CM’s Guide to The University of Southern California

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University of Southern California-Los Angeles, CA

USC’s Instagram

The Vibe

Spirited, Greek Everything, Academically Rigorous

What it Feels Like to Go Here

Junior Allina Urumieh said, “USC is huge on spirit, so every single day there is something going on in the main area of our campus…” With sunny days and warm nights (even in November), students at USC work hard and play hard. You either go Greek or go home at this college, and their kick ass tailgates leave nothing to be desired. “Our campus is so extremely diverse, not only in terms of race or gender, but also each student’s involvements (Greek, clubs, athlete, organization)… Everyone has clothes or accessories representing the school or the organization they are involved in. It’s pretty awesome. It makes you feel very tight knit,” Urumieh said.

Awesome Alumni

You can aim for the stars at USC, I mean just look at some of their famous alumni. Many Hollywood stars once called USC home, from movie director Steven Spielberg to actors Will Ferrell, Miranda Cosgrove and George Lucas. You might not know what he looks like, but you definitely know about his reality TV star daughters and ex-wife. The late Robert Kardashian went to USC long before his name caught headlines in the O.J. Simpson trial. USC’s alumni base reaches way past the Hollywood glamour. More famous alumni include architect Frank Gehry, General Norman Schwarzkopf and astronaut Neil Armstrong (did I really need to say why he’s famous?).

Where We Hang

With trendy Bars like 9-0 and Standard or popular Hollywood clubs like the 1Oak and The Argyle, USC students rarely find themselves at a loss for things to do. If it doesn’t feel like a bar or clubbing kind of night, you’ll find all of USC’s Greek houses on one street, popularly known as the Row. Sophomore Kyle Valentine said, “We also have a coffee-esk shop called Ground Zero, it’s a hype place where there are live acts and talent shows and is a big place where people can study during the day and night too. They also have the most bomb milkshakes.” So pick your poison; a night out bar hopping or clubbing, or staying local and hanging out with your fellow Trojans.

Q&A

1. How much are students partying?

“Honestly, I don’t think students party that often here. In my opinion, college goes hand in hand with partying; it’s just part of the experience, but I have visited other college campuses [that] definitely go way harder than us. Specifically though, parties usually occur on the weekends when there aren’t finals or midterms,” Urumieh said.

2. What will you get in trouble for at your school?

“You’ll definitely get in trouble for letting someone else use your [student] ID. I let a friend use mine in the dining hall and it was taken away,” sophomore Solomon Lee said.

3. How much sex are students having?

“From my experience, there are many people willing to put out, but only in certain social circles. It’s more prevalent in groups that party, drink, or do drugs, because those are situations that generally lower people’s inhibitions. That’s where it’s most common, of course. Otherwise, there’s a very normal amount of it that would be found on any campus,” sophomore Isabelle Kouyoumdjian said.

4. What would you tell incoming freshman about USC?

“Take advantage of a professor’s office hours. During my freshman year I had multiple occurrences where teachers were more willing to help me boost my grades because I was engaged and attended office hours often enough to show that I cared about the class and that I was trying hard. I would also say to take advantage of every opportunity for involvement that comes your way until you find a few things you’re passionate about. The only way you will find the organizations you love on campus is by trying as many as possible and narrowing it down! Try and stay involved in more than just one thing, so that it doesn’t become monotonous and you can use all of your skills,” said sophomore Samantha Sohl.

5. What’s your favorite thing about USC?

“It is very hard to choose just one favorite part about USC. First, our nightlife is unbeatable. I also like the fact that we have so many options as far as majors go because I had no idea what I wanted to do going into my freshman year. I have made my best friends for life here and I couldn’t have chosen a better school to attend,” said junior Jenna Rosen.

Overall Experience

“I love my experience so far. Not going to lie, academics are pretty strenuous and tough, but the student life is so amazing. My only regret is not getting involved in organizations and clubs sooner.” –Allina Urumieh, junior, Business Administration major

“Balance. USC has great academics, athletics as well as an amazing social scene. Sometimes I see myself falling short in some of my responsibilities just because I want to do it all.” –Rohan Martin, sophomore, Health Public Policy

“Something that surprised me about USC was the amount of international students. The USC student body is about 20 percent international and people don’t really know that.” –Ammaar Tajani, sophomore, Business and Pre-Dentistry

“USC has always been my dream school, and it has lived up to every single expectation of mine. I came from a high school that tried to be really spirited, but the student body just didn’t really care, so to enter a university that goes FULL out with football games, annual events and the alumni organization, it’s more than a dream. Also, the campus is beautiful; it makes me feel so lucky to go here, and for the most part, it’s always sunny and there’s nice weather.” –Urumieh

“I would lower tuition! USC is amazing, but definitely way too expensive” –Alexina Boudreaux, sophomore  

Top 3 Majors

1. Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Service

2. Social Sciences

3. Visual and Performing Arts

Top 3 Most Popular Student Organizations

1. Greek Life

USC breeds Greeks, and since tons of students take part in it, it’ll make the big school feel much smaller. “Greek life has changed my college experience by giving me a community within the larger campus, and my sorority has given me a home away from home with people that truly love and care about me,” sophomore Emma Hall said. You probably heard about their insane parties, but Greek life means more to USC’s sorority sisters and fraternity brothers. Hall said, “Greek life has not only given me a support system and social opportunities, but it’s also given me my best friends.”

2. Football

Football season definitely hypes up USC school spirit, win or lose.”Last season you could see our talent but we just couldn’t find any consistency.  This year with Coach Helton, I think we’ll get back to the tough physical style of football that’s made USC great in the past and that you need to win the Pac-12 and make the playoffs,” said senior Donald Annarella. Football matters to more than just the football fanatics. The stadium’s vibe on game day is enough to make anyone want to watch. Annarella said, “There’s no better feeling than walking into the Coliseum, hearing the band play and watching the Trojans play ball.”

3. Student Government

Want to plan cool events like USC Springfest? You’ll definitely want to get involved in student government. Plus, with Hollywood nearby, you’ll find famous headliners like 2 Chains and The Man. Aside from the fun events, student government runs the show at USC. “The Undergraduate Student Government is the official governing body of the nearly 19,000 undergraduates at the University of Southern California. Through our extensive advocacy, programming and funding work, we seek to make a meaningful impact on the undergraduate experience,” a representative of the club said.

Getting In

USC wants motivated and well-rounded students both inside the classroom and out. “USC looks for three basic things during the admission process: test scores, GPA and extracurricular activities,” Rosen said. Like other schools, USC loves students who stay involved with their communities or clubs at schools and kids who can balance their time between activities. Did I forget to mention a little thing called scholarship money? “USC is known for giving out many scholarships to both in-state and out-of-state students, which is why we have so many students coming to USC from the north. From my personal experience, I felt like USC focused more on test scores when looking at giving out scholarships,” said Rosen.

Stats

Location: Los Angeles, California

Tuition & Fees: $49,464

Total Cost on Campus: $67,212

Undergrads Enrolled: 19,000

Grads and Professionals Enrolled: 24,000

Total Enrolled: 43,000

Acceptance percentage:18%

Percent Admitted Who Enroll: 32%

Percentage of Male Students: 50%

Percentage of Female Students: 50%

Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 39.3%

Emma is a Sophomore at American University in Washington DC studying Strategic Communications and Business. She loves photography, swimming, being outdoors, and searching for the perfect sushi roll.

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