The University of Southern California (USC) is one of the leading private research universities in the country. The university has esteemed programs for business, education, engineering, medicine, social work, and law. The other programs to note include USC’s journalism and cinema schools.
With so much prestige comes heavy competition. Over 50,000 students apply each year, with 9,000 or so being admitted. USC has an 18% acceptance rate, and the average GPA of incoming freshman is 3.82. USC looks for the people at the tops of their classes.
So, what about the entrance exams? What kind of scores would you need to make it into MIT? A good trick to use is to look at the average scores between the 25th percentile and 75th percentile to see how the middle 50% of admitted students score, finding averages makes comparisons easier.
ACT (With Writing)
On average, the USC-accepted students earn a composite score somewhere between 29 and 33. On the national scale, the average is a composite score of 21.
If we look at the individual sections of the ACT, we find that the national average score for the Math section is a 20.8. For USC-bound students, that score is between 29-34. Nationally, the average score for the English portion of the ACT is a 20.4, while those accepted into USC averaged 28-34.
Students accepted into USC tend to earn an average between 2040 and 2260 (on the old, 2400 scale). The national average composite score for the SAT is a 1497.
Looking at the SAT sections, USC-admitted students earned between 660-760 for the Math portion. For Reading (sometimes called Verbal), they averaged at 620-720. The national averages for the Math and Reading sections are 511 and 495 respectively.
How USC Acceptees Compare
The average composite score of USC students for the ACT is a 31, while the average for the SAT is a 2075. This means that students accepted into USC score in the 96th percentile for both the ACT and the SAT. An impressive number, to say the least.
Requirements for USC include: SAT or ACT (with writing) scores, completion of a college-prep program, recommendations, a high school transcript with your GPA, and a demonstration of competencies.
With all this in mind, it’s important to remember that test scores do not necessarily make or break your chances of getting accepted into a college. To be certain they are important, but they aren’t the only thing schools look at.