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USC Law admissions director: “Your personal statement is your interview”

"I’ve come across many statements that do not showcase who they are but instead use a lot of the available space to tell me about Gould," says David Vasquez, Assistant Director of Admissions at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, a top 20 law school. David talks about the little-known aspects of his job, the implications of Covid-19 on law school hopefuls, biggest regrets and surprises, and advice for parents encouraging a pre-law path for their kids.

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The Skinny

A U.S. public university avoids layoffs

  • No layoffs: Faculty and staff jobs are safe at the U.S. university. Which one?
  • The U.S. government is revoking student visas given to this group of foreigners. Who are they?
  • Test scores are also a vestige of the past in this top U.S. public school. Which one?

Interviews

2020 Top Admits: Jane Doe, USC ’24

2020 TOP ADMITS SERIES: “I’m not gonna pretend like being a legacy means nothing. Everyone in my immediate family has attended USC,” says a University of Southern California Class of ’24 admit. This week, we chatted with a SoCal senior on what got her into USC and what it means to be a legacy. Plus, a Letter from the Editor with some exciting announcements (!) about what’s next for our latest original series.

2020 Top Admits: Jacky Huang, Harvard-Yale-Princeton ’24

2020 TOP ADMITS SERIES: “I applied to 30, and I do not recommend it at all,” says SC-senior Jacky Huang, who was accepted to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Northwestern, Duke, Johns Hopkins, WashU, USC, UMich, Swarthmore, Middlebury, Clemson, UNC Chapel Hill, Case Western, and William & Mary. Jacky shares his lessons from overcoming imposter syndrome, working in his family restaurant, and making tough choices.

2020 Top Admits: Laila Nasher, Harvard ’24

2020 TOP ADMITS SERIES: At Laila’s school, team sports are for boys. The avg. SAT score is an 850. Teen girls want to get married, not go to college. “The school tried to censor me,” Laila Nasher recalled, after trying to start a school newspaper. Daughter of a teenage bride who dropped out of HS, Laila interned at the Pulitzer-winning Detroit Free Press and got a full ride to the only college she applied to — America’s most exclusive.

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The Skinny

Big changes to get into UC Berkeley, UCLA

  • Getting into schools like Berkeley and UCLA won’t look the same from now on. What changed?
  • EXPERT: Does Dr. Fauci, America’s top disease expert, think colleges should reopen?
  • What happens when celebrity parents get caught cheating their kids’ way into college?

A college charges higher tuition despite Covid

  • This elite school’s tuition will increase nearly 4% next year, even if it goes virtual. Which one?
  • No more roomies: Which college is pledging private rooms to all residential students?
  • 30% of private colleges may be bankrupt in six years… What’s the research behind it?

It’s May, but not too late to apply for college

  • This top college will give 65,000 of its students, faculty, and staff Covid-19 tests. Which one is it?
  • Too few students are enrolling in colleges. For the first time, the admissions timeline has to resort to this.
  • Did any student get into all 8 Ivy League universities this year? Here’s the answer to that.

This college’s campus will be open Fall ’20

  • Move over, viruses. This university will be reopening campus this fall for in-person learning. Which one?
  • Admitted and can’t decide? This top public university will give you a 4-month extension ’til Sept. 1 to decide to come. Where?
  • Harvard’s verdict is in. Will they postpone 2020 fall semester courses to the spring?
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