Los Angeles, CA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 2429 total reviews with an average rating of 3.8

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4 College Freshman

Weather: USC is located in Los Angeles, so the weather is perfect all around. The weather is always bearable and it makes enjoying any day an ease.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: There are a lot of off campus housing options both through the school and also ones not affiliated with school, since it is Los angeles they can be kind of expensive but there are some off campus apartments that do roommate matching also hand have only USC students living there. It is really easy to find an apartment that you like off campus and the school is really helpful when students need housing.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Process Is Detailed – discuss in details with financial aid counselor, over and over again if need be. Make sure you understand everything that is offered, and not offered.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Slightly Varied – some good choices, healthy meals, but also same unhealthy meals too

2 College Junior

Scholarships: Help for Those in Need – At their seminars, USC will tell you all about how they have a very large endowment and they use it to help out every student in need of financial aid. As a prospective student, I, of course, expected a piece of the pie. I didn't expect a full ride; those were for kids who not only deserved it academically, but needed it financially as well. My family is pretty well off, but the amount we are forced to pay for my education is ridiculous. We always get the minimum amount of aid from the school, despite the fact that my family cannot afford to pay that amount every year, let alone every semester. If we did not receive aid from outside sources, my future at this school would have been over a long time ago. That being said, I have plenty of friends who benefit from the financial aid offered here, so it definitely is present for those who need it. But if you are of middle and upper middle class, expect to pay a lot for your education.

4 College Junior

Athletics: One Word: Football – Ask any Trojan and they will tell you all about the football season and the chances of victory in every upcoming game. Football is something that is instilled in even the most stubborn non-sports fan (myself included) and game days are an event in and of themselves. The Trojan spirit is infectious and going to games in the Coliseum is a treat every time. However, besides football, most other athletic events aren't attended by the students and you certainly don't hear about them very much.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: We're in Southern California, in LA no less. Apartments are numerous, but availability is a problem at times, especially in a college with many undergraduate and graduate students all looking for a prime spot close to campus. They are expensive, as in any city, and due to the surrounding area, they're not always safe. But if you're smart and use your head, everything will turn out alright.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Difficult and Did Not Receive Much – The process is too long and strenous. Didn't receive financial aid so I had to apply for federal loans. The best tip is to not waste time applying for financial aid if you know you won't receive any money.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Long Distance – Need better transportation from downtown to San Fernando Valley.

5 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Everyone is friendly with each other whether male or female, without difference of race or ethnicity.

4 College Sophomore

Computers: Lots of Availability, Except Around Midterms/Finals – All the libraries have lots of Macs and PC's. The WiFi has been pretty good everywhere on campus that I've been so far. Some computer labs have scanners attached to each computer, some have a main central scanner/copy machine. The 3rd Floor Language Center in Taper Hall has a great computer lab with printing available and lots of study space. All the study rooms and computers get filled up ASAP during midterms and finals though, so you are probably best off if you bring your laptop and do your work somewhere less crowded.

4 College Freshman

Academics: USC is a highly regarded school, especially for its film and and engineering programs. The professors are knowledgeable and the classes, for the most part are interesting. Education at USC goes far beyond the classroom. WIth such a diverse community, it will open your eyes to a much broader understanding of the world than you arrived to college with.

5 College Freshman

Weather: People sunbathe in McCarthy Quad in December. There are very few schools where you can find that! Lends itself to an always pictureque campus

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Diversity: Very Diverse – USC is often stereotyped as a bunch of rich kids from Orange County, but this is not the case at all. Students come from all over--many from outside Southern California--with diverse ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds. In any residential hall there are probably a dozen international students. This all contributes to a very diverse student body.

3 College Senior

Drug Safety: Drinking and Drugs Are Used – I personally don't drink heavily or use drugs, but I overhear a lot of people in class talk about their drug and alcohol use. It's sad to hear. It seems like a lot of students are more interested in drinking/drugs than academics.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Scholarships: Do it. If you're at all considering USC, it is worth it. People outside of the school often talk about how expensive it is, but it's actually cheaper for me to go to USC than UCLA simply because of all the merit scholarships.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: It's Like Living in a Brochure. the Buildings Are Gorgeous, the Skies Are Blue, People Are Playing Frisbee in the Quad. the Classes Are Good, the People Are Fun and from All Different Backgrounds. This Place Is Amazing. They say there are three things in college--academics, social life, and sleeping--and you can only do two. At USC, I'd say by far sleeping goes the wayside most because the other two are so great here. Everyone seems so happy to be here. You really can't walk anywhere on campus without seeing someone wearing some sort of USC gear because that pride is so prevalent.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Nightlife: With the exception of dorm parties and going to Menlo (nearby apartments), the nightlife as a freshman is really centered at the Row. The vast majority of the Fraternities and Sororities are on one street which makes it really easy and really fun!

If you get involved in the Greek system (which I really recommend!), sorority and fraternity "Invites" and "Exchanges" (events that happen a few times through the semester) involve getting on a bus and going to an interesting location in LA (i.e. Restaurant in Korea Town, the gorgeous bar/ballroom of a fancy hotel, etc). LA is a very cool place to be.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Parking: You Will Need a Car – You will want to bring a car to USC. On the weekends campus is kind of dead and you will want to go explore LA so bring a car if you can!

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Scholarships: They gave my mother false information when first considering which school I was going to attend. My family and I were under the impression that we would not need to take out loans to cover the cost of my schooling due to the Cal Grant, but after I had already decided to attend USC we found out that for every dollar I received from the Cal Grant the university would deduct from the financial aide they were offering. This was not what they told us when we first inquired into the situation.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Food in South Central LA – Surrounding the University of Southern California are mostly just fast food chain joints and unhealthy options, other then Subway. If you are looking for variety then this is not the place. But the one good thing is that there are several late night options for someone hungry at all hours of the night.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Scholarships: Apply Early. Financial aid is EASY. Just get your application in before November 30 (or December 1, depending on the year) and you are automatically considered for a plethora of scholarships. You can always contact the financial aid office if you have issues, but the distribution is fair and fulfills needs.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Facilities: Research and Career Programs Abound – There are so many research and career opportunities. We are always getting emails and being told about all the options we have. It's great for all majors, not just science and engineering. There are plenty of research and internships for the Arts and Humanities as well. It's amazing how much is available, and it is impossible to find nothing. There is an opportunity for everyone. Plus a HUGE Alumni network to back all students for life.

5 College Freshman

Greek Life: Greek like seems like a ton of fun, though I am not part of it at all. You're not pressured to join, and you're not pressured to stay out. Everyone can participate whether they are in a Fraternity or Sorority or not since the houses have tons of events and parties. You definitely do not have to join as a Freshman, there is spring rush for Fraternities, and plenty of choices for the diverse student body. Greek life is obvious on campus, but not overwhelming, and there isn't big popularity or status boost just because you're Greek.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Punishments Are Severe – I think authorities are selective in how the administere punishment.


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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 . . .

Applicant Status At University of Southern California

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