USC MFA in Writing for Screen and Television 2019

Septopus7

Moderator
Staff member
@angeliquex95 Lol, I actually did the same thing! It wasn't until after I ran into this issue though, so I had to test it on a different app (the one for the Cinema Studies program) that had a later deadline. So I couldn't know for sure if the same rules applied to the ones with a 15th deadine. Thanks so much for being pre-emptive! It's a huge relief to hear that I (should) be okay.
 

Dear @Septopus7
I had a similar problem, albeit with another school. However I send my slideroom stuff and paid for the application by Dec 1st, only to be informed by campus management that while i had paid, i had not hit submit (Such a stupid technicality) I honestly thought after payment that was that and I had submitted it and the email came in after the deadline anyway, so while i sent my materials and paid on time, i had in fact hit submit on the graduate application 10 hours after it was due... biting my nails and gonna call the school on monday to know if this is going to be a problem, because i did send what was asked of me on time and paid for it. what do you all think?
 

Septopus7

Moderator
Staff member
Dear @Septopus7
I had a similar problem, albeit with another school. However I send my slideroom stuff and paid for the application by Dec 1st, only to be informed by campus management that while i had paid, i had not hit submit (Such a stupid technicality) I honestly thought after payment that was that and I had submitted it and the email came in after the deadline anyway, so while i sent my materials and paid on time, i had in fact hit submit on the graduate application 10 hours after it was due... biting my nails and gonna call the school on monday to know if this is going to be a problem, because i did send what was asked of me on time and paid for it. what do you all think?
Oh, well, that is a tough one. Like with all of these, I'm kind of hoping USC will just give everyone the benefit of the doubt and if A) everything is correctly submitted and B) the timing is not too extreme (within a day or two of submission), they will overlook any application error. I would also try to argue yours as a computer error, since the actual submission process was tampered with.

And if what @WriterK90 said about the "secret" submission date of the 17th for our material, that probably means yours has an extended couple of days too. So my gut says you'll be okay. But, hey, logic says I'll be okay too, and I still have my doubts! So I get it. Ultimately, not much we can do at this point.
 
Hey guys! I also had issues submitting usc's application... I applied for a fee waiver, was approved but it wasn't applied to my application yet. I figured that's fine, it's my fault for waiting too late if they just didn't get it done before the deadline. I go to submit, 20 minutes before the deadline, and it wouldn't submit because my fee waiver was pending! And on top of that the instructions on how to remove the pending fee waiver was incorrect or I just didnt have that option. So today, at noon est time, I finally got the email that my fee waiver was applied. I only just now submitted my application. I did contact them, last night and this morning and I was told this.

"Hello and thank you for contacting USC Support.
The deadline date was 11/17/2018 and your application submission date is 11/16/2018. Your application will be received.
With kind regards,
Customer Service"

I'm a little bit relieved. I know I have heard once before of the seceret 17th deadline. I think maybe only the slideroom portion was due the 15th? Either way I think you will be okay if the applicaiton went through @Septopus7

Good luck to everyone who applied! I'm second guessing everything on my application, but atleast I know it represents who I am.
Have you been able to contact USC and ask them if this was an issue?
 
Have you been able to contact USC and ask them if this was an issue?
Yeah they told me I submitted on time because it was due on the 17th. The waiver was applied on the 16th and it let me submit my application. But I did submit the slideroom portion on the 15th.
 

Cdemon

Member
NYU Tisch
I'd give them a call. I've found calling with a question you get someone who can easily answer your questions. Emails seem to go to a sort of filter pool unless you know the specific person to email. Also, I know at UCLA, they allowed letters to be submitted slightly late. I had a small freak out there and it was A-Okay. I imagine you're completely alright, but it will set your mind at ease.

Hope to meet all of you at USC or all our other awesome possibilities :)

So I sent an email to USC about the issue I had with the letter of recommendation. Waited about a week for a response, only to get this as an answer:

"As for checking if everything in your application is submitted it is the applicant's responsibility to ensure all materials are uploaded correctly and timely before the deadline."

Literally what is written on their website. Ugh. Just tell me "yes, your fine" or "no, you're screwed," USC! It shouldn't be this hard.

For what it's worth, my professor submitted her letter on the 17th, and the system let her. And when I check the submitted application, it says 3 out of 3 letters submitted. She's also a USC alumni, and doesn't seem to concerned (said it should be "fine.")

But, still though: it would really suck if my application was instantly denied, just because one of the letters wasn't received until two days after the rest of it. Even worse, I wouldn't even know that's the reason, simply because USC doesn't tell people why they were denied admission. I would just go wondering if I ever even had a shot, or if all the work was for nothing.

I wish they would just tell me now if I was instantly disqualified, so I can withdraw my application and just submit it again next year. But if this email was any indication, they ain't going to buzz.
 

Cdemon

Member
NYU Tisch
I just realized that every prompt for usc, columbia, afi etc., said to write a "scene." One of my prompts for usc is technically more than one scene. It starts in the kitchen and ends in the living room. There's also a time jump to later that night in the same house. Has anyone whose been accepted, written more than a scene? I may be reading too into this or it can end up biting me in the butt later.
I don't know - but my guess is just so long as the material is compelling and has the basic prompt followed the 'scene' vs 'short' won't really matter. If you kill it you kill it. :)
 
I just realized that every prompt for usc, columbia, afi etc., said to write a "scene." One of my prompts for usc is technically more than one scene. It starts in the kitchen and ends in the living room. There's also a time jump to later that night in the same house. Has anyone whose been accepted, written more than a scene? I may be reading too into this or it can end up biting me in the butt later.
I got accepted and one of the scenes I wrote started in the house and had one character exit, but all the action remained inside the house, changing rooms. There was no time jump later, though. But you never know!

Good luck everyone! Any questions, feel free to ask.
 
I got accepted and one of the scenes I wrote started in the house and had one character exit, but all the action remained inside the house, changing rooms. There was no time jump later, though. But you never know!

Good luck everyone! Any questions, feel free to ask.
The USC MFA Screenwriting program starts this month for you, right? What do you think of the program so far?
 
Ah okay, so you've been at it for a while now. I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying it! What has surprised you so far, if anything? What is your favorite part about the program?
This is basically about the first semester, but yes, the teachers demand a lot of you but they also give a lot back to you. They're very open and I've often felt like they genuinely want me to succeed. On a grander note, I do feel like my writing has improved in just these past few months, and looking back, I'm definitely surprised by how many opportunities were provided to me, a first semester student. For example, there's a Production class where you can submit your scripts to, and if they choose your script, a Production student pitches their vision for it and has the opportunity to make it as a short. A friend of mine got one of the spots and it sounds amazing, honestly.
 

Septopus7

Moderator
Staff member
This is basically about the first semester, but yes, the teachers demand a lot of you but they also give a lot back to you. They're very open and I've often felt like they genuinely want me to succeed. On a grander note, I do feel like my writing has improved in just these past few months, and looking back, I'm definitely surprised by how many opportunities were provided to me, a first semester student. For example, there's a Production class where you can submit your scripts to, and if they choose your script, a Production student pitches their vision for it and has the opportunity to make it as a short. A friend of mine got one of the spots and it sounds amazing, honestly.
Oh man, that does sound amazing. Weird they don't advertise that opportunity in any of their descriptions, because I know the chance to see your work actually get filmed is a big plus in competing schools (AFI particularly comes to mind.) To hear USC even has something slightly similar is cool.

Well you're here, just a quick question: I know last year both you and I were curious about the scholarship situation, and exactly how much aid the school can potentially provide for students. If you don't mind answering, how did the whole financial aid situation pan out for you?
 
Well you're here, just a quick question: I know last year both you and I were curious about the scholarship situation, and exactly how much aid the school can potentially provide for students. If you don't mind answering, how did the whole financial aid situation pan out for you?
I ended up getting the Grillo-Marxauch Fellowship, and apart from that, you can find a lot of opportunities to work in campus to get some money. I imagine things would be easier for someone who doesn't have the "twenty hours of work per week" limitation that I have as an international student.
 

Septopus7

Moderator
Staff member
I ended up getting the Grillo-Marxauch Fellowship, and apart from that, you can find a lot of opportunities to work in campus to get some money. I imagine things would be easier for someone who doesn't have the "twenty hours of work per week" limitation that I have as an international student.
Oh wow, that's really great. Being a Mexican, that Grillo-Maxauch Fellowship was one of the ones I was most hopeful about getting (if I got in of course, which...well, you know.) And I would very much plan to work on campus too, like I did to get through my undergrad. How much exactly was the Grillo-Maxauch fellowship in total? And does it renew for the second year? If you don't want to discuss the details here, feel free to PM me. Thanks again!
 
Any info on the scholarships is greatly appreciated. I've searched all over the web and found close to nothing.
 

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