Annenberg Radio News

USC announces its admitted Class of 2026

This incoming class of over 8,000 students set university records for diversity and number of first-generation students.

USC announced its admitted class of 2026 today. This year’s group of accepted students has set a precedent for being more diverse and higher-achieving than any preceding class before them.


This spring’s admitted students are part of a historically diverse and competitive class. Over one in five of those admitted is a first generation college student. That’s a high for the university.

Three out of four identify themselves as Black, Latinx, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander, or multiple ethnicities.

Nearly 70,000 students applied; about 8,000 were accepted. The acceptance rate — below 12 percent — was the lowest since 2019, but the average GPA was the highest ever for USC at 3.91.

Pedro Coelho was one of those who got the good news. He was admitted as a theater major. Coelho says he got in partly for his interesting background. Born in Brazil, he came to the U.S. very young.

Coelho: I think how I came into the U.S. at seven years old and I didn’t speak English at all. And now, you know, I’m in a job and pursuing a job, but I have to speak English all the time and that’s, you know, how I do the job, I think was really something that stood out.

What stood out about USC for Margie Amenero was the university’s friendly environment.

Amenero: Everybody was so welcoming. Even the teachers, when they were presenting, they were all so cool, and the community is so cool. When we were going and visiting the campus, people would just yell “Fight on!” and it was just such a good community. And it’s sort of like they’re all family, and that’s one thing I’m really looking forward to.

Also joining the “family” is Chloe-Eloise Nallet. She got into the School of Cinematic Arts, and she’s looking forward to studying... and also having a good time.

Nallet: I just love, I think, USC as a school, not just a film school. I like the balance they seem to have between working, but also I want to enjoy the next four years of my life — so recreation. I really enjoyed the balance and the spirit that USC had.

That spirit — the Trojan spirit — continues to evolve, with more diversity and more first-generation college students than ever.