You’re IN!: USC Releases Fall Admission Stats

March 23, 2016

2016-admits.150705First-time students admitted to USC for fall 2016 are part of a diverse and high-achieving freshmen class.

Contact: Emily Gersema at (213) 740-0252 or

March 23, 2016 – The envelopes are out, and for many anxious high school seniors, their wait is nearly over. USC sent acceptance letters this week to 8,920 high school students, welcoming them to the Trojan Family.

The 2016 freshman class was selected from a diverse and high-achieving applicant pool of 54,100 students. One in eight (13 percent) represent the first generation in their families to attend college. Students in this incoming class — 23 percent — are of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds. The students hail from all 50 states and 75 countries — including Canada, China, India, Singapore and South Korea.

These students are accustomed to hitting the books: 31 percent have a 4.0 GPA, and more than 41 percent scored in the 99th percentile on standardized tests.

“The students invited to join our Trojan Family have outstanding records of academic success, leadership, creativity and grit,” said Timothy Brunold, USC’s dean of admission. “With their ambition, curiosity and diverse viewpoints, they have what it takes to tackle the world’s wicked, intractable problems and become tomorrow’s innovators and visionaries.”

Access & opportunity

USC admissions officials are seeing an increase in applicants: 54,100 this year, up 4.5 percent from last year’s pool of 51,800 applicants. This year’s admission rate — 16.5 percent — is the lowest in USC’s history.

Most students who enroll at USC will become beneficiaries of the university’s strong commitment to financial aid. Two-thirds of USC’s undergraduates qualify for aid, and USC admits students without regard for their ability to pay. The university provides more than $300 million in financial aid to undergraduate students.

Students whose households earn $50,000 or less per year are eligible for federal Pell grants.

With its intensified commitment to support students in need and increase diversity university-wide, USC is a leader among private American universities in total Pell Grant recipients.

USC admission: By the numbers

The following points provide a broad academic and demographic overview of the fall 2016 pool of students admitted to USC. (Enrollment commitments are due May 1; therefore, these numbers may change.)

  • Most admitted freshmen rank in the top 10 percent of their high school’s graduating class, 78 percent have standardized test scores at or above the 95th percentile and their average weighted high school GPA is 3.84 (on a 4-point scale).
  • More than half of the admitted freshmen enrolled in eight or more Advanced Placement courses in high school.
  • 3,300 different high schools are represented.
  • Overall, 41 percent of the students admitted are from California, and 15 percent represent 75 foreign countries.
  • Six percent of admitted students are African-American, 13 percent are Latino, less than 1 percent are Native American/Pacific Islander and 26 percent Asian. Overall, 23 percent are from underrepresented minority populations (black, Latino, Native American and some who report multiple ethnicities). In addition, 13 percent — or 1 in 8 — of the admitted students would be the first in their families to attend college. USC enrolls more underrepresented minority undergraduates than most private research universities in the country.
  • Outside California, the leading U.S. states for students admitted to USC are, in order: Texas, New York, lllinois, Florida and Washington. The most-represented foreign countries are Canada, China, India, Singapore and South Korea.

Information on USC admissions is online at:


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