The new undergraduate student body at USC is among the most diverse, upwardly mobile and academically talented in the university’s 132-year history, with a record number of students who are the first in their families to go to college.
Average standardized test scores for the new class lie in the 95th percentile. About 90 percent of freshmen were in the top 10 percent of their high school class, and around 10 percent of the students were valedictorians. The average GPA of the group was 3.70.
USC received 46,104 applications for 3,021 places in this fall’s freshman class. With this year’s pool of applicants, the admission rate at USC is 20 percent.
The class represents a highly competitive group of students with broad geographic representation:
- The class ranks among the most ethnically diverse ever enrolled at USC, with 21 percent of underrepresented minority students, including 23 percent Asian, 13 percent Latino, 6 percent African-American and 2 percent Native American/Pacific Islander. In addition, 14 percent of matriculating students are the first in their families to attend a university, the most ever in a USC entering class.
- Outside California, the leading U.S. states supplying new class members at USC are, in order: Texas, New York, Illinois, New Jersey and Washington. The most represented places of origin outside the United States are China (including Hong Kong), South Korea, Canada, Taiwan, India and Mexico.
- Overall, 51 percent of newly enrolled students are from California, with 10 percent of the international students representing 51 foreign countries.
“This year’s entering freshman class has set new standards for quality and diversity,” said USC Dean of Admission Timothy Brunold. “The impressive character of this latest group of new Trojans reinforces the fact that USC continues to attract the best and brightest from all over the country and across the world.
“We have no plans on slowing down; we are already aggressively recruiting students for the entering class of 2013,” he added.
USC enrolls more underrepresented minority students (African-American, Latino and Native American) than most other private research universities in the country (about 3,300 undergraduates as of fall 2011 or 19 percent of its total undergraduate population). In addition, USC enrolls more than 4,000 low-income undergraduate students (as defined by Pell Grant eligibility), also more than most private research universities in the country. Most importantly, low-income and underrepresented minority students at USC graduate at rates comparable to the overall undergraduate population.
In a recent ranking by The Princeton Review, USC was again named a top 10 dream school among both college applicants and their parents.