University of Southern California

University of Southern California


The University of Southern California continues to be recognized as one of the most culturally diverse campuses in the United States. The Office of Admission actively recruits students from all backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses. This includes first-generation college goers from lower income families who may need additional support as they continue on to college. The University partners with a number of organizations to ensure their students' continued academic success and that a top-tier education remains available and affordable to all students, regardless of background or ability to pay.

Programs Supporting First-Generation College Students

Pre-College Prep & Outreach Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI)

The USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative offers a comprehensive college-preparation program for local middle-school students. Students also have the chance to earn a full scholarship to USC. Learn more about Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI)

Scholarship & Financial Aid QuestBridge Partner College

USC is a partner with QuestBridge, a non-profit organization that connects low-income students with educational and scholarship opportunities at 30 top colleges and universities throughout the U.S. Through the QuestBridge National College Match Program, USC has enrolled low-income students from diverse geographical areas in the U.S.

Scholarship & Financial Aid Posse Foundation

USC participates in the Posse Foundation, a program that brings talented inner-city youth to campus to pursue their academic goals and to help promote cross-cultural communication. Posse students are nominated by their high school to the program and share a collaborative support system with a special on-campus mentor to help in their transition to campus and college life. USC’s Posse scholars hail from New York City.

Scholars & Leadership Black Alumni Association (BAA)

A primary alumni resource providing tuition assistance to African American students at USC, the Black Alumni Association was founded in 1976 by the late Reverend Dr. Thomas Kilgore, Jr., a peer of Martin Luther King, Jr., and special advisor to USC President John Hubbard. The BAA has provided over $1.7 million to 1,600 USC students. BAA scholarships are awarded annually based on financial need and academic merit. BAA scholarship funds are matched 2:1 for undergraduate students.

Scholars & Leadership Norman Topping Student Aid Fund (NTSAF)

NTSAF offers financial support to students who demonstrate an extraordinary level of community awareness in their pursuit of higher education at USC. Primary consideration is given to applicants from neighborhoods surrounding the University Park and Health Science.

Scholars & Leadership Latino Alumni Association (LAA)

USC boasts one of the nation’s leading Latino alumni associations devoted to the academic advancement and development of Latino students attending USC. LAA is one of the few Latino alumni associations in the country with a $3 million endowment fund.

Mentoring First-Generation College Student Mentor Program

Available to sophomore-senior undergraduate students, The First-Generation College Student Mentor Program is offered through the USC Career Center. This program provides real world exposure to the working world through a mentorship that focuses on professional and career development. Students are be paired with USC alumni who were also first-generation college students and gain professional development and career direction while fostering a relationship with a person who can be more than a mentor, but a role model. Students will be able to discuss any concerns or challenges they face as a first-generation college student at USC while gaining support, direction and connectivity from their mentor. Learn more about First-Generation College Student Mentor Program

Student Diversity

  • 17,414
  • 45/55
  • 13%
    First-generation college students
  • 2%
    American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 20%
  • 5%
    Black or African American
  • 13%
  • <1%
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 41%
  • 6%
    Two or more races
  • <1%
    Race and/or ethnicity unknown
  • 14%

Student Success

  • 97%
    First-to-second year retention
  • 90%
    Six-year graduation
  • 88%
    Six-year graduation for underrepresented minority groups
  • n/a
    Freshmen who live on campus
  • n/a
    Undergraduates who live on campus
  • 3,400
    Full-time faculty
  • n/a
    Full-time minority faculty
  • 9:1
    Student–faculty ratio
  • Top 5 Majors

    Cinematic Arts, Business, Music, Engineering, Communications

  • Multicultural Student Clubs and Organizations

    Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs, El Centro Chicano, Asian Pacific American Student Services, Black Student Assembly, Latino Student Assembly, M.E.Ch.A. de USC, 100 Black Men of USC, Vietnamese Student Association


Cost of Attendance

  • $52,283
  • n/a
    In-state Tuition
  • n/a
    Required Fees
  • $14,348
    Room and Board

Financial Aid

  • $192,300,000
    Total institutional scholarships/grants
  • n/a
    Average aid package
  • $30,217
    Average student loan debt upon graduation (of those who borrow)
  • 16%
    Pell Grant recipients among freshmen
  • n/a
    Students with financial need
  • 100%
    Students with need awarded financial aid
  • 60%
    Students with need awarded need-based scholarship or grant aid
  • 100%
    Students with need whose need was fully met


Applicant Academics

  • 54,282
    # of applicants
  • 17%
  • n/a
    Average HS GPA
  • 32
    ACT Composite
  • 650—750
    SAT Critical Reading
  • 680—780
    SAT Math
  • 670—770
    SAT Writing
  • yes
    SAT/ACT optional


  • 1/15
    Regular application closing date
  • $80
    Application Fee
  • $80
    Application Fee (online)
  • n/a
    Fee waiver for applicants with financial need
  • n/a
    Early decision plan
  • n/a
    Early decision application closing date
  • n/a
    Early action plan
  • n/a
    Early action application closing date