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USC from parents point of view

internationalstudentinternationalstudent Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
edited August 2005 in Parents Forum
I wonder how parents view USC..a typical rich kid school or there're some exceptions? USC ranks quite high nationally, what are the job opportunities for its graduates? Or employers simply thinks, another rich kid out there?

Would be grateful for parent's comments on this school!
Post edited by internationalstudent on

Replies to: USC from parents point of view

  • reasonabledadreasonabledad Registered User Posts: 885 Member
    I'm a USC grad and a parent and I'm always interested in the "rich kid" label. When I went there (late '70's) USC had this same rep, but the kids a knew were all middle class. The rich kids I knew at the time went to UCLA, or to Stanford.

    Perhaps there is some data out there that shows that parental income is unusually high for USC students? If so, could you share?

    My perspective is that USC is a very solid school, and graduates are readily employable. Are you thinking about one major, or generally? USC turns out a lot of professionals (engineers, pharmacists, physicians, MBAs, etc) who often take up leadership positions in the SoCal communities in which they live.

    But I don't know of too many Bush/Kerry type millionaire/billionaire sort of graduates...but again there could be a big list and perhaps I don't know about it?
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,416 Senior Member

    did you forget about Walton's granddaughter?? LOL

    to the OP, relative to state schools (the UC's, like Berkeley and UCLA), USC does have a lot more wealth. But, as mini's data has shown, of the private schools, USC recruits and attracts the most kids on Pell grants (a federal program for low income). Thus, it has a healthy dose of rich, middle class and poor kids, unlike any other top private school.

    Job prospects are excellent; many recruiters visit the campus, particularly the undergrad B school. My former employer, a Fortune 50 company, had many kids from 'SC who did well. While definitely not a top echelon school such as Harvard and Stanford or Yale (but then no one else is either), USC is a very fine school with several great programs. R-Dad is correct, in that many 'SC grads choose to stay in SoCal -- hard to beat the weather.

    On a plus or downside, depending on your perspective, USC has a large greek presence.

    Even though I went to a rival school, I recommend USC highly; ouch -- that hurt. :)
  • Maize&BlueMaize&Blue Registered User Posts: 636 Member
    bluebayou: A fellow Bruin perhaps? My H is a USC undergrad business school alum from mid-70's who attended on a Calif State Scholarship (do they still have those?) which paid 100% tuition. He was and is BWRK with middle-class background. Never had a problem mixing in with those "rich kids". Went to school with Ronnie Howard and other Hollywood types. But then, again, so did I across town. SC's snooty reputation was rampant even back then as we would wave dollar bills at the refs during the football games. S was accepted but chose UMich instead, for which my H is grateful as he now has an additional team to root for. But you can't take the USC blood from him. Rep and education have served him well in his business worlds.
  • AlumotherAlumother Registered User Posts: 6,233 Senior Member
    As a Northern Californian, I would agree that there is a stereotype that USC is for rich kids from politically conservative families. However, I think it's one of those things where we all know it is a completely ignorant stereotype and would relinquish it on a moment's notice when interviewing candidates.
  • SBmomSBmom Registered User Posts: 5,725 Senior Member
    USC is steadily gaining prestige and is more and more selective.

    It is enormous for a private school.

    If you intend to settle in LA, area the connections are incredible. The farther away from LA the less potent the alumni network.
  • reasonabledadreasonabledad Registered User Posts: 885 Member
    Blue ~ I did not know about Wlaton's granddaughter, lol! But the engineers I studied with were definitely not rich...perhaps some other majors on campus attracted the rich kids? Or perhaps I was unaware of them on campus. I know from a visit last year that financial aid is generous and omni-present, at least for the academically talented or the economically disadvantaged: USC is trying to raise its stats a little each year. Already it has (barely) surpassed cross-town rival UCLA in terms of incoming SAT scores (covers head to avoid flames from Bruin parents).

    Loyalty of the USC alumni is strong, even on the east coast. We all know who we are, and we do hire each other.
  • cheerscheers Registered User Posts: 5,163 Senior Member
    USC is a very attractive school for international students. Great climate, bit polluted--but not like Beijing. Quirky, diverse city with access to beaches and mountains. Easy to get to from the Pacific Rim or Europe.

    Large, racially, economically diverse student body--though half are from California.
    Broad academic offerings.

    Tons of school spirit and opportunities for participation.

    Great alum network (H is an alum. He met plenty of wealthy guys. His frat brothers have had extraordinary, off-the-charts, business and financial success--one in California, one in Nevada and one in Florida. All were involved in start-ups, one entertainment, one financial, one telecommunications).

    If you decide to apply, be sure to look up "Tsdad's" tips for getting in; ie show them the USC love. In 2003, they took 33% of applicants--down from 45% just a few years earlier. Definitely more competitive.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,416 Senior Member

    there was a huge article about a family member (grand-daughter?) of the Sam Walton gang in times...evidently, she used some of her inheritance to pay her roomie to go to class and write her papers for FOUR years. Of course, this was an expose bcos of the rich and famous and academics. Now, if she would have been the star running back, the Times would've buried the story. LOL
  • mauimommauimom Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    I am a grad of Stanford & UCLA [law school], and thus was crushed when USC emerged as the first choice of my HS junior son. However, we just returned from 2 1/2 weeks there. He had obtained an internship with the school's Sports Information Office. I drove him to & from campus every day, and spent some time there. My impressions:

    --very active campus. Lots of kids around, riding bikes & skateboards to class. This is in contrast to another So. Cal. school at which my daughter is a freshman. Lots of activities advertised (flyers).

    --kids do NOT appear to dress in the stereotypical "rich kid" fare. Just look like the normal kids daughter & I saw when we visited campuses last year during HER search.

    --school paper is good, again, not stereotypically rich/conservative.

    I would echo the sentiments of a poster above: USC has determined to raise its stature. It's using its $$$$ to attract good students who might go elsewhere by using merit scholarships. It's also seeking good professors (more $$$).

    The incredible "network" has always been there. Now they've added this increasing quality.

    My question -- which we were not able to answer -- is the drinking/party atmosphere. I'm planning on doing a little research on this.

    Good luck.
  • papabearpapabear Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    I have two d's who attend USC (one undergrad; one grad). As a parent, I am extremely pleased with what I observe and hear about via my kids. The school is large enough to provide ample opportunity, but small enough (or there are enough interested adults around) to ensure personalized attention. The kids seem to be working very hard (or tell their parents that they are) and enjoying both the challenge and process of reaching for mastery in their classes. I really have no complaints and pay the bills (which are enormous) with a sense that my children are getting something ( a foundation to leap from) for the cost. As far as the overall atmosphere? My kids tell me that a student will find what they seek. So, if a student is looking for parties and drinking, they'll find it. If they're looking for serious discussion, they'll find that too. There are all kinds of organizations and clubs on campus and a student who wants to be involved will find many opportunities to do so.
  • Eagle79Eagle79 Registered User Posts: 1,066 Senior Member
    From what I read and hear USC is an excellent school. Based upon statistics they are attracting very competitive students. For the 2003-2004 academic year their acceptance rate was less than 30%, their median SATs are 1270-1420, over 80% from the top 10% of their class. When I visited there was a lot of building on campus. They just renamed the engineering school with a large donation.

    What I am struggling with is some conflicting statistics. US News says that there is about 16,000 undergraduates. Their matriculant pool for 2003-2004 from their web-site said that less than 3,000 students were attending as freshman. Using the second number that would translate to 12,000 students.

    Here is a one page PDF file on USC entering class of 2003-2004:


    I am not sure when they will publish the 2004-2005 version but I understand that the statistics for this class are even better.

    Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts on the discrepancy in the number of students please post a response.
  • EEHEEH Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    There are 16,000 undergrad. 15,000 graduate. The numbers get bigger as you go along because of people who transfer in.
  • internationalstudentinternationalstudent Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    Thanks for the comments! hmm...bascially, I got USC's offer two days ago and USC was not in my top priority because of the huge tutition and its reputation in my country (good but for rich kids). I have changed my thought a bit after reading your comments.

    I came from a middled-class family. I didn't applied for any scholarships because my I think my test scores are not that outstanding. So my parents think the price is a rip-off for a non ivy league school!

    What I planned to do...I am interested in policital science and international relaions. Want to work in the east coast or continue grad school.

    Btw, I would also like if transferring from USC to other schools (e.g. schools in the top 20s) is common.
  • TheDadTheDad Registered User, ! Posts: 10,224 Senior Member
    I think Papabear's comment embeds a comment that targets my biggest concern about USC: a student will find what they seek.

    I will stipulate that USC is getting more selective and that they are using $$$ shrewdly to buy some high performing students. And there are certain departments-- film/TV, music, and a couple of others--that I think very highly of, regardless. But what is *easiest* for most students to find is a middling-serious school where more emphasis is on the social and the rah rah. I have friends who either teach or have taught there and they unanimously find the *general* academic attitude and atmosphere there to be lacking, though indivdual students, as one might expect, shine.

    As for the ballyhooed "USC family", one might want to read the comments of Mike Williams, the star football player who was on again, off again with eligibility and finally declared for the pro draft...it's only the most recent example of a long history.

    I give President Sample a lot of credit for the direction he's trying to pull the institution...but it's not there yet. There being, as one SC undergrad most winceably put it, "the Stanford of the West."

    SC is by no means a bad school. But there's a collective delusion of superiority about it which isn't justified. Imnsvho.

    Btw, parsing ReasonableDad's post, I'll go along with what's between the lines: USC's grad schools are pretty decent, hence all the professionals and community leaders of which he speaks. And, hey, if you're going to settle in southern Orange County, you couldn't make a better choice.

    TheDad, fair and balanced
  • cheerscheers Registered User Posts: 5,163 Senior Member
    And, hey, if you're going to settle in southern Orange County, you couldn't make a better choice.

    I agree. Delusional superiority is so annoying.

    btw, our friend who lives (nicely) in Orange County graduated from UCB.
This discussion has been closed.