Mark Montgomery, college admissions coach and educational consultant, visits the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. With 41,000 students, it’s not hard to see why this college in the heart of Los Angeles is popular, although its low yield rate raises questions.
So today I’m here at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. And the University of Southern California has a long history, started in 1880, but relatively recently it has experienced a huge upsurge in popularity. And it’s really easy to see why: it’s a beautiful campus right here in the heart of Los Angeles, the weather, this is January and I’m wearing short sleeves and it’s very, very comfortable. So why not? And why wouldn’t you want to go to a school in this beautiful environment? You can see the Student Union behind me and the very famous statue of the Trojan; the library’s behind the camera. The popularity is based on a lot of things: the geography, also the size, this is a private university of about 18,000 undergraduates and about 23,000 more graduate students, it’s very big so there’s lots going on here. Again, the location is important.
Recently, two or three years ago, USC made the decision to go under the Common Application. So that brought in even more applicants to the system, making it a more selective university. About 20% of the applicants are admitted. However, it’s really interesting to also know that the yield rate is about 30%. The yield rate is the percentage of students who are given offers of admission who actually take that offer. So only about one third of the students who get an offer to come here to this beautiful campus in this beautiful environment, extremely popular with international students, only about a third take the offer of admission. The rest are going somewhere else for a variety of reasons. But it’s important to think about that yield rate, and maybe it raises questions in your mind as to whether or not — well, how popular is this school really?