If we have not addressed your questions, please feel free to call us. We also welcome calls from parents, counselors, and teachers.
(213) 740-2961 or (800) USC-2961
In addition to the support and endorsement of your high school counselor and your principal or headmaster, you will need:
In the past, RHP class score averages have been over 2200 on the SAT or 33 on the ACT, and the average weighted GPAs have been over 4.0.
The RHP Application will be available on this website beginning in September. You should print the RHP Application and submit a paper copy directly to the Resident Honors Program. Mailing information is available within the application PDF.
You must also apply to USC through the Common Application, which is available online. More details regarding the Common Application and the USC Supplement are available at the USC Undergraduate Admission website. Please note that some programs or majors have additional application instructions within the USC Supplement.
Certain groups of USC applicants must apply by December 1, 2012. This includes RHP applicants and all students who wish to be considered for merit scholarships. Be sure to submit all materials, including the Common Application, by December 1, 2012.
Applicants to the Resident Honors Program will be required to include a $80 application fee as part of the Common Application.
If paying the fee causes a financial hardship, applicants may request a fee waiver from the Payments page of the Common Application website.
As a Resident Honors student, you will become a freshman at USC and will pay all regular undergraduate tuition and fees. The estimated total cost of attendance for the 2012-2013 academic year was $59,883. This includes the application fee, tuition, fees, room and board, as well as the cost of books, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses. RHP students are eligible for merit scholarships and need-based financial aid.
All RHP students are awarded the Deans Scholarship, a substantial merit scholarship equal to one-quarter of tuition. Last year's scholarship was worth approximately $10,930 per year. The Deans Scholarship is renewable for all four years at USC, as long as you maintain an acceptable GPA and carry a full course load. In addition, you will be eligible to compete and perhaps interview for other merit scholarships with all other entering freshmen (including the half-tuition Presidential Scholarship and the full-tuition Trustee Scholarship). Apply to RHP by December 1, 2012 to ensure your eligibility for these scholarships.
As USC undergraduates, RHP students are eligible for need-based financial aid. For full details on how to apply for need-based financial aid, including instructions and deadlines, please visit the USC Financial Aid website.
Financial aid may include scholarships and grants, low-interest loans, and/or Federal Work-Study. Students must meet all requirements and deadlines; keep in mind that this often means submitting financial aid paperwork before the student receives an admission decision.
If you have any questions about the financial aid application process or your financial aid award, please contact the USC Financial Aid office directly.
Many bright students are unsure of what they would like to specialize in, since they often have many interests and strengths. You do not need to declare a major to apply to RHP. Just list your major as "Undecided" and tell us about your various interests. You will have plenty of time while you are in college to explore different options and make a choice. The academic advisors at the Thematic Option Honors Program and other academic departments will be here to help you shape your education.
There are no courses specific to RHP. As full-time college freshmen, RHP students take major courses, general education courses, and elective courses with other USC students. Some of your courses may be taken through the Thematic Option Honors Program, the University's honors general education curriculum. All students accepted to the Resident Honors Program are invited to apply to Thematic Option. This is a challenging interdisciplinary program where students read, write, analyze, and challenge the assumptions of various fields of study. A description of the Thematic Option Honors Program and samples of courses are available on the T.O. website.
This experience will be challenging, but your workload will be manageable. On average, students take a normal course load of 16 units per semester, which is typically comprised of four 4-unit courses. Your tuition covers up to 18 units, allowing room for more demanding majors and additional elective coursework. Your program of study will largely determine your course load. In addition to your academic work, you will have time to take advantage of the full range of social, cultural, and extracurricular opportunities that USC offers.
You are not required by USC or RHP to earn your high school diploma. Some high schools will grant diplomas or honorary diplomas to RHP students, usually after the completion of the freshman year at USC. This is an issue to be discussed with your high school; RHP cannot facilitate this process. The Resident Honors Program is not a dual enrollment program. Students should not plan to take courses that count toward high school requirements. Instead, students are expected to approach their coursework as full-time college freshmen. If your high school will not grant you a diploma, you may choose to take the GED. However, once you graduate from USC, your college degree will serve as your primary educational credential.
The decision to enter college early should be a family decision. Ideally everyone in your family will support you in your efforts to begin your future now. USC offers many resources that help students adjust to college life and deal with any problems that may arise. Your primary resource will be the Resident Honors staff, who will work with you throughout the year. We have frequent meetings to keep in touch with you as a group, and our doors are always open to help with anything that comes up, including academic, administrative, medical, and personal issues. Other resources available to you will include the University Residential Student Community (URSC), your residence hall staff and faculty-in-residence, the Student Health Center, Counseling Center, and Career Planning and Placement Center on campus.
All student housing is staffed by trained residential advisors that monitor and participate in life on campus. Many residence halls also have faculty-in-residence. The Resident Honors Program staff stay in close contact with students at all times. Students will have more freedom than in a high school setting, but a staff member can always be located if needed.
RHP students are not housed all together. In your first year, you will live on campus in one of the traditional University residence halls, where students from many programs, as well as specially selected faculty-in-residence, live together. A sense of community develops when you study together in the wee hours of the morning, discuss what you're learning over meals, and participate in various social activities and discussion programs. After your freshman year, USC offers many housing options, including residence halls, suites, and apartments on or off campus.
Students are not permitted to bring a car to campus in their first semester. In the second semester, we leave that choice to parents. We expect students to get to know USC's campus and focus on building a community of peers during the first semester. There are plenty of activities for students throughout the year, and all necessities can be bought on or near campus. The University and the Resident Honors Program provide transportation for many events. USC offers a free tram service as well as Campus Cruiser, our safe ride home service. Public bus stops and a subway station are located near campus.
Although the University maintains several computer labs, we strongly recommend that students bring their own computer. The desktop/laptop and PC/Mac decision is up to you. The USC Bookstore offers many computer options at a discounted educational rate.
Absolutely. RHP students have participated in various social, political, athletic, and cultural clubs and activities on campus, including the USC Trojan Marching Band and the Daily Trojan Newspaper. They have also found time to explore L.A.'s cultural scene, go to the beach, ski, hike, etc. The Resident Honors Program and Thematic Option will provide tickets and transportation to several theatre, music, and sports events around L.A. throughout the year. The possibilities are endless . . . the challenge is learning how to best structure your time to suit your needs.
RHP is not a transitional program. Students are admitted with the understanding that they will complete their undergraduate degrees at USC. Almost every student in the program continues on at the University after freshman year. However, if you decide to leave USC, you will have to apply to another university as a transfer student, not as an entering freshman. This means you will need to be aware of how your units at USC will be counted at the university to which you are applying.
The deadline for all application materials is December 1, 2012. Take your SAT or ACT as early as possible and no later than December 2012. For Financial Aid, submit the CSS/PROFILE and FAFSA by February 2, 2013, and submit your Cal Grant Application (if applicable) and tax documents by March 2, 2013. If you are accepted to the Resident Honors Program, we will send you a timeline to help you keep track of additional deadlines related to admission, housing, and financial aid.