USC acceptance rate drops by three percentage points

The USC Office of Admissions on Thursday released statistics on the incoming freshman class of 2022, the most selective in USC history.

Karan Nevatia | Daily Trojan

Out of a record-breaking pool of 64,256 applicants — a 14 percent increase from last year and the largest jump in 20 years for a one-year period — only 8,258 students were admitted, according to USC News.

The 13 percent acceptance rate marked the lowest ever in USC history, dropping 3 percentage points from the 16 percent acceptance rate for the class of 2021.

“We’ve never had a harder time selecting which applicants to put in the classroom,” Timothy Brunold, USC dean of admission, said to USC News. “We could hardly believe the numbers, and now we’re feeling the pain of having to turn away so many candidates we admire. At the same time, it’s a breakthrough year for USC.”

According to USC News, this notable increase in the number of applicants was the biggest since 1999 with the exception of 2012, when the introduction of the Common Application caused a spike in applications.

Of those admitted this year, the average high school unweighted GPA is 3.84 on a 4-point scale, with 34 percent of admits having a 4.0 GPA.

Approximately 85 percent of admits scored in the 95th percentile or higher on standardized tests, while 60 percent scored in the 99th.

“Grades and numbers are a starting point,” Brunold said to USC News. “We want a diverse class, and we think about which students our faculty want to teach, which students want to solve intractable problems. It’s a search-and-selection process that lines up with the University’s strategic plan, and the mature young people we admit bring something to the student body.”

According to the USC admissions blog, nearly 3,300 different high schools were represented from more than 87 countries in the incoming class of 2022.

Sixteen percent of admits are international students, while 26 percent are from underrepresented minority groups. Additionally, one in seven admits will be the first in their family to attend college.

In the USC News release, Brunold attributed this record increase in applicants to high interest in new degree programs at several schools, as well as “the draw of student life enhancements like the massive USC Village.”