a bunch of weird circumstances, my school was only able to give me my updated transcript now. I've sent it to USC and will now just pray for the best.

Thank you @JasperJohns and everyone for all your comments!! And @llueve I did take your advice and wrote back something along those lines. At first, they asked for my diploma (which also hasn't been processed yet, which I explained) so they replied that I should send my material asap. They didn't specify a new due date so I hope sending it today wasn't too late.

*fingers crossed that I can now join the rest of you in waiting for the application results!*


happy never give up GIF
 

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