University of Southern California Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?


No, not all students are rich. Many are on some type of financial aid.


No, not all students are rich. Many are on some type of financial aid.


USC is stereotyped as the school for "rich, white kids" but it really isn't. USC's student body is just as diverse as other institutions in the country. In fact, it has one of the highest percentages of international students. People from all kinds of backgrounds and cultures can be seen around campus. It's what makes USC really great!


However, both stereotypes are very limiting and misleading. While USC does embrace its sports culture, the school also boasts its already strong and still growing academic strength. Music is also popular here, with weekly live music on campus, and aspiring musicians holding events throughout the year. Visions and Voices hosts a plethora of arts, music, and literary events, with world-renowned speakers, artists, musicians, and authors. USC Spectrum is another organization that hosts a number of art/music-related events. The stereotype that USC is filled with rich and spoiled kids is completely false and misleading. While the school does have a number of well-off students, there is definitely not a "rich-society" culture. In any class, you can find students from all walks of life. I've personally met students that were very well-off and students who were depending entirely on financial aid. With almost 3,000 students matriculating each year, it's impossible to have a homogenous student population. You can find people from all walks of life here.


USC's student body is so diverse that representatives of every stereotype out there can be found but overall, the best way to categorize Trojans is: 1) Loyal 2) Intelligent 3) Passionate 4) Driven


Wealth is taken to a new level at USC. While obviously not everyone hails from a Fortune 500 family, there are way more rich kids, many of whom are spoiled, than I imagined. As far as apathy, I'd say that we are actually a relatively politically active campus. A large chunk of students get involved with groups such as CALPIRG, CCU, etc. and do some great projects. There are others who can't even stay awake in their Social Issues class, let alone join a grassroots movement.


Spoiled:To a certain extent this is true. You can see some kids driving in daddy's brand new mercedes or bimmer with LV bags. But every school has rich spoiled people, since USC is an expensive private school there are probably more, but there are also many people here who come from well to do backgrounds who are down to earth. The school has also been trying to attract diversity from race to economic background. USC currently has the most international students out of any US university. One thing that I have noticed is that many of the undergrads who are from overseas tend to be relatively wealthier than domestic students, some are spoiled some are very hard working. Expensive: Yes it's something like 55k/yr now? but if you don't have enough money or are really smart the school will give you money to come here. Ghetto: Yes, it's not as nice as westwood but it's never really been an issue (for me anyways)


Mostly yes, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It always shocks me that the kids on my floor will all go out and have a good time, but Sunday afternoons and school nights (except Thursdays, when everyone goes out) are always pretty quiet in the dorms, with everyone diligently working on school. Plus, people really are beautiful! Also, there are definitely some very privileged students here, but few flaunt it, and there are greater numbers of students on scholarship or from more modest households.


Not at all. I`m not going to say that there is NOBODY who is rich and stuck up, but honestly on the whole I have met very few people who portray these characteristics, and because it is such a small percentage- you can just choose not to hang out with them. As for everyone being from California- not true. I think the percentage is like 51{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c}/49{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} but you don't really notice it. Most of my friends are from all over the country- again, there are so many people that you can choose who you hang out with. And as for going home on weekends, campus is never really completely dead (except for the weekender!), but yeah- sometimes people go home, but they are always friendly and will welcome you into their homes, and not everyone goes home at the same time so you don't really notice it nearly as much as I thought I would.


The neighborhood is, in fact, as bad as you think; in spite of the fact that the administration has been promoting the fact that the area around campus has become more gentrified in recent years, crime directly surrounding campus is still pretty high. As for the stereotype of rich, bratty kids, it varies--USC is very diverse and has students of all different backgrounds, but the "spoiled children" are definitely a visible part of the community, if not the majority.


Generally, yes. There are a lot of spoiled kids at USC and the school is extremely expensive. However, the USC Financial Aid department is more than generous, and USC has students from all sorts of backgrounds (some of my best friends are international) and almost anyone who gets in can get a lot of financial support from the University if they can show they need it.


Well, I am part of the Greek system, and I think you are more likely to find stereotypical Trojans there: rich, self-obsessed people who just want to get through college having as much fun as possible while avoiding having to work too hard. The strange part is that while you will find more stereotypes fulfilled in the sororities and fraternities, you will also find that they hold the campus' most motivated leaders, brightest students, and the most down-to-earth people. As for whether we just didn't get in to UCLA, Stanford, etc.- I think USC offers an experience that is unparalleled. There are students that got into other top-tier schools and chose USC for the breadth of experience that it offers.


In some cases: we have one of the most culturally/ethnically/socio-economically diverse campuses in the world;so, it's hard to stereotype a USC student (even though many people do).


Yes and no. In regards to being wealthy - out of the many many people I met while attending the Masters program film school, I only stumbled upon three rich people and they were all nice and down to earth. In regards to being Republican - a friend of mine is a student assistant for the undergraduate classes and he says about 90{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of his students are in fact, republican.


The greek scene is a bit immature, but the "independents" around USC make up for it. Most USC students are very smart, aside from the business, communications, etc majors.


In my experience, yes and no. The freshman dorm floor I stayed at had a lot of freshman who were wanting to pledge sororities and fraternities, since that's one of the most obvious routes to having a social life at SC. Even though this is true, you can find people who aren't like that... it just takes a little more time. There are the daddy's girls and ridiculously rich here, but mostly everyone I've met at SC deserves to be at this school. I'll admit, you do come across the random person who has no drive and very little intelligence, and you wonder how they got in when some of your diversified and genius friends got rejected, but that could be true anywhere you go and overall I'd say this stereotype is not true.


Of course there are some people like that, but a lot of my friends only can afford USC because of scholarship money or grants. Also, it's not that preppy and there's a lot of diversity at USC. It's true that everyone is pretty smart and talented.


Well, USC isn't cheap, so there's truth to that part. I haven't encountered any more arrogant people at USC than at any other place. The school overall IS football-crazy, but what's wrong with that? For those of us who don't dig the sport, it at least yields a quiet saturday afternoon every few weeks in the fall.


Some of them definitely are, but you will find all of these types of students at Universities across the country; however, I think because USC is in LA, there are a lot of shallow, stuck up people at USC who think they are god or really cool and can act like their still in highschool, trying so hard to be noticed.


Since I don't hang out with a lot of rich, white kids, I can't agree with that stereotype. I didn't try to avoid them, but since I'm not in Annenberg or Marshall, they are easy to avoid. If you do major in one of those schools, then you will encounter a lot of spoiled children. You also see them at football games and Greek Row, but since I don't go to either of those places, I don't see them. There are a lot of Asians but not as much as the UC's. This school can have a conservative attitude because many students come from rich, conservative families. I agree wholeheartedly that we have an apathetic attitude. No one cares about things here. People don't vote in the elections. I could go on about this but there is no drive on this campus to change things. There are a lot of intelligent people at this school, but sometimes I feel that I came to the dumbest top 30 school. We are a party school, but it's definitely died down since I was a freshwoman three years ago.


Connecting with people is the best way to break through stereotypes and my time year has broken a lot of those. I can't speak on behalf of Greek life or inside the athletic department but I know I have met a LOT more genuine, caring, and humble people here at SC than at my cheap public high school back home. The atmosphere might be more laid back than other top institutions but its because we have so many extracurriculars many students care about their work and keeping it at high quality.


Most of the time they seem to be quite accurate


no, there is a large mix of all different people here and most people that i've met have been good people. yes this school is expensive, but for the most part financial aid does a really good job of getting you whatever you need.


Well it's a big school with people from every background, so it is definitely true for some.


Not for the most part, there are truths to some college stereotypes just like not everyone at Berkeley smokes weed. We have one of the most racially diverse schools in the country. Most Trojans grow up long time Southern California fans. From what I've come to see is most people see us as that we think we are the best, but with perfect weather, being right next to Los Angeles and Hollywood, the beach, best sports program, amazing parties, great academics, biggest school spirit in the country, the best alumni programs, and the best looking students, its hard not to think we're the best.


Pretty much, but there's a lot of international students here as well.




Absolutely not. USC has one of the most diverse student bodies in the country, boosting representation from all 50 states and more than 30 countries. This diversity brings the students together because we all worked hard to get here, and are working hard while we're here to continue the Trojan legacy. USC students are very school spirtited and competitive, but that translates to all of our efforts, not just sports.


These stereotypes aren't accurate at all. Most people are here on a scholarship.


Personally, I believe this stereotype for the large part is inaccurate. However, there are some students who do fit this profile. I find that most of the students described by the stereotype are part of the Greek system, and even then are far and few in between. For the most part, the students I have come into contact with are driven and focused on important issues. By attending USC, I have met many different types of people and think it's diversity is one of the college's best attributes.


For some people, but not the majority.


I think these stereotypes are not true at all.


I'm here on scholarship, so I couldn't afford to be here without it. I have never felt unsafe on campus; there is an excellent DPS


Not necessarily. There IS a huge Greek life, but you don't need to be a part of it to have fun and love USC. Not everyone is rich and spoiled, and academics are highly valued too.


not really, but you can find them if you look hard enough


I am not sure


Not necessarily. But any stereotypes can be true on individual cases.


No. Of course, some people who go to school here have parents who are well off, but what many people don't understand is that most of the student population gets some sort of financial aid.


For most of the rich upper class student body yes.


I think they are all accurate. Take one step off campus and every thing changes. Some times you can be on campus, too, and be hassled by bums. There are a lot of stuck up people here who don't appreciate what they have. The rest for themselves.


to a certain extent. there are a lot of rich people that don't really realize how rich they really are, and can't understand the perspective of more normal students


The stereotypes are more accurated amongst the Greek community, but I find it's pretty much invalid with the rest of the USC population.


No. Sometimes it feels as if the stereotypes about Greek life and the white affluent kids are true. But USC is a very diverse school filled with plenty of people from ALL backgrounds. I also find it irritating that people think the neighborhood surrounding USC is dangerous and ghetto. I KNOW ghetto and USC's neighborhood is very middle class, not to mention 80 percent student. I never felt in danger in the neighborhood.


It's a big school, so of course there are those kids, but there is also a HUUUGE diversity of kids. So, the stereotypes are somewhat true.


I would say that fifteen years ago, these stereotypes were pretty true. However, as the university gains rank each year, it's becoming more and more academic. Hence, the majority of students are either on financial aid, scholarships, or both. The big focus is football and now basketball, and the students really support both because they're good. As for being good looking, USC students ARE really attractive! Perhaps it's the sun?


These stereotypes are both true and false. It is true that the majority of the people you meet will come from financially secure families, but that doesn't mean they are spoiled or showing off their financial status. I've never had the feeling like someone was richer than me and therefore felt more inferior from it. Also, students here do study hard and get involved in a lot of extracurricular activities/internships. PreMed and engineering students are quite often buried in their books and business students are definitely out on internships by sophomore year. Regarding Greek life, its presence is definitely felt on campus, but I've never felt pressured that I need to be a part of it to fit in. Also, the stereotype of the frat boy or sorority girl has been proven wrong to me time and again. Often I find the students most actively involved in frats/sororities are those who are have the most developed leadership skills and are just as equally involved in other extracurricular organizations and jobs.


Perhaps, but not as much as is said because of scholarships and financial aid, which USC is decent at.


To the best of my knowledge, they are not. While many people go to parties, some go often, others go once in a while, and others do not at all. The student body is so large that you find such a diverse group of people with extremely varied interests. In terms of the spoiled stereotype, there are some people who take interest in showing off their wealth, but there are many more people who have other priorities. While there are some people who come from affluent families, it is not conveyed in their attitude. The people I meet are generally very down-to-earth.


Sometimes yes, sometimes no. There are a fair amount of students who drive swanky cars and wear designer clothes to class, so if that's your thing, you'll find something in common with some of the people here. But if it's not, you will still definitely find friends at USC who have the means of regular students. And I happen to love our football team; once you're part of the Trojan Family, it's sort of necessary to.


No. As most stereotypes go, they may be true for some members of the student body (I have seen one kid with a Lotus), but not for everyone, or even the majority. There are many students on scholarships here. And while there are many bright students at USC, and the average SAT for entering students is rising every year, studying is certainly not the only thing we do here.