USC Accepts 9.2% of Students to the Class of 2028

30/05/202420 minute read
USC Accepts 9.2% of Students to the Class of 2028

Officials at USC anticipate a record-low acceptance rate of 9.2% for the Trojan’s Class of 2028. This admissions statistic marks a four-year trend of shrinking admission rates, with the number of people seeking admission having jumped much higher as of last year80,790 presented applications for the Class of ‘27 vs. 69,000 for the Class of ‘26. This year an astounding 82,000 students applied (for the Class of 2028), with only about 7,550 offers anticipated.

University of Southern California’s Class of 2028 Acceptance Rate

As one of the top private universities on the West Coast, USC has a long history of academic excellence and a reputation for producing successful graduates in a variety of fields. So it’s hardly surprising that recently announced USC admissions statistics reveal a second consecutive year of record-low overall acceptance rates, and increasing applicant pools.

This year, USC officials anticipate more than 82,000 total applications. This figure is only slightly higher (by 1.25%) than last year’s record pool of 80,808 applicants, but amounts to a soaring 18.8% increase when compared to figures from just two years ago.

Meanwhile, the overall acceptance rate dropped to its lowest ever, 9.2%, beating last year’s previous record low of 9.9%.

As USC grows more competitive each year, the school’s admissions trends mirror those at other leading US colleges and universities, with the most competitive schools in the US typically experiencing ever-lower acceptance rates.

USC’s shrinking acceptance rate figures highlight how challenging it can be for applicants to get offers to the most attractive institutions. Given USC’s reputation, high rankings, exceptional academic and athletic programs, and great California climate, it’s probably little wonder that more and more students are applying each year.

USC Acceptance Rate for Class of 2028
Number of ApplicationsAccepted StudentsAcceptance Rate
Early Action41,0002,9527.2%
Regular Applications40,0004,59811.5%
Total Applications 82,0007,5509.2%

Class of 2028 Regular Decision Acceptance Rate

For at least the second year in a row, the Regular Decision (RD) acceptance rate (11.5%) for aspiring Trojans was higher than the Early Action rate (7.2%).

USC received about 40,000 applications for its RD round, roughly the same as last year, and anticipates admitting about 4,600 from that group.

While the 11.5% RD acceptance statistic for the Class of 2028 is higher than both the overall rate of 9.2% and the Early Action rate of 7.2%, it still signals a very competitive admissions arena for would-be Trojans.

When some USC student reporters caught up with an applicant who was fortunate enough to receive an offer letter, the applicant had this to say about today’s admissions trends:

There’s so many talented people applying. And sometimes it’s just like throwing darts at a board until you hit a target and find one talented person out of a bunch because you can’t take them all.

Last year was the first year USC offered an Early Action admissions round (for the Class of 2027), creating more nuanced admissions statistics for this year and last, compared to prior years.

Here’s how RD acceptance rates look for this year and last year:

USC Regular Decision Admission Rates
Class ofRD ApplicationsRD AcceptedRD Acceptance Rate
Class of 202840,0004,60011.5%
Class of 202740,1905,59813%

Class of 2028 Early Action Acceptance Rate

USC’s Early Action (EA) admissions statistics for the Class of 2028 spotlight how selective the process has become at USC.

For the Class of 2028, some 41,000 Trojan hopefuls applied in the EA round, increasing about 1.2%, from about 40,600 EA applicants last year.

The number of EA applicants admitted this year rose slightly, to just under 3,000 EA admits, compared to only 2,400 for the Class of 2027. As a result the EA acceptance rate was only 7.2% for the Class of 2028, but still up from a 5.9% EA acceptance figure for the Class of 2027.

With so many people applying for Early Action, slightly more than those applying in RD rounds, applying early may not give you a big boost at USC. With USC averaging a yield rate of about 45%, it means that only about 20 to 30% of EA applicants will enroll and the EA acceptance rate is lower than both the overall rate (9.2%) and the RD rate (11.5%).

USC Early Action Admission Rates
Class ofEA ApplicationsEA AcceptedEA Acceptance Rate
Class of 202841,0002,9527.2%
Class of 202740,6002,4005.9%

The University of Southern California has seen an increasingly competitive admissions landscape over the past decade. Let's take a look at some of the important trends and what they mean for prospective applicants.

  • Increased Competition: Over the past seven years, USC has had an overall admissions that mostly hovered between 16 and 11%, but in the last two years that overall acceptance rate statistic has now dropped to 9.2%, a record low. Meanwhile, the total number of overall applicants has increased from around 64,000 (Class of 2022) to 82,000 this year, an impressive increase of around 28%, or an average increase of about 4% each year over six years. The trend line suggests prospective Trojans need to anticipate that Notre Dame will remain highly selective for the near future at least.
  • Accelerating Competition: In 2027 the number of applicants rose at an accelerated rate, from 69,000 applicants for the Class of ‘26, to slightly more than 80,000 for the Class of 2027, and 82,000 this year!
  • Shrinking Acceptance Rates: Over the past four to eight years overall acceptance rates to USC have fluctuated between 11 and 16%. Last year that rate had reached a low of 9.9%, dropping further, to 9.2%, for the Class of 2028.
  • A More Diverse and Competitive Applicant Pool: Just two years ago, admissions statistics at USC signaled an applicant pool growing not only larger, but also more academically competitive and more geographically diverse. Average applicant GPA figures have been on a steady upward trend for over a decade, with average applicant GPA now striking around 3.9. While fluctuating, the number of international students has also been increasing, making up about 7% of the 2004 incoming class at USC, compared to about 18% as of the Fall of 2022 (Class of 2026).
USC's Acceptance Statistics Last 10 Years
Class of Total ApplicationsTotal AcceptedTotal Acceptance RateRD Acceptance RateEA Acceptance Rate
202881,8007,5509.2%11.5%7.2%
202780,7907,9989.9%13%5.9%
202669,0008,20011.88%--
202571,0008,80412.4%--
202460,0009,50015.83%--
202366,0007,26011%--
202264,2568,25812.85%--
202156,0008,98016%--
202054,1008,92016.5%--
201951,8009,05017.47%--

These trends indicate that USC's admissions process has become more selective over time, with an increasing number of highly qualified applicants vying for a limited number of spots.

What Kind of Student Gets into USC?

It's clear that admission to the University of Southern California is highly competitive, so students applying to the school will typically present an exceptional GPA and a record of rigorous academic achievements and a profile with some outstanding extracurriculars.

According to admissions officials at USC, "incoming first-year students demonstrate superior academic performance," typically ranking in the top 10 percent of their graduating class, and with median SAT/ACT test scores — if submitted — in the top 5 percent.

In addition, prospective USC students will typically have ambitious intellectual and professional goals, interdisciplinary interests, and look at issues from a global perspective.

How Crimson Can Help You Stand Out

USC's acceptance rates are lower now than ever, highlighting how challenging it has become to gain entry into top universities. In this highly competitive landscape, seeking guidance from experienced college admissions advisors can offer a significant advantage. Advisors offer personalized support informed by experience and insight, taking chance and guesswork out of the application process and helping you:

  • Craft a Compelling Narrative: They work with you to identify your unique strengths, passions, and experiences. This helps shape a cohesive application that showcases your potential to contribute to the Notre Dame community.
  • Navigate Strategic Choices: Advisors can provide insights on application timing (early vs. regular), test score submission, and highlight areas where you can further boost your profile.
  • Excel in Every Aspect: From essay coaching to interview preparation, advisors ensure each application component is polished and demonstrates your preparedness for Notre Dame's exceptionally rich academic and research environment.

Proven Success in a Competitive Landscape

Crimson Education has a track record of helping students achieve their admissions goals. This year alone, over 200 Crimson students were accepted to top US universities in the early round. Here's a breakdown of our early-round numbers:

  • 87 offers to the Ivy League.
  • 163 offers to the US Top 20, including offers to Stanford, MIT, Caltech, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, University of Chicago, Rice, Vanderbilt, and University of Notre Dame.
  • 15% of Ivy League and 27% of top 20 early round applicants received offers to their dream schools.
  • 670+ offers to the US Top 50, including offers to NYU, University of Michigan, Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon, Emory, University of Virginia, and Washington University in St. Louis.
  • 1000+ offers to each student’s first choice school.

If USC is your dream school, Crimson can help you get there! Our strategists include former Ivy League graduates who can help you put together a solid application that stands out from the crowd! Learn more about our Admissions Support program.

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