USC’s freshman admission rate hit an all-time low this year, as only 22.7 percent of the record-setting 37,200 applicants were accepted.
Dean of Admission Tim Brunold said the university saw about a 4-percent increase in applications from 2010. Of this year’s applicants, only 8,450 freshmen were offered admission, lowering the admission rate from 24.3 percent to 22.7 percent.
“More students means more competition and more selectivity,” Brunold said. “We are not trying to grow the size of the freshman class, so increases in applications result in more competition for a small number of spaces.”
Michael Moreno, an incoming freshman, said it has been his dream to attend USC.
“I am very excited to become apart of this community of talented and intelligent young people,” Moreno said. “I could not ask for a better university to go to, this has been my dream school for so long and I can’t wait to start learning and living as a Trojan.”
The majority of the applicants were well-qualified Brunold said, so each application has to be thoroughly evaluated.
“Increased selectivity puts more importance on the qualitative components of an application,” Brunold said. “We can only make around 8,400 admission offers, but 25,000 or more of our applicants would clearly, judging by GPA and standardized tests, be able to succeed in the classroom at USC. This increased selectivity results in more staff time being spent reading, evaluating and discussing applications.”
Brunold said USC will continue to become more selective as the number of students who apply to the university increases.
“It’s safe to assume that we will only become more selective in the future,” Brunold said. “Five years ago, our freshman admission rate was 25.4 percent; 10 years ago, it was 32.1 percent.”
USC’s freshman yield, the percentage of accepted freshmen who actually enroll, is typically between 32 percent and 35 percent of those offered admission, according to Brunold. If those numbers hold, USC is expected to enroll approximately 2,650 freshmen this upcoming school year.
Students of the incoming freshman class are already excited to begin their fall semester at USC.
“Everyone has had wonderful things to say about USC, and I can’t wait to be part of the Trojan family,” said Kaitlyn Couture, an incoming freshman. “I am so excited to play on the new women’s lacrosse team, watch sports games and meet new people.”
USC was recently ranked No. 23 nationally by US News & World Report. Brunold, however, said students are more attracted to USC as a whole, not simply because of a ranking.
“Many prospective students and families use rankings in their college search, but the increase in applications has been much more directly correlated to our increased and improved recruitment and outreach,” he said.
Some students said the campus atmosphere lured them to USC.
“At first, I actually wasn’t really looking at USC because I had wanted to go to a college that would be farther away from home,” said Emily Huang, an incoming freshman. “But after visiting and experiencing the sense of community, I fell in love with USC.”
Though USC has made national news in recent weeks with several scandals, the university is not concerned these recent events will interfere with students’ decisions to choose to attend USC.
“It’s logical to assume that negative press can have a chilling effect, however, we have not experienced any backlash or concerns,” Brunold said. “I have personally been out on the road a great deal lately and no one has asked about these issues.”