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University of Southern California Program User Guide

This guide provides you with documentation, reference guides, and direct links that answer common admissions questions about the University of Southern California (USC) Applicant Portal, Configuration Portal, and WebAdMIT. It also contains resources that may help you work more efficiently throughout your admissions process. If you have additional questions or need further assistance, please contact your Account Manager and Client Success Manager.

Cycle Timeframes

Applicant Portal

The Applicant Portal opens in mid-June and closes in late September, over a 15-month period.

Configuration Portal

Between early April and late May, configurations are entered in the prelaunch environment. The Account Manager, Client Success Manager, and University of Southern California review submitted configurations in June.

WebAdMIT

You can view new applicants and initiate a transfer settings shortly after the new cycle opens in mid-June.

Program Participation Requirements

The University of Southern California requires all programs to designate two contacts at your institution who will receive all communication from USC, including the configuration, application, and WebAdMIT launch notifications.

Applicant Portal

The first three sections of the USC application (i.e., Personal Information, Academic History, and Supporting Information) compose the core application. They contain questions that are commonly asked of applicants across all participating programs, such as an applicant's biographic information, standardized test scores, and experiences. The fourth section of the application is Program Materials, which is customized by you through the Configuration Portal (discussed in the next section).

You can access the USC application and USC Applicant Help Center to review the applicant experience. You can also create a test application in the Applicant Portal; we recommend creating a new account and adding "test" to your name (e.g., TestJohn TestDoe).

For a general overview of the applicant experience, review the following documents:

You can direct any applicant inquiries related to the application to USC Customer Service.

Configuration Portal

The Configuration Portal Guide contains all information related to configuring your program in the Applicant Portal. You will need to first create your program in the prelaunch environment and have it approved by the Account Manager, Client Success Manager, and University of Southern California before it is available to applicants. If your program is reviewed after the cycle launches, University of Southern California will approve it.

Use the following checklist to make sure you configure your program efficiently and completely. Also, review the best practices found at the end of these articles. If any optional sections of the application are required for your program (e.g., experiences, test scores, etc.), you'll want to note this in your program configurations.

1. Review the Application

  • Review the current application to get a sense of the questions that are already included and what you may want to add.
  • Start to pull together any details about your program and school that you want to share with applicants in the application.

2. Be Aware of Cycle Rollovers

  • Keep in mind that all pages from the current cycle will be rolled over to the new cycle. 

3. Brand Your Program Page

  • Work with your Marketing or PR department to choose a branding image that meets the size and format specifications. Images have to be 900x270 pixels, and 250 KB or less.
  • Pull together your program’s introductory text and instructions, as well as any requirements information, including supplemental items/fees if you use a two-part application process.

4. Configure Questions and Question Rules

  • Review current school and supplemental applications to help you determine which questions you need to ask.

5. Configure Documents

  • Ensure you have specific instructions for any documents you are requesting.

6. Configure Evaluations

  • Determine how many evaluations, if any, you want to request.

☑ 7. Configure SlideRoom Link

  • Enter your SlideRoom application link for applicants to complete.

☑ 8. Preview and Submit Your Program

  • Monitor your program’s status by returning to the Configuration Portal.

 

WebAdMIT

Review the WebAdMIT Manual for any questions related to working in WebAdMIT. The Documentation and Reference Guides and WebAdMIT Training and Support sections are additional resources as you configure WebAdMIT for your needs. Documents commonly requested include:

The Release Notes feature new enhancements in the Applicant Portal, Configuration Portal, and WebAdMIT, in addition to upcoming training opportunities.

For any questions, contact the Client Support Specialist Team.

Cycle Enhancements

2020-2021

The table below contains enhancements for USC for the cycle timeframes noted at the top of this page. Note that some sections have multiple enhancements. If an action is required by participating programs to use the enhancement, click the links under Enhancement Details to learn more. Additional enhancements may have been automatically released; review the Release Notes to learn more.

Portal

Section

Enhancement Details

Implementation

Availability

Applicant Portal

Add Program Page

The Add Program page in the Applicant Portal has a new streamlined look and feel and includes an updated search feature.

The improved Add Program interface is easier to navigate and offers increased adherence to 508 Compliance standards. Applicants can select programs from the holistic list under the Add Program sub-tab, and then toggle to the Selected Programs sub-tab to review their program selections. Click here for more information.

Additionally, the new Add Program page lists the Organization Name field as a row with its programs grouped below it, instead of as a column. The Organization Name also remains at the top of the table until the next organization and program grouping appear. Click here for more information.

No action required by participating programs to use this enhancement.

Available at cycle launch

Applicant Portal

Submit Application Page

The Submit Application page lists the term on each program’s tile. Previously, applicants needed to click the additional information icon to view the program’s term.

No action required by participating programs to use this enhancement.

Available at cycle launch

Configuration Portal

Questions

When you create a question in the Configuration Portal, you can choose to hide the question in the full application PDF in WebAdMIT. These questions will still display on the Applicant Details page in WebAdMIT and be available in the List Manager and Export Manager.

Action required by participating programs choosing to use this enhancement.

Available now

Letters by Liaison

Account

Evaluators can now submit their evaluations as a guest, without creating a Letters by Liaison account. Guest users can create an account at any time while working in Letters by Liaison, and evaluators who already have an account can also complete an evaluation as a guest.

No action required by participating programs to use this enhancement.

Available at cycle launch

Letters by Liaison

Recommendations

Recommenders can automatically reuse a completed recommendation for an applicant who requests they complete additional recommendations that are the same recommendation type as the original (e.g., academic, personal, etc.). Once activated by the recommender, any time the same applicant requests the same recommendation type, the system will automatically complete the recommendation and submit it.

Recommenders will receive an email every Friday that records if the recommendation has been reused, and if so, for which programs. This feature can be turned off at any time by the recommender. Click here to learn more.

No action required by participating programs to use this enhancement.

Available at cycle launch

WebAdMIT

Report Manager

A new Applicant-based report is available: Local Status History. This report includes the applicant’s:

  • CAS ID
  • Name
  • Designation
  • Designation WebAdMIT Label
  • Local Status
  • Local Status Changed Date
  • Local Status Changed By
  • Decision Code
  • Decision Code Changed Date
  • Decision Code Changed By

Every Local Status change for an applicant is listed on one row. If an applicant has multiple Local Status changes, the report will include multiple rows with this information. This information can still be accessed under the History panel on the Applicant Details page.

No action required by participating programs to use this enhancement.

Available at cycle launch

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