USC announced statistics for the 2021-22 incoming class, narrowing its acceptance rate to 12% with a historically large pool of applicants. According to the university, the number of applicants rose by over 20% from the previous year, totaling at just over 70,000 applications. Last year’s admittance rate was 16%.
Of those admitted for the 2021 fall term, 26% are Black and Latinx. One fifth of admitted students would be the first in their family to attend college.
International students comprise 14% of the admitted class, representing 88 different countries.
This is the first year that prospective students applied to the university during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has kept students off campus since March 2020.
UCLA also saw a rise in applications by roughly 28%.
Another factor that may be driving the increased application rate is USC’s financial aid initiative that offers free tuition for U.S. students whose families make less than $80,000 per year. Last year’s entering class was the first to benefit from this initiative but had to deal with complications and uncertainties with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.