If it seems easy, you’re not doing it right

Today’s post is written by guest blogger Kirk Brennan, Director of Admission.

Well, the hour has arrived. The long reading process has come to an end.

Many different emotions compete for my attention, which makes it difficult for me to begin. My mind is racing. So I’ll begin with the simple stuff: some basic numbers.

We received nearly 46,000 applications from first-year students, 24% more than last year. We offered fall admission to about 8,400 students, and we expect roughly 2,650 students will accept our offer. The average GPA of the 8,400 is higher than 3.8 on an unweighted scale. The middle-50% SAT range is 2060-2250, and the middle-50% ACT range is 30-34. Students come from all 50 states, over 70 different countries, and from all walks of life. And lots of them really like sushi.

There is difficult stuff: First, we are tired. Since mid-November, this outstanding team has put it all on the line. We read, calculate GPAs, write notes, click and scroll through student files, weighing and comparing, all on behalf of those who applied. We are also sad. As we began reading, we met many outstanding students. But at the finish, we must make difficult, even painful decisions. We take the role of advocate very seriously, so when we realize we must bid farewell to many perfectly suitable candidates, we get a little cranky. We have a saying around the office: if it seems easy, you’re not doing it right.

And lots of good stuff: We are excited. We can’t wait to learn who will be enrolling at USC next year *. We are inspired, filled with hope for our future. So many of our high school students are filled with optimism, and they fully expect, even assume they will take the world in a better direction. What a great job we have — daydreamers of sorts: we read about the great dreams of our students, and we imagine them in our community — in our labs, libraries, classrooms, symposia — making those dreams come true. The future sure looks bright from where I sit.

I hope all students who stumble into this blog find the right school for them: one that will help them reach their full potential, to soar to unimaginable heights.


* Are you coming? Why wait to tell us? Go ahead and submit your Enrollment Commitment Deposit at usconnect.usc.edu.