Undergraduate Admission Blog

Follow the Official USC Undergraduate Admission Blog for information, advice, and a behind-the-scenes look at our process

March 24, 2015

GUEST BLOG: I Love When A Plan Comes Together

Moments ago, we bid adieu to a truck full of admission decisions. They are officially mailed today! WOOHOO! 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.

Processed with VSCOcam with g2 presetTens of thousands of packets and letters are beginning to make their way through the U.S. postal system.

We began reading on October 29th and just finished our last committee discussions less than twenty four hours ago. Believe me, we have needed and used every single minute over the last several months to select this class. More than 30,000 staff hours (the equivalent of fifteen years of full-time work for one person) have been spent reading, evaluating and discussing candidates.

Choosing students is equal parts art and science. While I am confident that the team here at USC has made the best decisions possible, I am certain that not everyone will agree with the outcome. 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; there just wasn’t enough room to take everyone we wanted. None of us takes joy or pride in disappointing thousands of eager prospective students. We are, however, somewhat consoled by the fact that our applicants have myriad options for higher education. The fact is that just about everyone will find a place that is right for them.

A few facts about this fall’s admitted freshman class:

  • Approximately 52,000 first-year applicants for 2,770 places in our fall entering class
  •  17.5% admission rate
  •  3,200 different high schools represented from all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and 77 other countries
  •  44% from California
  • Outside California, the most represented states are Texas, New York, Illinois, Washington, Florida, New Jersey and Arizona
  • 14% are international students. The most represented places of origin are China, India, South Korea, Canada, Singapore and Taiwan
  • 1-in-8 is the first in his or her family to attend college
  • 64% are African American, Latino, Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander or multi-ethnic
  • The average un-weighted GPA, on a 4-point scale, is 3.83
  • 29% of admits have perfect un-weighted GPAs of 4.0
  • 50% of admits enrolled in 8 or more AP courses while in high school
  • 77% had standardized test scores in the 95th percentile or higher; nearly 3,500 had standardized test scores in the 99th percentile.

So what’s next?
If you have applied for financial aid, you’ll be hearing about that very soon. We are committed to getting this information to you quickly, since only 38 days remain until you must commit to enroll.

We will be hosting fifty events for admitted students, both on- and off-campus, over the next month. We really want to meet as many students and parents as possible. Check your admission packet or our website for further details – we’ll be waiting for you. And if you haven’t yet visited campus, now’s the time to do so.

Many years have passed since I helped to recruit my first class of USC students. A lot has changed here since 1989, but one thing has remained constant: the deep pride that our students, faculty, staff and alumni have for being members of the Trojan Family.

Thanks for reading and FIGHT ON!

Timothy Brunold
Dean of Admission


  1. Olivia Posner says:

    Thank you for providing us this fascinating information. Congrats to all those admitted.

  2. Natalie O'Connor says:

    I really appreciate the admissions statistics!! Eagerly looking forward to a decision!!

  3. Chris Woolley says:

    As the father of 3 Trojans (Classes of 2011, 2014, and 2017), congrats to all admitted students! You are in for an amazing college experience! Fight On!

  4. Stephanie says:

    What % of admits were legacy students?

  5. Brenda says:

    Great article and impressive stats! USC is definitely on the rise! Congrats to all admitted students… Fight on!

  6. Karen says:

    USC is an amazing University! I have prayed every night since my daughter submitted her application that her dream of attending USC comes true. I hope it was enough. Fight On!

  7. Mark says:

    I hope today will be the reward at the end of a long journey and the beginning of another. Fight On! and best of luck to all.

  8. Ethan says:

    Once one becomes a Trojan, there will be a family connection for life.


    As a world language Spanish teacher, I was wondering what percentage of admitted students took 4 years of a second language in high school.

    • Sam Schreiber says:

      Hi Margie,

      That is not a statistic we track however many competitive applications will have four years of a foreign language, though that is not a requirement or guarantee in the process. Thanks for reading!

  10. Morgan Hanna says:

    How many spring admits were accepted this year and is that included in your acceptance rate?

    • Sam Schreiber says:

      Hi Morgan,

      Spring admits are not included in this acceptance rate, but any student later moved from spring to fall will be included.

  11. JingJing Xu says:

    USC is my dream school! I was wondering when does USC will start to send out decision for transfer student?

    • Sam Schreiber says:

      Hi Chloe,

      Transfer students will hear from us by June 1st with either a decision or a request for spring grades. Thanks for reading!

  12. Se Jin Lee says:

    I got my golden packet yesterday and I’ve never been so happy. I couldn’t stop smiling the entire day and I still am right now! Thank you so much for all your hard work, USC admission officers!

  13. Abhimanyu says:

    Amazing article!
    Just had a small doubt. I am an international student(India) and have been offered spring admission. What are the chances of being bumped up to Fall? And when should I expect the news(if I am bumped up to fall that is).
    I am extremely eager to join USC and would really want to experience the entire college journey from the fall. Thank you!

    • Sam Schreiber says:

      Congratulations on your admission! Students admitted to spring need to submit their intent to enroll (different from a commitment deposit) by May 1 to be considered for fall. We move very few students, but that will take place in the first week or two after May 1. Hope this helps!

  14. Jill Stuart says:

    The percentage of Scions admitted this year was 13%, what was the percentage of Scions that applied to USC?

  15. Ludy Miguel says:

    I’m a parent of an admitted student this coming fall, we attended the “Explore USC ” event the other weekend and if I have to choose, I sure would like my daughter to be a Trojan, I hope she decides to be one.I was impressed at the Academic Information Session (Dornsife) and my daughter too! Now she’s so confuse on where to go.

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