For individuals interested in the University of Southern California, the article includes a comprehensive guide with all the necessary details about the USC Acceptance Rate.
For the incoming Class of 2027, USC had a total of 80,790 applicants, of which 8,032 students received admission offers for the academic year 2023-24.
This translates to an acceptance rate of 9.9%. Unlike some universities, USC doesn’t provide an Early Decision application choice. However, for this application cycle, the university introduced an Early Action (EA) option for most majors.
USC Early Action Acceptance Rate – Class of 2027
A substantial 55% of students who were granted admission received their acceptance notifications during the Early Action phase. The Early Action round saw over 40,600 applicants, resulting in a notably low Early Action acceptance rate of 6% at USC.
USC SAT scores, ACT scores, and Class Rank
Among the students who joined the Class of 2026, the middle range of SAT scores was centered around 1490, while the middle 50% range for the USC ACT scores was 33. On average, these students achieved an unweighted GPA of 3.8, with 80% of them ranking within the top 10% of their high school class, and 95% placing within the upper 25%.
In terms of the admitted students for the Class of 2026, nearly half, accounting for 48%, included their test scores as a component of their application.
Admissions Trends & Notes – (Class of 2027)
- The average unweighted GPA for students accepted into the Class of 2027 was 3.90.
- 19% of those accepted into the 2023-24 freshman class were international students.
- 38% of the admitted Class of 2027 hailed from the Golden State.
- The accepted Class of 2027 included 23% first-generation students, up from 20% in the Class of 2026.
- The total number of applicants increased 17% from the previous cycle.
Who Actually Gets Admitted Into USC?
Let’s now look at the demographics of the USC Class of 2026.
The states producing the greatest number of 2022-23 freshmen were:
- New York
- New Jersey
The countries producing the greatest number of 2023-24 freshmen admits were:
- South Korea
As with any highly competitive university, the fiercest competition often arises among applicants from densely populated states such as those in the entire Northeast and the West Coast.
If your origin is from a less densely populated state like Alaska, North Dakota, or Montana, your geographic location is more likely to work in your favor and enhance your prospects of admission.
The University of Southern California places a significant emphasis on enrolling a considerable portion of its student body from its home state of California, typically nearing around 40% representation. This figure stood at 42% for the Class of 2026.
Within the state of California, several high schools consistently send a notable number of students to USC each year. The following are the high schools that saw the highest number of graduates matriculating to USC in the year 2022:
- Foshay Learning Center (Los Angeles): 31
- Orange County High School for the Arts (Santa Ana): 16
- La Canada High School (La Canada): 13
- Mater Dei (Private, Santa Ana): 13
- West Ranch High School (Valencia): 12
- Arcadia HS (Arcadia): 11
Ethnic identity breakdown of the Class of 2026 was as follows:
- Asian American: 22%
- Hispanic: 17%
- African American: 8%
- International: 18%
- White: 25%
- Multiple Ethnicities: 7%
The breakdown by gender of the Class of 2026 notably favored women:
- Male: 46%
- Female: 54%
The academic schools in which the Class of 2026 were enrolled was distributed as follows:
- Dornslife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences: 41%
- Marshall School of Business: 17%
- USC’s Schools of Visual and Performing Arts: 17%
- Viterbi School of Engineering: 14%
- Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism: 5%
The proportion of admitted students who chose to enroll, divided by the total count of admitted students, stood at 41% for the Class of 2026. In contrast, various other prominent private universities like Northwestern, Duke, and Georgetown University exhibit higher yield rates.
How USC Rates Applicants
The institution conducts a comprehensive and well-rounded assessment of each application, focusing intently on an applicant’s academic performance, program rigor, writing proficiency, and test scores. Additionally, they delve into personal attributes, community engagement, leadership roles, and accomplishments.
USC seeks individuals who exhibit both intellectual and professional ambition, coupled with a global perspective. They value a history of community involvement and a willingness to embrace new experiences outside of one’s comfort zone.
There are five factors that USC designates as “highly important” within their admissions evaluation: the rigor of the high school curriculum, GPA, standardized test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation.
The three factors categorized as “significant” include extracurricular involvements, specialized talents or abilities, and personal character traits. Other elements, labeled as “considered,” encompass first-generation status, legacy connections, racial or ethnic background, volunteer contributions, and paid employment.
Certainly, being recruited as an athlete for one of USC’s 23 NCAA Division I sports teams can be advantageous. The university holds a preference for recruited athletes, particularly authentic ones, as USC boasts one of the top athletic programs in the nation.
Tips for Applying to USC
If you’re considering becoming one of the 80,000+ hopeful applicants vying for a spot at USC in the upcoming admissions cycle, the following points should be on your radar:
- USC places significance on observing advanced coursework during your high school years. It’s imperative to engage in multiple advanced classes, particularly in your chosen field of study. Aiming for a minimum of 7-8 AP courses is a recommended goal.
- When applying through the Common App, you’re required to indicate your “first-choice major.” You also have the option to select a second-choice major or a pre-professional emphasis.
- USC doesn’t conduct any form of admissions interviews, so the primary means of establishing a personal connection with an admissions officer is through your Common App submission and supplemental essays/short responses.
- Demonstrated interest doesn’t carry weight in USC’s admissions evaluation. Thus, whether you visited the campus (outside of pandemic circumstances) or interacted with an admissions officer won’t be factors in their assessment.
- Ensure you allocate ample time and energy to crafting USC’s supplemental essays. In the 2022-23 application cycle, these requirements were as follows:
All applicants must respond to one of the prompts below in 250 words.
1A) USC believes that one learns best when interacting with people of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Tell us about a time you were exposed to a new idea or when your beliefs were challenged by another point of view. Please discuss the significance of the experience and its effect on you.
1B) USC faculty place an emphasis on interdisciplinary academic opportunities. Describe something outside of your intended academic focus about which you are interested in learning.
1C) What is something about yourself that is essential to understanding you?
The rest of the prompts are mandatory. They are as follows:
2) Describe how you plan to pursue your academic interests and why you want to explore them at USC specifically. Please feel free to address your first- and second-choice major selections. (Approximately 250 words)*
3) Short Answers
Describe yourself in three words (25 characters).
The following have a 100-word limit:
What is your favorite snack?*
Best movie of all time
If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
What TV show will you binge watch next?
Which well-known person or fictional character would be your ideal roommate?*
If you could teach a class on any topic, what would it be?
As admission rates now stand at or below 10%, USC seeks individuals who rank among the highest achievers in their high school classes and have achieved SAT/ACT scores at or above the 90th percentile.
Given the competitiveness of the admission process, it’s imperative that all students collaborate with their counselors to develop a well-balanced college list encompassing both “target” and “safety” institutions.
While aspiring to become a part of the USC community is a worthy aspiration, it’s essential to acknowledge that outcomes may not always align with expectations. However, even if circumstances lead you to an alternative institution, you’ll still have the chance to experience comparable attributes and opportunities.