University of Southern California Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.


We all get along as far as I can tell


Wide range of student body; I really like it that students are from all over the USC and world (versus many nearby UC schools are basically fully California residents). I feel a student who is extremely quiet and not interested in getting involved in school activities or spirit would not fit in. In generally student body is quite varied - politically, beliefs, etc. Financially stable for all families.


The racial, religious, LGBT, and other groups on campus put on wonderful events that most often, all can attend. The groups are meant to foster community between people with commonalities, but also to bring awareness to those outside of the determined label. The shows, events, programs that these groups put on at USC are always a lot of fun. I am not a member of any such group, but whenever I go to events I feel welcomed and leave informed. I think that USC is so big and that there are so many different people that hardly anyone would feel out of place. Sometimes it is harder for some to find their place than others, but basically everyone I know feels as if they are part of both the larger community of the campus as well as part of a less broad circle, yet never confined to either. Most students wear jeans and a t-shirt to class. A lot of students wear USC gear. Sometimes female students will accessorize or wear casual dresses, but it is usually very relaxed and what you would expect in Southern California. A lot of students wear sweatpants and comfy clothes to early morning or Monday classes. It is hard to describe four different tables at USC. Because there is such an interaction with different types of people, you can't really generalize. At a couple tables there are students finishing up last minute homework or leisurely reading. At another table, there are so many people crowded around, likely a floor ended up coincidentally congregating for dinner, that they have trouble fitting their food on the table or hearing each other over the five simultaneous conversations. At other tables there are groups of three or four people casually discussing their day, and once in a while you will find these people engaged in a topic of fierce, yet civil, debate. Students at USC as a whole are not as politically active as they are at some other schools, but they are likely more active than one would expect. The school gets a reputation for having an apathetic student body. I find that it is more half and half. Half of the people I meet are politically aware. About a quarter are politically active. The thing is, a quarter at USC, while it may be a quarter, is a whole lot of people. You can find many politically active people if you know where to look. There are many organizations and events centered around politics that I just make sure to go to. The students I talk to are predominantly on the left, but that is because I am and I go to the events more closely related to this political sphere. Although, I know some centrist people and a few people on the right. I think it is a mixed bag, the proportions are largely equal. I would say that the most active branch would be the left one.


Despite everything that is said about it, USC has people from diverse financial and ethnic and lifestyle backgrounds. When I say I wish it was less fratty, I mean that the rich people seem to have the most dominant, loud personalities. That does not make the non-richies insignificant AT ALL; some people just like to think they own the world. Which is delusional, but if you know and understand that you have a right to be here and can take lameness with a grain of salt, then it's fine. I have definitely never witnessed any gay-bashing, as I like to hang out with nice people. So from my viewpoint, USC has great LGBT presence on campus, as well as religious life. I tried to get involved with a Christian organization on campus freshman year, but I was comfortable recruiting more people or asking strangers to tell me about their relationship with God, so I stopped going. Some students are politically aware. Some aren't.


I feel that we have a diverse campus in some ways, but homogeneous in others. White students seem to be the majority, with many Asian and Indian students as well. Many of these students are from upper middle class families. However, views differ greatly. One of my favorite experiences was sitting in on the Interfaith Council. When I was a member, there was a representative from the Atheist group, the Wiccan group, the Baha'i group, the Mormon group, the Episcopal group, the Catholic group, the Christian Science group, and possibly a few others I can no longer remember. The greatest thing is that USC students are very accepting of these different beliefs, and in my experiences, are only curious to find out more about them. Students wear everything from sweatpants to dresses and heels to class. I myself have worn both, just depending on how I feel that day. I've gone to class with and without makeup. It's just what you're comfortable with. USC seems a good mix of political interests. Most people are more liberal, as it is 1. a college campus and 2. in California. However, being a private school I believe makes it somewhat more conservative.


very diverse racially and socio-economically. lots of people on financial aid. i think everyone is intimidated by the little rich girls at first, but everyone seems to fit in eventually. most students dress up for class or wear sweats. different types of students interact. people with many different majors interact. tables in dining hall: volleyball players + some random girls, soccer girls, kappas and a few girls from their floor, other. mots sc students are from cali, but theres a decent balance. students = politically aware


I find many of the students very welcoming at USC. I'd say there is a large amount of financially well off students, but also USC does give excellent financial aid so it does not prohibit worthy students from going here based on cost. Most students that I know complain about their classes and how hard they are.


Racial diversity is at the forefront of a lot of groups and activities on campus. I doubt much racism exists on this campus, because I just don't see why a racist person would even come to USC. Religious diversity is also prevalent, but not as obvious. I'm an atheist and my roommate goes to church every Sunday, but it's really a non-issue. In general, I think it's such a large school that you're not easily going to feel isolated. However, I would say we are a little bit "white bread"--not too many people with bright pink Manic Panic hair around campus, or bodies covered in tattoos. Sometimes it's frustrating how many people from California go to USC when it's supposed to be an internationally-recognized university. I think like in any community, you're going to have your politically aware and politically ignorant. The politically aware people try their hardest to raise the awareness, but if you're trying really hard to avoid knowing anything about the world, I'm sure you can get away with it.


because of the diversity on campus, I feel like any student could find a group to fit into.


USC is very internationally friendly. Having come from the Philippines, I should know. They accepted both my sister and me, and we were able to skip language classes, because we passed the Tagalog language test. USC's orientation for international transfer students gave students the opportunity to network with other international students and made us feel welcome.


USC is a very open campus in regards to race, religion and sexual preference. A student who did not take any sort of initiative to participate in any kinds of extracurricular activities at USC would probably feel a little out of place. Students wear casual clothing. Nothing unusual. Lots of USC apparel. All sorts of students interact with each other. Athletes, Asians, African-Americans, Greeks (fraternities and sororities) All over the place. There are many international and local Southern California kids, though. Most students at USC are on scholarships or some sort of financial aid. Repaying massive loans is a common joke on campus. Many students at USC are politically aware. There is a good number that are politically active. I'm predominantly left. Students don't talk too much about how much they'll earn one day, but the general understanding is that with a degree from USC they'll be earning a solid amount in the future.


USC has over 500 student organizations- all of those topics mentioned have groups on campus. And if we are missing something you are interested in then make it yourself- it's easy and funding is readily available. I would say a student whose only focus is schoolwork would feel extremely left out here. Also one that is not open minded in respect to diversity and willing to explore the great city that USC is located in. It depends on the time of year. During midterm season there are a lot more sweatpants and pajamas. When its warm there are lots of cute dresses and tops worn by the girls- but its definitely more of a free, simple style. Not many people wear abercrombie and other brands that label you. The style on campus varies drastically because there are so many different types of people that attend USC- but fashion is definitely a means of expression. Many USC students are from California but all 50 states are represented at the school as well as many foreign countries. USC is one of the top schools in percentage of international students. Just to give you an idea of where I know people from- I'm from Pennsylvania, I have friends from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Maryland, Florida, Ohio, Idaho, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Kansas, Montana, Malaysia, Tawian, Trindad and Tobago, and Australia- just to name a few.


There are a lot of special interest groups on campus so that few are unrepresented. I think non-party-going people would feel out of place. The social scene is so dominated by alcohol that you'd feel awkward if that's not your thing. Student attire is very casual and often involves flip flops and USC paraphernalia. Different student types do interact and often in classes, especially if discussion is allowed. Four types: normal group of friends, students involved with building government, Greeks and party-goers, and socially awkward/weird/smart students. Mostly from Southern California, Northern California, and Texas in that order. I think upper middle class is very well represented. Students are politically apathetic. Those who speak out are usually left. A lot of students are very chiefly concerned with their future income.