As the 2017-2018 college application process comes to a close for seniors worldwide, the USC Office of Admissions celebrates the university’s most selective freshman class in its history.
Out of a pool of over 56,000 applicants, an increase of 3.5 percent from last year, 8,980 students received admittance, according to USC News. This 16 percent acceptance rate is also a historic low, decreasing half a percent from last year.
In addition to being the most selective admissions cycle, this year also features the most academically accomplished admits, according to USC News. The average unweighted GPA for accepted students is 3.84 on a 4-point scale, while 31 percent have received a 4.0 GPA.
Over 79 percent of admits scored in at least the 95th percentile on standardized tests, while 42 percent scored in the 99th percentile.
Beyond the academic numbers, however, Dean of Admissions Timothy Brunold said USC seeks out students who can contribute to USC’s dynamic intellectual, social and cultural communities.
“[We look to] find something compelling, something that will enrich the USC community,” Brunold told USC News. “These students have a strong character and a willingness to engage in learning, an eagerness to dig deep into scholarship. It’s about the impact these students will have in class, in the library, in the lab and in the community. These students have a unique perspective, and their presence will strengthen the University.”
The newly minted freshman class is also one of the most diverse. Students of color make up over two-thirds of the recently admitted students. Approximately 24 percent of newly admitted students are from underrepresented minority populations — 14 percent of which are Hispanic/Latino and 6 percent are black.
The University said it has also maintained its commitment to expanding financial aid for low-income students who will attend USC. It has increased available aid by 76 percent over the last ten years, and USC students graduate with less student debt on average than students at other colleges, according to USC News.