USC Marshall Waitlist Chat with Kellee Scott

USC Marshall Waitlist Chat with Kellee Scott

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Linda Abraham (Feb 22, 2007 12:00:08 PM)
First I want to welcome you all to’s USC Marshall waitlist chat.

Linda Abraham (Feb 22, 2007 12:00:19 PM)
I also want to welcome Kellee Scott, Senior Associate Director, MBA Admissions.

Linda Abraham (Feb 22, 2007 12:00:40 PM)
Thanks to everyone for joining.

Linda Abraham (Feb 22, 2007 12:01:45 PM)
What should waitlisted applicants do to enhance their chances of acceptance?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:03:09 PM)
At this point, your application is complete, but you can send in supplemental information to enhance. In the past, candidates have sent in an additional letter of recommendation, results of any projects they have been working on, and an additional essay to demonstrate leadership skills. If you are on the cusp of the GMAT 80% range, the lower end, some candidates may choose to re-test in order to improve their score

Michael Canale (Feb 22, 2007 12:03:19 PM)
When does USC typically revisit the wait list and begin taking people off? Is it in each round or after deposits are in?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:04:57 PM)
Michael, the waitlist is reviewed again at the end of each application round. If a candidate is taken off the waitlist, their status is changed. We will notify you of the change in status, but you can also check you account online

Jonathan Huang (Feb 22, 2007 12:05:02 PM)
How will individuals be selected from the waitlist for acceptance to USC?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:05:46 PM)
Jonathan, there is no ranking system. Individuals are reviewed again holistically, and in relation to the applicants that submitted in that round

V.Vangimalla (Feb 22, 2007 12:05:50 PM)
Is there any way to find what portion(s) of our application were lacking and enhance those?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:06:24 PM)
V. Vang... we only do counseling if the applicant is denied. Counseling occurs in September. We ask applicants to self assess based on the class profiles we publish

Mark (Feb 22, 2007 12:06:29 PM)
How many applicants are on the waitlist?

mhath (Feb 22, 2007 12:06:56 PM)
FUP, but related questions: how many people on average get waitlisted every year and of those people how many usually get accepted

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:07:11 PM)
It varies each year and round to round Mark, so I would not be able to answer that at this point.

june (Feb 22, 2007 12:07:33 PM)
What is the time frame for notification of acceptance. What is the earliest date, what is the latest date?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:07:51 PM)
Mhath, again that varies from year to year. pulling from the waitlist is contingent on how many that were admitted accept our offer.

waitlisted01 (Feb 22, 2007 12:08:07 PM)
I received Promotion in 1st week of December 2006. Should I now submit a new Resume?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:08:33 PM)
June, the frame is as early as the decision date for the next round, or as late as the day before orientation.

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:09:24 PM)
Waitlisted, no need for a resume, but I would send an email as an update to let us know of your new status. The note would be attached to you file for the ADCOM to review when assessing your application again

Michael Canale (Feb 22, 2007 12:09:46 PM)
The word is out, application volume is up - but many applicants are also getting in to multiple schools - how do you view the increase in applications, the large number of candidates getting multiple invites, and the wait list?

Linda Abraham (Feb 22, 2007 12:10:37 PM)
A lot of you in queue are asking about ranking on the waitlist. Kellee said earlier that there is no ranking on the waitlist. The evaluation is holistic.

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:11:08 PM)
Increased applications is a good thing for schools. However, the challenge for the candidate is that although the applications are up, the class sizes are not, meaning there is more competition for space in class. The waitlist may get bigger because of this

losangeleslady (Feb 22, 2007 12:11:14 PM)
I've taken the GMAT four times, so would USC consider these numbers in correlation to the extra pre-MBA coursework I've also taken, i.e. Calculus, Statistics, Economics, and Accounting -- all 3.5-4.0 GPA's?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:12:21 PM)
losangeleslady, yes we would. We take the highest GMAT score, and consider the classes. Just remember that many candidates will have multiple GMAT scores, and many are taking extra classes to enhance their academic demonstration

waitlisted01 (Feb 22, 2007 12:12:23 PM)
How will you place the currently Waitlisted candidates vis--vis the fresh applicants? Do we get some preference over them?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:13:01 PM)
waitlisted, once you are in the waitlist pool, there is no preference. It's based on how strong your application is in relation to other candidates in the pool

Sang W Park (Feb 22, 2007 12:13:08 PM)
I got waitlisted without an interview, would it be possible to have an interview? (I'm an international applicant)

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:14:46 PM)
Sang, if you are visiting campus, we can offer an interview. However, at this point, interviews are by invitation-only. You can send an email with your request, as we are going to Asia for this purpose soon, but I cannot guarantee that you will be selected at this point.

Nihar Prasanna (Feb 22, 2007 12:14:48 PM)
Does the Ad Comm place you on the wait-list because a) they think that they need more information on your candidacy to be sure or b) they want to weigh you against the pool of the incoming applicants in other rounds

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:16:05 PM)
Nihar, yes to both, but also, be aware that there are far more candidates than space in class, and most candidates demonstrate that they would do fine in our program.

june (Feb 22, 2007 12:16:10 PM)
Is the number of waitlisted applicants higher this year?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:16:54 PM)
June, at this point, it is about the same, However, the next decision date is March 30, and we anticipate that the waitlist may grow, as this round is our largest.

Michael Canale (Feb 22, 2007 12:17:05 PM)
How many of the accepted students have accepted so far? What % of the class?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:18:33 PM)
The deadline for accepted students has not passed yet, so I don't have that information at this time. Michael, I wouldn't be so concerned with that number, but more in tuned with how your application fits our profile, and how to demonstrate to the admissions committee that USC is a top choice for you

waitlisted01 (Feb 22, 2007 12:18:39 PM)
I used the Optional Essay earlier. How can I share additional information? Can we send them in other formal emails?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:20:31 PM)
waitlisted, do not over-do the essays. Make sure the information is relevant and enhances your application. Remember, we are expecting to read over 1400 applications, and we must use our time wisely. Generic information is of no use at this point

mel1630 (Feb 22, 2007 12:20:32 PM)
In regards to financial aid - do you recommend that applicants that are currently waitlisted still file the FAFSA and meet other financial aid "deadlines" as if they were already accepted?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:21:45 PM)
mel, absolutely YES! Because, if you are accepted, it's much faster to put a package together for you if your information is already in the system. If you are offered any type of fellowship, adjustments can be made quickly

icisoft (Feb 22, 2007 12:21:46 PM)
Kelly, can we request an interview at this point?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:22:33 PM)
Not at this point, as interviews are by invitation only. When we review the waitlist, candidates may be selected for interview at that time. Be aware that we have accepted candidates w/o an interview

Michael Canale (Feb 22, 2007 12:22:35 PM)
Should waitlisted applicants send a letter to the ADCOM stating their interest in USC and willingness to remain on the wait list?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:23:04 PM)
Micheal, yes, it is a good idea to send a letter stating your interest in USC. Also, if USC is no longer is a viable option for you, let us know that too. This way, we can concentrate our efforts on those that still want to come here.

losangeleslady (Feb 22, 2007 12:23:16 PM)
I've sent a submission letter this week -- how often should I check back or send new information?

june (Feb 22, 2007 12:24:00 PM)
I received a Forte Foundation scholarship from another school? Should I add that to my application?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:24:44 PM)
losangeleslady, do not over-communicate. Contact once or twice is enough.

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:25:17 PM)
june, a Forte scholarship is information you can send in an email so we are aware of your status.

m8x (Feb 22, 2007 12:25:25 PM)
10% of your class consists of students below the 80% GMAT range. Can you comment as to what qualities those students had that overcame their lower GMAT scores? And for this incoming class have you filled that 10% range already?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:26:52 PM)
m8x, first, these students tend to have stronger transcripts to demonstrate their academic abilities, and they tend to have more length and depth to their work experience. The application is a balancing act. No element is weighed more than others, but if you're weak in one area, you need to be stronger in others. Secondly, we don't "fill" that range. we look for overall good candidates, but statistically, it just falls like a bell-curve that way.

Linda Abraham (Feb 22, 2007 12:27:25 PM)
Kellee, a follow up on June's question about the Forte Scholarship: Would information about another's schools acceptance or scholarship possibly hurt that candidate's chances at Marshall?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:29:05 PM)
Linda, this information does not hurt their chances. It gives us an idea of how competitive that candidate is in the market-place which helps us when we review them again. We are also realistic that USC is not the first choice, nor the best school for everyone. We still want to make sure the class that comes wants to be at Marshall.

Nihar Prasanna (Feb 22, 2007 12:29:17 PM)
Also, in the absence of a waitlist-feedback, what should one consider when trying to provide supplemental material to the Ad Com when waitlisted?

Linda Abraham (Feb 22, 2007 12:30:02 PM)
Thanks Kellee.

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:30:13 PM)
Nihar, as suggested earlier, supplemental information should include recommendation letter, essay, email with an update...

mdweiner (Feb 22, 2007 12:30:20 PM)
Do you prefer hard copy correspondence or electronic (email, scanned paperwork, etc)?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:30:59 PM)
mdweiner, email is preferred so we have an electronic copy as back-up. You should see the amount of paper in this place!

Kevin Sharma (Feb 22, 2007 12:31:18 PM)
what % of the percentage of the wait-list is generally offered admission?

Rocky Kalmanovitz (Feb 22, 2007 12:31:57 PM)
Kellee just stated that pulling from the waitlist is dependent upon how many accepted offers they get. Does that mean that waitlist only matters if there are "extra spaces?" Or, is it only partially dependent on accepted offers?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:32:14 PM)
kevin, at minimum 5-10% of the waitlist is offered admissions, but again, it varies from year to year. When the economy is at extremes, more people want to go to b-school

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:33:35 PM)
Rocky, it's partially dependent, we don't wait for "space to be available". We consider that everyone we accept will not accept us, so we use statistical data from past cycles to help us determine what needs to be done to fill the class

Kevin Sharma (Feb 22, 2007 12:33:56 PM)
Do you offer admission to waitlist applicants on an on-going basis...or only once applicants from all three rounds have been admitted?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:34:48 PM)
Until April 1st, it's round by round. Afterward, it is ongoing. A candidate can be notified at any time.

m8x (Feb 22, 2007 12:34:55 PM)
How come some students on the waitlist were interviewed and some weren't? Do the interviewed students have more of a preference?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:36:01 PM)
m8x, again, the interviews are invitation-only at the discretion of the ADCOM. If you were not invited initially, it does not mean you will not be invited later. Remember, we have over 1400 apps. we can't do everyone at once

Linda Abraham (Feb 22, 2007 12:36:18 PM)
What are some mistakes waitlisted applicants make that hurt their chances of acceptance?

Linda Abraham (Feb 22, 2007 12:36:49 PM)
Some of you joined after Kellee responded to a few of the most common questions. I am going to recap a few:

Linda Abraham (Feb 22, 2007 12:37:22 PM)
When will you be notified? After decisions dates through the last decision date. After that, anytime until the start of school.

Michael Canale (Feb 22, 2007 12:38:16 PM)
Has USC considered expanding the size of its class to meet demand or is it going to stick to its class size for the foreseeable future?

june (Feb 22, 2007 12:38:52 PM)
Would the chance of acceptance be higher if we had applied for early admission?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:38:54 PM)
Linda, great question! Waitlisted candidates who come in unannounced and demand an interview shows a lack of maturity as an example, However, in general, candidates who do not demonstrate their continued interest in Marshall don't necessarily stay high on the ADCOM radar.

Linda Abraham (Feb 22, 2007 12:39:29 PM)
Would it be fair to say that intelligent, substantive, periodic communication is the way to go?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:39:47 PM)
Micheal, class size is not contingent upon demand, but on the strategy of the school, including curriculum, learning experience, resources, and capacity of the institution

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:40:04 PM)
Linda, I would agree with that enthusiastically

Linda Abraham (Feb 22, 2007 12:40:26 PM)

jessica (Feb 22, 2007 12:42:03 PM)
If I were to start an MBA program at another school in April and then USC notifies me after April can I transfer credits over?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:42:19 PM)
June, your chances are no different in early admission. The early round is for those candidates who have USC Marshall as their first choice, and are willing to commit quickly if admitted

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:43:02 PM)
jessica, we do not accept transfer credits. The class starts together in August. We have one matriculation per year

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:43:56 PM)
v.Vang, no, we don't give feedback like that. The candidate must exercise their judgment and choose what's best for them.

june (Feb 22, 2007 12:44:03 PM)
What is the most effective supplementary information: additional letters of recommendation, additional essays, or an update to our resume?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:44:47 PM)
june, additional recommendation letters seem to be strongest, as it's a third party giving another "view" of your skills and talents.

Michael Canale (Feb 22, 2007 12:44:52 PM)
FUP - who should we address it to? I send one to Grace Kim because I interviewed with her but should we be sending somewhere else?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:45:29 PM)
Sending to your interviewer is fine. Any correspondence is printed and attached to your file for the entire ADCOM to view

Stacy (Feb 22, 2007 12:45:35 PM)
If some people got your admission but also got admissions from other schools, what do you do about this?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:46:14 PM)
Stacy, nothing. It's not our call. If a candidate has multiple admissions, it's up to them to decide what school is best for them.

Mark (Feb 22, 2007 12:46:21 PM)
As for retaking the GMAT: if we have a strong AWA can we focus on the other two portions?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:46:49 PM)
Mark, you can, but you must complete the AWA, as it is a required portion of the test.

m8x (Feb 22, 2007 12:46:51 PM)
If we were to re-take the GMAT, within what timeframes would you suggest we complete the test by? End of March for R2 Deadlines or would it be possible to sit for the test at a later time?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:48:54 PM)
m8x, You should re-test when you feel able to improve your score. However, be aware that the class continues to be filling, and if full by the time we get scores, we potentially could not admit you

Kevin Sharma (Feb 22, 2007 12:48:55 PM)
If your GMAT score matches the average...would you recommend taking it again ??

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:50:33 PM)
Kevin, only if you feel you need to significantly improve your score due to weakness in other parts of your application.

Kevin Sharma (Feb 22, 2007 12:50:49 PM)
thank you

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:51:05 PM)
You can send information to me if you like.

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:51:51 PM)
mhath, not necessarily. we can potentially admit from the waitlist as late as the first day of orientation.

jessica (Feb 22, 2007 12:51:58 PM)
I understand that each wait listed applicant is reviewed holistically, but does the time at which the application was submitted by the applicant have any bearing on admissions?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:52:51 PM)
jessica, not at this point. Once you're on the waitlist, the primary factor is the strength of your application and what you would add to the Marshall class

m8x (Feb 22, 2007 12:52:59 PM)
Will it help the AdCom to receive a recommendation from a current or former student? Or would it be preferable to receive another recommendation from a work source?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:54:10 PM)
A quick email from a student is fine. It just let's us know that Marshall is high on your list. We also trust that our students would be discerning in recommending people who would truly be great additions to the Marshall class. Another work source is fine too, but try to pick someone who can speak to a different skill or accomplishment.

mel1630 (Feb 22, 2007 12:54:26 PM)
Just to clarify - the best way to contact the admissions committee is via the general email address provided on the website, correct? Also, if we plan on submitting an additional recommendation letter, is it best to have the recommender email their letter or send in a hard copy?

chernykh yury (Feb 22, 2007 12:55:27 PM)
Will international applicants be notified earlier because of visa - related issues?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:56:15 PM)
mel1630. again email is top choice for anything. also, the general email is best, as we are in and out of the office on a daily basis now, so you want the next available person to be able to answer you as promptly as possible

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:57:19 PM)
chernykh, we keep the visa issue in mind when considering international applicants. Most countries are fine, but for example, China and Russia have bureaucracy that makes the timing more crucial.

june (Feb 22, 2007 12:57:22 PM)
Should recommendation letters come directly from the recommender or sent via the applicant?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:58:04 PM)
june, directly from the recommender is best. If from the applicant, it has to be in a sealed envelope with the recommenders signature across the back to be official

V.Vangimalla (Feb 22, 2007 12:58:34 PM)
What is the general email address?

Jonathan Huang (Feb 22, 2007 12:59:27 PM)
Outside of the obvious aspect for each application (GMAT, leadership, GPA), does USC consider other potential impacts, such as geographical location of applicant, field of expertise, etc.?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:59:29 PM)
V. good question, the general e-mail address can be found on the website and on the application...

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 12:59:38 PM)
Thanks Linda. V, use that link

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 1:01:15 PM)
Jonathan, good question, and yes, we consider those factors but they are not the most weighted. Like any school, we want a class that's diverse in many ways, including geography, work industry, undergrad major, gender, .....

Go USC (Feb 22, 2007 1:01:16 PM)
In terms of the GMAT, I have heard that the AWA is the portion that has the least significance to graduate schools. Is this true for USC?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 1:02:25 PM)
Go, essentially, yes. The essays are more significant in determining writing skills. The AWA demonstration tends to be more important for international applicants, in conjunction with the TOEFL

Michael Canale (Feb 22, 2007 1:02:27 PM)
Does USC use the waitlist to manage acceptance yield?

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 1:03:46 PM)
Michael, essentially, all schools use the waitlist to manage acceptance yield to a degree, but a waitlisted candidate is a viable candidate who we feel would be successful in our program

Linda Abraham (Feb 22, 2007 1:03:53 PM)
Thank you again all for participating this evening. Special thanks to Kellee for taking the time to virtually meet with you, provide this information, and make this process as transparent and humane as possible.

Linda Abraham (Feb 22, 2007 1:04:07 PM)
Good luck with your applications!

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 1:04:17 PM)
Thank you all for joining. you can email me at

KelleeScottUSC (Feb 22, 2007 1:04:28 PM)
My best to all as well.

Linda Abraham (Feb 22, 2007 1:05:39 PM)
BTW, there is quite a bit of waitlist advice on the blog at .

Linda Abraham (Feb 22, 2007 1:06:37 PM)
In addition, if you would like help in evaluating your profile and chances on the waitlist, does provide that service as well as advice and editing of waitlist letters.

Information about's consulting and Editing Services

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