USC News released its report on the class of 2023 students last Friday, showing that its admission rate hit a record low of 11.4%, a drop from last year’s 13%.
Receiving 66,200 applications this year, USC has become the private school with the most applicants. But the 2023 class size shrank from last year.
Racial and ethnic diversity has not changed much throughout the years, students from traditionally underrepresented minority groups still make up 27% of the student body. The number of African American students increased by 13% compared to last year, but the percentage of Latinx or Hispanic students decreased.
Gabriel Tolson, a USC freshman who studies health and human sciences, thinks USC can further improve its diversity. “I’ve been impressed with the number of international students studying here, and I’ve definitely met freshmen from a wide range of ethnicities and races,” he said. “But, of course, ‘diversity’ doesn’t only cover who studies here, but also who teaches here, and what is taught. In my humanities department, for example, there isn’t a single non-white professor or TA, so this is definitely an area which can be improved.”
The report also showed about a 5% increase in the number of international students from last year, with most students come from China. Meanwhile, financial aid from university sources has increased by $45 million since last year. Some international students had expressed their concerns over the fact that international students are not eligible for financial aid.
Jina Hur, Executive Director of the USC International Student Assembly, said that although the increase in the international student body in the new class is good to see, there has not been that much noticeable growth in efforts or policies helping international students integrate into life at USC. “Just thinking about how much cost must incur in order [for international students] to get to our campus and find housing and get equipped to start life here – that’s a lot,” she said. “The fact that the university doesn’t provide financial aid to help them with that process is crazy to me.”
The USC Financial Aid website states that international students who are not U.S. citizens, eligible non-citizens, or undocumented students may not be eligible for certain types of financial aid, but can receive merit-based scholarships, on-campus work not including Federal Work-Study, limited off-campus work, and private financing.
Annenberg Media reached out to USC Financial Aid but did not receive a comment in time for publication.