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USC is harder to get into, and even more expensive to attend

USC’s acceptance rate for the 2022-2023 cycle is its lowest yet, but tuition has increased once again

Students and parents enjoy the USC Family Tailgate in front of Doheny Memorial Library before the football game against the University of Utah. Parents and siblings of undergraduate and graduate students visit USC for the university’s 2021 Parents’ Weekend in Los Angeles, CA. (Julia Zara)

USC’s acceptance rate this year is 11.5% and that’s our lowest rate ever. The total number of applicants grew by 17%.

So USC is looking more and more popular, but how many of these people who were accepted will actually join the 2023 freshmen class? And in terms of diversity, what will the upcoming class look like?

Eli Gingold: I’ve heard that it’s gotten harder and harder to get in, which really reflects well on the school in terms of how many people want to come.

That’s Eli Gingold. He’s a junior majoring in business, and he’s right. A lower acceptance rate is impressive, and something USC can be proud of. And as another point of pride, this is one of the most diverse groups ever admitted to USC.

USC’s administration is trumpeting this diverse incoming class, citing acceptances of 33% historically underrepresented racial or ethnic groups, 19% international students, and only 12% legacies.

Part of the reason for the increase in applicants is simply a national trend. Many colleges across the US had high numbers of applicants.

And USC also debuted its early action admission option this year says a freshmen International Relations Global Business major, Leo Yang.

Leo Yang: I feel like they opened the whole Early Action thingy so that more people are applying. That’s part of the reason why there’s so many people applying, the admission rates dropped.

But admissions rates and who actually joins the freshmen class are two different things. While it’s great to have a diverse group of students accepted, will it translate to a diverse freshman student body in the fall? The financial barriers to USC remain stubbornly high and the costs continue to rise. USC’s tuition today is over 60 thousand dollars.

Make that over 66 thousand dollars. USC this month approved a 5% tuition increase for next year.

Kalalapa Winter is a freshman majoring in Acting for Stage and Screen...

Kalalapa Winter: This wasn’t actually my dream school in my life. I was for like, just rich kids and I’m not one of those. And I got into my dream school with a scholarship, but USC offered me like a larger grant... I don’t know necessarily if it’s worth going into the debt because there are just people that are never going to get out of that debt like so many of us are like risking a lot by putting ourselves into that like I am. So I’m really hoping it’s going to be worth it. Check back with me in 20 years and we’ll see if I’m stuck in debt or not.

USC offers substantial financial aid to many incoming students. Whether or not that will be enough to encourage and allow for a truly diverse student body remains to be seen.

From Annenberg Media, I’m Andie Kalinowski.