Curious about the USC acceptance rate? Beautiful beaches, nightlife, and a fabulous education to go along with it. Who wouldn’t want to go to school in LA? Well, I am here to help.

As many of you know, college acceptance has become increasingly, even ridiculously, competitive each year. I know it may seem impossible to be accepted to a dream school like The University of Southern California, but it is possible … if you know the right steps.

The University of Southern California, besides having an absolutely gorgeous campus in Los Angeles, is a very prestigious school that is home to 19,000 undergraduate students and 25,000 graduate/professional students. Doing the math; that’s 44,000 total at USC. They were founded in 1880, and have since remained one of the top colleges in California.
Knowing what USC expects of their future students is crucial in enabling an applicant to increase their chances of being accepted. Each college has different guidelines that their admissions counsel abides by- some require higher GPA’s and test scores don’t matter as much, various schools focus more on passion and extra-curricular activities, while others want a solid balance of each. It’s hard to know what key factors various schools focus on, so you have to do your research.

Lucky for you, we have already done that research for the University of Southern California. Here are three main steps that will give you your best chance of being accepted into this awesome school.

  1. Get that GPA up- According to PrepScholar, USC is quite a selective school. They accept twenty out of every one-hundred students, which is a twenty percent acceptance rate. Clearly, that’s not a lot. The average GPA of the current students that attend USC is 3.73, which is….doing the math again… almost a perfect 4.0 GPA.Getting this high of a GPA is definitely a challenge, but with enough studying and willpower it is possible. Most of the time, attaining a grade point average of this caliber means that you need to get mostly A’s and B’s, and if you need to compensate for lower grades in other classes, AP’s or IB can easily make up for that. Taking AP or IB classes also looks good on your record, because it shows that you are challenging yourself. If it looks like you take the bare minimum, then the USC admissions folks will assume that will be what you would do if you attended their school.
  2. Go get yourself some SAT and/or ACT Prep – Taking the SAT or ACT is a requirement of admission for basically any school, so regardless you will have to take at least one of these tests. The difficulty in this situation is getting the scores that will get you into USC. According to PrepScholar, “Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school’s average score.”SAT Tips
    The average SAT score for the students of USC is 2075 on the old 2400 scaled score. For the new SAT score that’s out of 1600, it’s 1450. This is an above average score for the SAT’s, so if you want to be accepted into this school, you have to WORK.Guess what that means? Investing your time, and possibly funds, to high quality SAT prep. There are so many amazing ways to gain exposure to the SAT format and become an expert on all sections – math, critical reading, and writing.An important advantage prospective students should know when preparing for the SAT is the concept of superscoring. Also, according to Prepscholar, “The score choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy. USC has the score choice policy of Highest Section.” This is also known as “superscoring.” This means that you can choose which SAT tests you want to send to the school. Of all the scores they receive, your application readers will consider yourhighest section scores across all SAT test dates you submit.”

    Basically, you can take the SAT multiple times and submit them, and USC will take the best scores from those out of each section. Sound pretty awesome? I think so.

    ACT Tips

Similar to the SAT, USC doesn’t list a hard cut off for ACT scores, but unfortunately if your score is too low your application will be tossed immediately – so study up! I can’t say that enough. Get books, sign up with tutors such as Elite Private Tutors and just keep practicing.

Here’s the rub – the average ACT score currently at USC is 31. To get a better idea of what this means, the average ACT score for the majority of students is 20 to 21, according to the Princeton Review. It is definitely a challenge to score a 31 on the ACT, and most people seek outside help.

One important thing to note about the ACT – there is a definite advantage to taking it, because of the fact that you can take it as many times as you want and choose to send your best score, unlike the SAT. However, you will mostly have to take the SAT anyway, since many schools prefer it over the ACT, because they see it as a better representation of overall aptitude for different subjects. Sorry. I didn’t make the rules; I am just delivering them.

At the end of the day, just remember this. These tests aren’t designed for intelligence necessarily – it’s more about how well you understand that specific test and the way that it works. So don’t freak out! You will figure it out with enough guidance and practice.

  1. Make yourself stand out – I know it seems like every school wants the ideal student that doesn’t actually exist, which is why besides the basic concepts of increasing your GPA and test scores, you must make your application stand out compared to others.Whatever you are passionate about, express it. Express it deeply as much as you can – in your personal answers, essay, any way that you can throughout the application process. Make sure that they remember you for your uniqueness, not just the GPA and SAT score they brush past.

As long as you keep your GPA high, study hard and get tutors for the SAT and ACT and make yourself stand out as much as possible, before you know it you’ll be on your way to USC in the fall.