Acceptance rate 9.9% for 2023 cycle, another record low

USC’s acceptance rate for the 2022-23 college application season was 9.9%, the University announced Monday, setting another record for the lowest acceptance rate in school’s history. This year, the University received 80,790 applications and accepted 8,032 of them for the Fall 2023 semester. An additional 1,245 applicants were accepted for Spring 2024 admission. 

Dean of Admission Timothy Brunold said the University received 17% more applications this year than for the 2022 admission cycle. Approximately 12,000 more students applied to USC this year than in 2022, and 10,000 more than the previous record set in 2021.

“We set a record in terms of first year application volume this year,” Brunold said. “This is not necessarily something we were trying to set out to do. But it was an enormous one year increase.” 

One new aspect of this year’s admissions cycle was the addition of an official early action admissions option, which mandated that students must apply to USC by Nov. 1 and select “early action” as their admissions category to be considered for merit scholarships. These applicants could either be accepted early and considered for these scholarships or deferred to the regular admissions pool. Brunold said just under half of the applicants applied under this new option. 

Brunold said the admissions office was pleasantly surprised with the number of early action applicants, but it was too early to tell if the addition affected the total number of applications received. 

“I don’t know that any of us would have predicted that [number of early action applicants],” Brunold said. “From a standpoint of putting that option out there for students, it was indeed a very popular option.” 

USC set a record with the percentage of admitted students who are first generation college students. This year, first generation students make up 23% of admitted applicants. 

Brunold said this was also the first year the University tracked the number of nonbinary applicants, making up just over 1% of those admitted. As another first, 60 admitted students applied under USC Gould’s new undergraduate major in legal studies. 

The percentage of international students has seemed to recover from previous years, Brunold said. Nineteen percent of admitted students are from an international community of 87 countries. 

“International applicants had begun taking a downward turn, both after the Trump administration came into the White House but also because of the pandemic,” Brunold said. “This is probably the first post-pandemic year that is more back to normal.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the Class of 2027 acceptance rate as 11.5%. While it is true that 11.5% of applicants were accepted for Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 combined, USC Undergraduate Admission only accounts for Fall 2023 admits in its calculations of acceptance rates. The Daily Trojan regrets this error.