Los Angeles, CA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 2199 total reviews with an average rating of 3.8

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5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: One of my favorite parts about going to USC is the diverse atmosphere on and off campus! There are constantly cultural events going on around the city, as well as a variety of destinations to check out. Weekends here often consist of taking trips to nearby beaches, the city, or hiking around mountains. The local community is also very supportive of the trojan spirit which is a huge part of campus.

3 College Freshman

Transportation: Unlike usual complaints about LA transportation, I have found the LA metro to be a great help in getting around without a car. Although a car would definitely be helpful, the metro and bus goes to most main locations near LA for a low cost.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: Nightlife is great both on and off campus. Greek-life plays a big part on social events, so there's always something happening on campus. However, if greek life isn't your scene, there are plenty of off campus events and places to visit around LA.

4 College Junior

Nightlife: Nightlife is pretty great if you're underage and your definition of "going out" is the drunken beerfest on The Row, but the actual bar or club scene near USC, for those 21+, is abysmal. There is "The Lab", the school gastropub, the 9-0, where you should probably wear a condom just to walk in the door (even if you're female - it's just ugh), and Bacaro, which is actually a pretty decent place, but is only a wine bar. Everywhere else in LA requires a cab and a large pool of cash, plus a really hot friend who knows a promoter, to get you in through the door.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Computers: Decent computer lab availability, but not during semester crunch times or even daily crunch times. Printing is ok, you'd be better off getting your own printer (especially if you don't live in one of the on-campus dorms). Bring your own laptop if you can, at all. Wireless access is pretty good location-wise, but USC Wireless has a bad tendency to go down or be really slow at the worst times possible. Thankfully, that's not too often.

3 College Junior

Scholarships: Financial aid is only decent if you come in under a certain income threshold, or you're okay with BSing your FAFSA. And most "financial aid" comes in the form of loans. Furthermore, good freakin' luck getting a university scholarship as a transfer, even if you would be completely eligible if you had come in as a freshman. The "apply by XYZ date for scholarship consideration" is a joke if you're a transfer - don't bother, there is maybe one scholarship you're eligible for, and they won't give it to you because it'll go to someone who's been at the school all two previous years. The only scholarships that are readily available are service scholarships, so you better have one freaking impressive service and leadership resume, because that's the only way you'll ever get any non-need based aid from this school.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Junior

Transportation: Campus shuttles are OK, but are only available if you live in a very small and select area. Public transportation options are a joke unless you're taking the Expo line (which is actually kind of nice, if you're not riding it by yourself). Taxis are available, but you have to call them specially for an event, and they cost a fortune. People get around on or near campus by riding bikes, but good luck if you don't have a car and need to get somewhere in the city. (Though there is a shuttle bus to Disneyland, I've heard.)

1 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: "Local atmosphere" is awful, if by "local atmosphere" you mean the neighborhood. Los Angeles as a whole is pretty great, if you have enough cash for the ridiculous amounts of money a taxi to your "outside USC" area costs (or a car and an obliging DD), but welcome to the University of South Central, where the school safety officers cover up or downplay the existence of shootings on or near campus, people are mugged or robbed pretty much on the daily, homeless people will hop the eight-foot-fence around your house (assuming you even have a fence) to steal from your trash, every street corner smells like piss, and it's not safe to go south of Exposition except during the day with a group of friends, to go to the Coliseum for a football game.

4 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Weather: There are three weeks to three months in the fall when it's *brutally* hot by my spoiled Southern California standards, but other than that the weather is pretty much perfect. Sunny and between 65 and 85 most days.

4 College Junior

Diversity: Sometimes people on campus are jerks about certain races or religions, and it's frustrating to see that if you come from a traditionally "diverse" background, you'll usually be on a sports team and not expected to keep up grades at *all* when other people are working so hard, but this campus overall has a broad degree of religious, economic, and ethnic diversity, and plenty of support student orbs.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Campus Strictness: USC is fairly harsh about anything that could negatively affect their image with the public, from their students, but don't focus externally on protecting the students from outside dangers. That means that your visitation on campus is restricted, good luck staging a protest or demonstration unless you're a recognized student group (and even then it's difficult), noise violations are cracked down on harder than cheating, and attendance requirements vary from school to school but are overall really ridiculous (two tardies --> one unexcused absence, two unexcused absences --> a half letter grade drop? What is that?!). Creating a new student org is fairly easy, but getting "recognized" is difficult, and good luck getting funding - you'll never find it.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Drug Safety: Alcohol use is "highly visible", and if you don't drink it can sometimes be difficult to find social opportunities on campus. There isn't much visible drug use beyond weed and "study drugs", but it's definitely there - you just have to be looking for it. DPS are complete jerks if you're drunk on or near campus, and love to shut down parties early. I also sure hope you have good friends to take care of you if you're really drunk or on drugs, because DPS will either laugh at you to your face or write you up, if you need help. That said, there isn't much peer pressure to drink unless you're a stupid freshman (which most freshmen are), and then it's usually other freshmen pressuring you to drink.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Junior

Campus Housing: Unless you enter as a freshman, which I did not, and unless you have an advantageous birthday, which I do not, it's impossible to get housing on campus, and the social options are all on the Row anyway. The lottery system is rigged so that you can only get housing if you re-up every year, and even then it gets harder as you get older. Definitely live near Cafe 84 though, they have actual ice cream and crepes (not just soft serve jokes).

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: There are parties every weekend, and if you're a girl you can get into any of them. For guys you either have to be in the frat thats having the party or know someone in the frat/be on the list. The 901 bar is popular but pretty boring, its small and crammed. Of course there are tons of clubs in LA that are fun to go to

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Weather: It's LA, it's almost always sunny and warm, you don't have to worry about freezing while walking to class in the winter

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Apply early. If you wait a while to apply, you may not get anything, and the financial aid office makes a lot of mistakes/has an inconvenient process with my loans and payments, but I have not heard the same from my friends.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: The quality of off campus housing all depends on how much you're willing to pay. The closer you are to campus the more expensive and safer it it. The further you are, the cheaper it is and its usually in unsafe neighborhoods. And because it's LA you will most always have to pay a lot for parking.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Im not sure how strict the freshman dorms are since I never lived there, but the off campus USC housing is pretty lenient. Parking is super strict... cause its LA. The restrictions on the Row have gotten a lot stricter with no hard alcohol at their parties and they usually get shut down within a couple hours for noise.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: The football games are some of the most fun times of the year, and the parties are huge and pretty much every weekend. The teachers are really involved with each student and care about their students. There is also a lot of good looking people at USC which doesn't hurt. The only downside is that its an expensive school, but the opportunities it brings makes it worth it.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: I don't know much about the drug scene considering I don't do drugs, but Ive heard of people here and there who do various drugs, I wouldn't say its a problem at USC

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Being in LA there is an endless amount of dining options

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: The fall semester revolves around USC football. Game day is all day, from tailgates, to the game, to after parties. There is insane school spirit for the football games. Other sports events aren't as popular as a social event but the athletes are all some of the best in the country.

5 College Sophomore

Transportation: The campus shuttles run all day, are free, and make frequent pick ups. The Campus Cruiser runs from around 7pm to 3am and is a car service provided by the school that is free. The Leavy Lift is also a car service that runs all night going from wherever you are, to Leavy Library and back.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: There is 24/7 DSP security on and around campus up to a mile away. After 9pm anyone entering campus must show a USC ID card to enter. Email alerts are sent to all students when there is a security problem on or around campus and when the problem is resolved.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I feel very safe in and around campus, nothing to complain about.


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Tommy Trojan
Tommy Trojan
Tommy Trojan Tommy Trojan USC's mascot, Tommy Trojan.
Photo by alexoftroy

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

BJ Grip
Colorado Springs, CO
View all previous student authors

Students from Southern California usually love USC from the beginning and strengthen their bonds with the school as time passes. Students who travel to USC from longer distances tend to adapt more slowly, dealing at first with the culture shock that inevitably comes with a first impression of LA. Universally, those who can survive the transition into the USC way of life fall in love with the school after first semester. Typically, students entering school with a skeptical mind-set ends up getting the most pride out of being a Trojan. At the very least, they come away with a new affinity toward college football.

The opportunities on campus are plentiful, and in LA, opportunities are endless. Time flies for everyone at USC, and changes in living conditions, academic standards, and career goals come quicker than newcomers might expect. USC graduates are sure to look back on a college experience that could not have been offered anywhere else. Basically, the more that students are willing to explore the opportunities available to them, the more they endorse the idea that USC is the perfect school for its time and place.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

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