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University of Southern California: A Versatile Education in the Heart of LA

University of Southern California: A Versatile Education in the Heart of LA

By Edina Hadzic

Los Angeles, California is a creative hub that attracts a diverse population of varying interests, backgrounds, and pursuits. The University of Southern California embodies the qualities of the city it calls home through its multitude of social, educational, and career opportunities it provides for its students. As one of the largest, top-tier private research institution, USC has a community of highly-motivated individuals who strive for success. Northside students recently had the opportunity to meet with USC Midwest Admissions Director Mrs. Risa W. Tewksbury, who said that “USC is a school where people come to work hard and play hard.”

With an undergraduate student body of 19,170, USC provides unlimited resources within campus. The school offers over 90 majors and houses 12 different professional schools, with six schools of visual and performing arts and one liberal arts college. Within each separate college is a multitude of internship and research opportunities, as well as early professional opportunities with companies like Apple, Nike and Amazon. Tewksbury also explained that changing majors or switching colleges USC can be done without any restrictions. “We expect our students to change their academic plans, and want to help everyone pursue their interests,” says Tewksbury.

Though the university emphasizes academics, it also ensures that its students explore the world outside of their educational pursuits. With nearly 1,000 different student-run organizations that have a wide range of targeted interests, students have the ability to connect with their classmates through activities they are passionate about. Throughout the year, the school hosts hundreds of theatrical performances, film screenings, art exhibitions, and music concerts for students to enjoy. Athletics are another important component of USC’s culture, as 9,600 of its students participate in 21 Division I sports. Tewksbury also discussed the university’s support for student-athletes and ensured that all students who wish to participate in a sport would be able to do so without compromising their academics.

USC’s campus is directly connected to Los Angeles’ core, which provides students access to plenty of places to explore. USC is only a few Metro stops away from locations like Downtown Los Angeles, Grand Central Market, Disneyland and Santa Monica Beach. There are a variety of different cafes, shops, and museums to visit, as well as activities within the city that students can participate in. At USC, students will find many ways to discover one of America’s most developed and fast-paced cities.

With its stellar academics and high appeal among prospective students, USC is a very selective school. USC expects a high level of of academic achievement, rigor, and participation from their applicants. According to Tewksbury, the decision process extends far beyond a student’s GPA and test scores. “We are an active campus, and we like seeing applicants who are active as well,” says Tewksbury. High participation in student-run activities and clubs inside and/or outside of high school help strengthen a student’s USC application. Although the school does not offer early decision or early action application options, students who wish to be considered for merit scholarships must be submit their application by December 1st through the Common App.

The University of Southern California is ideal for any student who is not only looking for a place to study, but a community to be a part of. The institution is capable of providing any student with the tools, education, and experiences they need to succeed in the future. USC is an attractive choice for Northside students who value academic rigor, enjoy being active within the student body, and want the benefits of living in a city as well as a campus when in college.

  • Private research institution

  • Size: 19,170

  • Male : female ratio: equally balanced (9,076 : 9,718)

  • Teacher : student ratio: 8 : 1

  • Cost of Attendance: $72,211

  • 66% of students receive financial aid

  • Endowment: $4.6 billion

  • Environment/location: Urban; Los Angeles, California

  • Acceptance rate: 17.7%

  • Graduation rate: 91%

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