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Chances of getting into USC?

Hi all!
I was wondering if anyone could tell me what my chances of getting into the University of Southern California? I want to get into the business school but I'm open to other (preferably easier to get into) schools. I'm a rising caucasian female senior from Seattle.
AP Classes taken-AP Human Geography, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Language and Composition
Honors Classes taken-Geometry Honors, Algebra 2 Honors, Pre Calc Honors
AP Classes I'm taking senior year-AP American Gov, AP Calc AB
Extracurriculars- Editor in Chief of Yearbook, Varsity/JV Lacrosse Player Freshman-Senior year, Varsity/JV Golf Junior and Senior year, JV Swim Freshman and Sophomore year, DECA - State competitor Junior year, Link Crew Junior and Senior year, Book Club Secretary Sophomore-Senior Year, Founder and Treasurer of Bullet Journal Club Senior and Junior Year.
Thanks in advance!
10 replies
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Replies to: Chances of getting into USC?

  • coolguy40coolguy40 2757 replies8 threads Senior Member
    The SAT score isn't going to help your admission chances. Before you get too far, can you afford to pay for the school? In order for a school to be affordable, the student loan debt should be no more than 30k after graduation.
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  • UCBUSCalumUCBUSCalum 1146 replies4 threads Senior Member
    Like the previously poster says, your SAT score will make it difficult to get admitted to USC. I assume your GPA of 3.92 is unweighted (with AP classes and a rigorous course workload), which is in the USC range.
    Like the previously poster mentioned, costs should be a factor and whether you can afford it or it (about $75K per year for tuition, fees and cost of living (including tuition of about $58K). If your stats were Ivy League or Stanford type stats, there is a good chance you can get a full ride or a significant merit award. USC likes to attract that type of high achievers and there are many of those on the campus. S goes there with no merit despite currently an almost perfect GPA at USC.
    You might want to also consider your in state school, UW-Seattle, which has an excellent business school and many internship opportunities. For you, being in state, it will be a lot less expensive than USC. Older S recently finished at UW's Foster and had 4 different summer internships thru the Foster School. He is now working for a Big 4 Accounting Firm pursuing a CPA license.
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  • anthony656anthony656 2 replies0 threads New Member
    I am wondering if anyone can provide insight on whether or not I have a good chance of getting into USC. I’m from Long Island, NY

    I have a GPA of 4.0 and an SAT of 1450. I have taken about 9 AP courses throughout my high school years and a few college courses. I am nervous as USC is highly competitive.
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2757 replies8 threads Senior Member
    There's really nothing that USC offers that you can't already get from your home state at a small fraction of the cost.
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  • WWWardWWWard 3056 replies15 threads Senior Member

    In terms of getting "Chanced" for USC, it is virtually impossible for others to predict what may or may not occur in your specific case. With an admit rate now below 13% and falling, and with 4K+ applicants with 4.0 unweighted GPAs and test scores in the 99th percentile among those not gaining admission, your success will instead likely depend on too many potential factors for anyone to correctly evaluate... making predicting admission nearly impossible. But this also shows that they admit many without perfect grades or test scores. They are after all seeking to craft a well-rounded and diverse freshman class comprised of those who actually have a strong affinity for or connection to USC. They do aim to admit those who they project will thrive well at USC and bring something unique to the campus environment.

    So your individual admission decision will likely come down to a composite and holistic analysis of your stats coupled with writing ability / essays, ECs, potential leadership roles, potential other unique qualifiers (URM, First Gen, geography, demographics, etc.), your Why USC? explanation/reasoning, etc. And that "Why USC?" explanation is likely the most important single component of your application. You do need to provide a well-thought out and well-researched answer as to why attending USC is truly significant and important to you specifically. And moreover, USC does want to gain a sense as to what you will be uniquely contributing to the greater USC community if admitted.

    Before applying, I suggest reading through the very helpful insider's guide to USC admissions...


    Good Luck...
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  • CACloverCAClover 68 replies1 threads Junior Member

    Your responses are always very helpful, but you often say to write a "well-researched answer as to why attending USC." My D's first choice is USC, and I often wonder how to research an answer to why USC. Does it mean examine the website in all its details? Does it mean look carefully at the common data set? Beyond those two sources, are there other sources to research? I can see looking at the professors in the desired major and researching what they have published. A little guidance in how to research an answer to Why USC would be helpful!
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  • WWWardWWWard 3056 replies15 threads Senior Member

    I simply suggest that applicants present through their writing samples a clearly understandable demonstration of their reasoning in making the statement that USC is their top choice... if true.

    In my daughters' cases, yes - they thoroughly examined the USC.edu website, including the Catalogue (https://catalogue.usc.edu/) and the website of the individual School within USC itself. They even looked at the BIOs of the Deans of their Schools and some key faculty. They scoured CC as well. And they went to YouTube and watched a ton of videos on USC and the chosen School within USC.

    Before they started writing, they had a very good sense as to what USC may offer them individually and then they found specific elements to point to that moved the needle for themselves personally.

    Basically, I suspect that admission counselors at USC and elsewhere have developed a pretty finely tuned sense as to when a Why ___? answer is either rather genuine or simply a slightly modified boilerplate response that could fit in at many similar universities. The real challenge is the word limit... and being able to say all that you are striving to get across concisely and effectively.

    I do not believe that my daughters ever looked at the common data set. To me, looking at anything on a Macro or broad/common spectrum may be aiming in the wrong direction. Ignore the fact that tens of 1000s of other applicants are applying as well. Forget the competitive part of it. Make your individual application stand out on its own singular merits, demonstrating why, if true, that attending USC is important to you... and what, if anything, that USC might be gaining by allowing you and your unique set of traits to join the greater USC community. If you can succeed on that front, your essays and written responses can clearly elevate you beyond just stats/numbers and other points of rudimentary comparisons among applicants. Don't even let them simply compare your application to others generically. Find a pathway to being remembered... to stand out among the crowd. If they perform a first reading of your application, and it is clear and evident that you belong at USC or that USC will be missing out by not admitting you, you are home free.

    So write well... let others review it first possibly before submitting... and then submit your application and trust in the process. All that you can really put forward is your best effort. If you have done that, you will likely end up at the right place for you. But, in my opinion, your best effort needs to demonstrate the "Why USC?" for me component as strongly as possible.

    Good Luck...
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  • CACloverCAClover 68 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Thank you, @WWWard. I understand better now what you mean.
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  • WWWardWWWard 3056 replies15 threads Senior Member
    @caclover you're welcome
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  • arbitrary99arbitrary99 127 replies5 threads Junior Member
    My advice would be to show more about you and what makes you unique. With the exception of specialty programs all these schools read very similar (and location etc isn’t a compelling reason). Narrowing in too much isn’t that productive either as with some exceptions students change their mind as to what they want to major in. That’s what the college process is about. I would be turned off by saying “I really want to study with Prof X” for example.
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