Acceptance rate continues to drop at USC

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.

Visitors · Hugh Garvey, a sophomore majoring in business administration, gives a tour to potential USC students and their families. USC accepted about 8,400 students this year. - Betsy Newman | Daily Trojan

“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.”

7 replies
  1. TF2010
    TF2010 says:

    There’s no doubt in my mind that CommonApp will lower the rate significantly. On the other hand, there’s another perhaps equally important factor: the enrollment rate. With USC’s reputation and strength, the enrollment rate can go way higher. If the rate doubles (which is about average for some similar schools), the admission rate for the following year will go down to half of the current year.

  2. USC vs UCLA
    USC vs UCLA says:

    While we went down from 24.3 last year to 22.7 this year, UCLA’s admission rate (overall) went up from 22.7 last year to 25.3 this year.
    What’s more? While USC’s admit rate of 22.7 is true for applicants across the country, UCLA is more competitive among instate applicants. This year, among California applicants, UCLA also had an admit rate of 22.7. So, I believe that now we can for sure say that USC is more difficult to get into than UCLA (even with their excuse that it is more difficult for in-state applicants).
    Fight On!

    *They are both two great schools, and it is wonderful that L.A. now has two highly prestigious Universities within its city limits. This is all said in the spirit of our crosstown rivalry.

  3. OS Trojan
    OS Trojan says:

    Good job SC! I remember the days, prior to former President Sample’s watch, when SC was considered the school that served as an NFL expedient, but not academics. Well, things have certainly changed. Oh yeah, the cinema program was hard to get into as well back then, but not everyone becomes a Steven Spielberg…oh wait, didn’t get rejected by SC’s cinema school? That’s right, he made the dean write 100x “you are accepted, you are accepted….” after SC apologized for rebuffing his admission request.

Comments are closed.