The freshmen class of 2016 has fewer international students and more females than last year’s class, according to the 2012-13 Freshman Profile and Admission Information, released by USC’s Office of Admissions on Monday.
Other differences between this year’s and past profiles include an increase in applicants, which rose from 37,210 to 46,104 students, as well as a decreased yield, from 34 to 33 percent.
Students and the admissions office attribute the greater number of applicants for spaces in the 2012-13 freshmen class to USC’s transition to the Common Application, an undergraduate college admissions application that gives students one succinct application platform for more than 400 universities.
Kirk Brennan, USC’s dean of Undergraduate Admission, said that the increased applicant pool can be explained by the rising prestige of the university.
“We had more applicants because of a combination of factors,” Brennan said. “USC is earning recognition among students. The university is gaining superstar status.”
Some freshmen, like philosophy, politics and law major Paige Schwimmer, see USC’s reputation as the main cause for the rise in number of applicants.
“It’s everyone’s first time applying to college, so the ease of the Common App versus the old system doesn’t affect us,” Schwimmer said.
The profile also details an increase in the number of high schools represented.
International diversity, however, fell slightly among students in this year’s freshman class. International representation dropped from 15 to 10 percent of the overall incoming class.
“Unfortunately, nobody can deny that the events of April 11 had an impact on our international students,” said Brennan, referring to the off-campus deaths of two USC students in April. “Though these incidents are isolated, they may not seem so to international families.”
Competition might have also been a factor in the smaller amount of international students in the freshman class.
“We compete for some of the top students in the world,” Brennan said.
“USC is becoming more attractive to students, and the university is doing a great job of reaching out to them to self-perpetuate themselves. There is more interest in USC every single year,” said freshman Bob Overing, a communications major.
The admissions office released a statement on their website following the profile, noting that “Most [USC] freshmen come from the top 10 percent of their high school class. USC receives applications from every state in the U.S. and almost one hundred countries, resulting in an unusually bright, talented and diverse student body.”