March 23, 2016
GUEST BLOG: The wait is (almost) over!
Moments ago, we bid adieu to a truck full of admission decisions. They are officially mailed today! So exciting! To keep with our USC Admission Blog tradition, Dean of Admission Tim Brunold was kind enough to write a guest blog again this year. Read more as he reflects over the file review season and provides some data about our recently admitted first-year class.
All of our freshman admission decisions are in the mail and most applicants should receive an information packet or letter from us within the next 48-72 hours.
I am very proud of the admission team’s accomplishments. They have worked tirelessly for months doing all the things required to recruit USC’s class of 2020: they spent much of last year traveling the world, getting countless high school seniors excited about USC; they hosted tens of thousands of campus visitors, showing them all aspects of our vibrant campus; and they spent more than 30,000 staff hours (the equivalent of fifteen years of full-time work for one person) reading and deciding the outcome of the largest applicant pool in USC’s history.
We read our first application on October 24th and just finished final committee discussions yesterday. Although we are thrilled to have identified the most impressive admitted class in USC’s history, we are also dismayed that so many incredible students were turned away. We are seeking a first-year class of 2,800 students, so there just wasn’t enough room for everyone.
None of us takes joy or pride in disappointing students. We are, however, consoled by the fact that our applicants have myriad options for higher education. Past experience shows us that everyone will find a college that is right for them, even if that college is not USC.
A few facts about this fall’s admitted freshman class:
- More than 54,000 first-year applicants
- 16.5% admission rate
- Nearly 3,300 different high schools represented, from all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and 73 other countries
- 42% from California
- Outside California, the most represented U.S. states are Texas, New York, Illinois, Florida, Washington, and New Jersey
- 15% are international students. The most represented places of origin are China, India, South Korea, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong and Mexico
- 1-in-8 will be the first in their family to attend college
- 65% are African American, Latino, Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander or of multiple ethnicities
- The average un-weighted GPA, on a 4-point scale, is 3.84.
- 31% of admits have perfect un-weighted GPAs of 4.0; another 7% only earned one B in high school.
- 51% enrolled in 8 or more AP courses
- 78% had standardized test scores in the 95th percentile or higher. More than 3,600 (41%) had standardized test scores in the 99th percentile.
Why don’t we just notify students online?
We are often asked why we send admission decisions through snail mail. The answer’s simple: we believe that you should receive this private news at home, have a chance to experience it with your family, and have the space to decide who else knows the outcome. Whether it’s positive or negative, we would much rather you learn the outcome through reading our letter than just find out “yes” or “no” on your phone at school.
We also understand that waiting is really difficult and not all postal mail arrives in a timely fashion. Because of this, we will post an electronic version of your decision letter online, via our applicant portal, https://you.usc.edu. Your online letter will be made available Saturday morning, March 26th.
So what’s next?
If you are admitted and have applied for need-based financial aid, you’ll be hearing about that very soon. We are committed to getting this information to you quickly, since only 39 days remain until you must commit to enroll.
We will be hosting 48(!) events for admitted students, both on- and off-campus, during April. Check your admission packet or our website for further details – we can’t wait to meet you and your parents. And, if you haven’t visited campus yet, now’s the time to do so.
Nearly three decades have passed since I first helped recruit a class of entering USC students. A lot has changed here since then, but something has remained constant: the deep pride and satisfaction that our students, faculty, staff and alumni experience as being members of the Trojan Family.
Thanks for taking this journey with us. Best wishes to you, and remember, FIGHT ON!
Dean of Admission
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