While USC’s admission rate dropped to a historic low at 13 percent, the University had the largest number of matriculated students this year with a record 3,401 freshmen, according to a news release from the USC’s admission office.
“We’re seeing a remarkably strong match between the students we select for admission and those who decide to join the Trojan Family,” wrote Timothy Brunold, the dean of admission. “They have outstanding options in higher education, and they can select from the best universities in the country. We’re honored they chose this university.”
According to Director of Admission Kirk Brennan, the yield rate, which typically doesn’t increase by more than a point or two, increased by 4 percent from 2017. This year, USC received a record-high number of over 64,000 applications, an increase of 7,300 applications.
Brennan attributed this increasing yield rate to the enhanced reputation of USC, the growth of downtown Los Angeles and USC Village, among other factors.
“The last two years have really represented unprecedented jump in what we see as interest in attending,” Brennan said. “We’re really excited about that.”
Brennan said that the group growing at the fastest rate is the multiple ethnicities category, which includes students whose parents are of different races. He added that despite the fact that black students comprise only 6 percent of the entire class, the number does not include those who identify as multiple races or ethnicities.
“I think it’s important to note that typically half the students in [the multiple ethnicities] category identify as African American and one other ethnicity,” Brennan said. “I think students see that there is real progress happening at USC when it comes to fostering a climate of inclusion.”
One in four freshmen identify as part of an underrepresented group in higher education, according to the release. Additionally, 17 percent of the freshman class are first-generation students.
“When these students graduate, they’ll help reshape vital professions and endeavors, so they look more like the world we’re part of,” said Timothy Brunold, in the release.
Along with racial and ethnic diversity, 17 percent of the freshman class came from outside the United States. China, India, Canada, South Korea and the United Kingdom sent the most students to USC. Domestically, students come from every state. The most represented states are California, Texas, New York, Illinois, Washington and Florida.
While the University continues to welcome students from all over the country and the world, USC is working to accept more students from the neighboring community. Foshay Learning Center and the USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative sends many top students to USC every year, Brennan said. Foshay is among the top five schools to send students to the University.
“We treat NAI students as already part of the Trojan Family,” Brennan said. “I want our neighbors to feel welcomed on our own campus.”
Tomás Mier contributed to this report.