The hashtag #IGotIntoUSC flooded across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook this weekend as high school students around the world became part of the Trojan family.
Nearly 9,000 students were selected from a record-breaking number of 56,000 applicants, which was a 3.5 percent increase from last year's applicant pool. Since 2014, USC has become more selective, with its acceptance rate falling from 17.8 percent to a new low of 16 percent this year, according to USC News.
Among this year's admits, most freshman are among the top 10 percent of their high school's graduating class. The average unweighted GPA is a 3.84 on a 4.0 scale, and 79 percent of these admits have standardized test scores at or above the 95th percentile. Additionally, 53 percent of the freshman admits enrolled in eight or more Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate courses in high school, according to USC News.
Forty percent of admitted students are from California, and the next-most represented states are, in order, Texas, New York, Washington and Florida. Sixteen percent of admits come from 83 foreign countries, predominantly China, India, Canada, South Korea and the U.K. Overall, the 8,980 students accepted represent over 3,300 high schools across the world, according USC News.
This year's admitted class is made up of 26 percent Asian students, 14 percent Latino students, six percent African-American students and less than one percent Native American/Pacific Islander students. In addition to the international students, minority students from the United States make up 24 percent of those admitted.
Jerome A. Lucido, Executive Director of the USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy, and Practice and expert in college admissions and higher education access, commented on USC's admission process compared to other top universities.
"USC continues its trend of ever increasing selectivity and has taken its place among the nations' premier universities," Lucido wrote in a statement. "What is hidden in headlines about selectivity, though, is a commitment to admit and aid low-income students, first-generation students, and transfer students. Very few of USC's selective peer institutions have similar access commitments. It probably makes USC the most accessible highly selective university in the nation."
Cal Etcheverry, a high school senior from Dallas, Texas, checked USC's online portal and found out he was accepted into the School of Cinematic Arts as a Film and Television Production BFA major at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday. Fifteen minutes later, Etcheverry was enrolled as a student in the class of 2021.
Although Etcheverry found out about SCA during his freshman year of high school, he confirmed his love for USC when he participated in a monthlong summer program before his junior year.
"I had such a great experience I immediately knew USC was the place for me," he said in an email.
Etcheverry feels blessed to be attending "such a sought-out school."
"I feel absolutely honored, especially when you add on the 4 percent admission rate of the SCA production major," he said.
Enrollment commitments are due for admitted students on May 1.
Staff Reporter Misa Buscemi contributed reporting.
This story was updated at 8:02 p.m. PT on March 27 with information about Cal Etcheverry.