Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 76.42

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA http://www.usc.edu/
The University of Southern California's highly regarded academic programs and research opportunities draw people from all over the world; nearly a quarter of its students are international. USC has some 49,500 students, and around 20,000 of them are undergraduates. The university has a reputation as an expensive school – and it has one of the highest estimated degree prices in Money's rankings – but it also boasts a high graduation rate of 92% and students go on to earn a median of $83,400 in their early careers. Some of the most popular majors include communications, cinematic arts, architecture, music and law. The university's Los Angeles location gives students access to one of the country's major business centers and its entertainment capital. Perhaps unsurprisingly, generations of USC alumni have gone on to careers in the film and TV industries. Alumni include the creators of both Star Wars (George Lucas) and Star Trek (Gene Roddenberry). Trojan football is practically a religion, and on game days, undergraduates, grad students and alumni come together to tailgate, schmooze and cheer on the Cardinal and Gold.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$82,400
% of students who get any grants
65%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$42,000
Average price for low-income students
$17,290

Admissions

Acceptance rate
11%
Median SAT/ACT score
1450/33
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
19,910

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
88%
% of need met
99%
% of students who get merit grants
22%
Average merit grant
$18,240

Student Success

Graduation rate
92%
Average time to a degree
4.2 years
Median student debt
$18,956
Early career earnings
$83,430
% earning more than a high school grad
80%

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

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