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With an acceptance rate of 17%, admission to USC is very competitive. Based on our analysis, to have a good chance of being admitted, you need to be at the very top of your class, and have an SAT score of close to 1540, or an ACT score of around 33.

So, you’re thinking about applying to USC, and you’re curious about your chances of admission. Well, we’re here to help! USC acceptance rate’s have a lot of factors in the admissions process, and it’s impossible to accurately predict whether you’ll be admitted or not. However, the most important factors in the admissions game are your GPA and test scores. Using those as a measure, we can give you decent estimate of your chances. For better chances on improving your test scores, give us a call or check out our prep course classes at Prepexpert.

With an acceptance rate of 17%, admission to USC is very competitive. Based on our analysis, to have a good chance of being admitted, you need to be at the very top of your class, and have an SAT score of close to 1540, or an ACT score of around 33.

Not quite there? You still have a chance of getting in, but it’s in the single digits. Let’s take a closer look at USC’s admission statistics.


USC Admissions Statistics

USC’s acceptance rate in 2017 was 17%. For students applying to the most recent entering class, out of 54,000 applicants, USC admitted 9,180. The average GPA of admitted applicants was 3.73, the average ACT score was 32, and the average SAT score was 1450.

For students who took the ACT, the 25th percentile score of successful applicants was 30, and the 75th percentile score was 33.

For students who took the SAT, the 25th percentile score was 1360. The 75th percentile score was 1540.

If you’re somewhere in the middle of these numbers, remember that a high test score can compensate for a slightly lower GPA, and vice versa. If you’re at the lower end, it helps if you’re a diverse applicant, the child of an alum, or have incredible personal achievements. Still, at the 25th percentile, your chances of getting in are in the low single digits.

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Other aspects of your application, such as athletics, extracurricular activities, and recommendations, are important, but will likely only make a difference for admission if you’re in the 75th percentile range with your GPA and SAT/ACT scores.

As we said, admission to USC is very competitive. Even if it is your dream school and you’re in the 75th percentile of GPA/test scores, you’ll want to make sure you apply to a wide variety of schools to ensure you’ll gain admission somewhere. Generally, your college application list should at minimum include three safety schools, three reach schools, and three target schools.

OK, so you’ve decided to apply. We took at a look at USC’s admissions requirements to help you get everything in order.


USC Application Requirements

To apply to USC, you’ll need to fill out the Common App and the USC Writing supplement, submit an ACT or SAT score, a school report, and a letter of recommendation from a teacher. Everything should be submitted by January 15.

Here’s a full list of application requirements:

  • Fill out the Common Application, answer USC’s supplementary questions, and pay an application fee of $80 (or apply for a fee waiver)
  • Submit an ACT or SAT score (writing score optional)
  • Submit your high school transcript
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from a teacher

The application deadline is January 15. April 1 is the financial aid application deadline. Applicants find out their fates on April. May 1 is the reply date for admitted students.

Have you been admitted to USC? Congratulations! Below is a glimpse at what your classmates will be like.


USC Admitted Students Profile

If you matriculate at USC, you’ll be joining a diverse class, with students from all over the U.S. and the world, and have a chance to study in dozens of fields.

Here are some interesting facts about the recently admitted class:

  • 47% are male, and 53% are female
  • 51% attended a public high school
  • 43% attended a school in California
  • 15% of students are internationals

USC has a diverse class, as well, with a large number of people of color. The ethnicities of admitted applicants are:

  • African American: 7%
  • Asian American: 22%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 13%
  • Native American: 2%
  • White: 40%

What do these admitted students plan to study? USC offers dozens of majors, and students matriculating there pursue a wide number of subjects. Here is a list of the top programs:

  • Business
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Social Sciences
  • Visual & Performing Arts
  • Engineering

Now, how are you going to pay for this?

man confused

USC Tuition Figures

At $69,711, USC’s cost of attendance is astronomical. But, don’t panic! The average financial aid award is $31,496.

Here’s a fuller look at USC’s tuition and financial aid in 2017:

  • Total budget: $69,711
  • Average financial aid package: $31,496
  • The average student debt of a USC graduate is $36,787

For the latest numbers and to learn more about financial aid options, click HERE.

Now, what is life like at USC? Let’s take a look.


USC Location

USC is located in Los Angeles, California, within walking distance of the Shrine Auditorium, the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, and the Los Angeles Coliseum. Most buildings on campus are in the Romanesque Revival style, but some buildings are in the Modernist style. The historic portion of the main campus was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2015. There is a lot of construction ongoing on the USC campus, with current and future projects including the USC Medical Center, the Leavey Library, The USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center expansion, The Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, The International Residential College at Parkside, The USC Marshall School of Business’s Popovich Hall, The USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, and The Ronald Tutor Campus Center, Trojan Plaza, and Steven and Kathryn Sample Hall.

Remember, you’re going to USC for its excellent academics! Below is a look at what academic life will be like.


USC Academics

USC has dozens of majors. Some of the school’s more interesting majors are:

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  • Writing for Screen & Television
  • Visual & Performing Arts Studies
  • Urban Studies & Planning
  • Theatre
  • Real Estate Development
  • Public Relations
  • Physics/Computer Science
  • Philosophy, Politics & Law
  • Non-Governmental Organizations & Social Change
  • Music Industry
  • Neuroscience
  • Media Arts & Practice
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Linguistics & East Asian Languages & Culture
  • Linguistics & Cognitive Science
  • Law, History & Culture
  • Jewish Studies
  • Jazz Studies
  • International Relations & the Global Economy
  • Interdisciplinary Archeology
  • Industrial & Systems Engineering
  • Human Development & Aging
  • Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Studies
  • Health & the Human Sciences
  • Gender Studies

Now, let’s take a look at life outside the classroom at USC.


Student Life at USC

USC has more than 300 student organizations, covering academic interests, creative and performing arts, cultural and racial initiatives, gender and sexuality affinity groups, government and politics interests, and various media and publications.

Here’s a sampling of USC’s student activities:

  • Anatomical Drawing Society
  • Cognitive Science Club
  • Economics Association
  • Glimpse from the Globe
  • Inter-Health Council
  • Keck Student Ambassadors
  • Men in Social Work
  • Organization for the Appreciation of Classic Cinema
  • Plastic Surgery Interest Group
  • SC Rappers
  • SC Racing
  • Sociology Club

Are you an athlete? USC’s got plenty of options for you.


USC Athletics

USC offers a large number of intercollegiate sports, with extensive varsity, as well as club, offerings, for both men and women. So, if you’re not up to varsity level, remember there are plenty of club and intramural sports to try out for, too.

USC’s intercollegiate teams include:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Rowing
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Water Polo
  • Lacrosse

Who might you become with a USC degree? Let’s take a look at some well-known and successful alums:


Notable Alums

USC has produced politicians, business tycoons, entertainers, musicians, media figures, and leaders in dozens of other fields.

Here’s a list of some particularly well-known alums:

  • Astronaut Neil Armstrong
  • Actor John Wayne
  • Director Ron Howard
  • Former football star and infamous criminal defendant O.J. Simpson
  • Actor John Ritter

And this is only a partial list!


Getting into USC is very competitive. Don’t despair if you get a no. If you have a strong GPA and high test scores, you have a great chance of getting into at least one of your top schools. And if you don’t, remember: where you go is NOT who you are. If you work hard, you’ll end up at a school that’s right for you, and still get a great education.

If you need to boost your GPA or test scores before application time rolls around, you should consider signing up for a course with Prep Expert. We offer one-on-one tutoring and classes, both in-person and online, at locations throughout the United States. Our expert teachers and tutors will not only share with you tried and true methods for improving your score, but also help you correct deficiencies in any subject that you’re having difficulty with—English, Writing, Mathematics, or Science. Additionally, online classes can be watched On Demand, so if you miss a class due to your busy schedule, you can catch it online later.

Best of luck with your applications and don’t forget to check out Prep Expert!

Clay Cooper

Clay is a double-perfect scorer - within one week, he earned a 1600 on an official SAT and at 36 on an official ACT! Clay has also achieved 99th percentile scores on the PSAT, ISEE, GMAT, GRE, and LSAT. He has taught and developed courses for high school, college, and graduate-level standardized tests extensively around the country, and specializes in the field. He has studied law at Georgetown University Law Center and worked in the legal field as well, for attorneys, judges, and the Tennessee Attorney General.

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