||Its an accomplishment that had been many years in the making, and that process has produced some gratifying but paradoxical results. Typically, the more selective an institution becomes, the more students want to enroll there. USC has been no exception, and our applicant pool has continued to grow in size as well as quality. Last year, it meant that we admitted less than 50% of the students who appliedthe measure of a highly selective school according to U.S. News and World Report and the college guidebooks.
In most respects, this is great news for USC. Its no secret that faculty are the heart of any institution, and its also a well-established fact that the stronger the student body, the better the faculty a university is able to attract.
Its also true that a stronger student body makes for a richer academic experience. Better students challenge faculty to do their best teaching. At the same time, much of what students learn takes place outside the classroom. As the quality of the student body goes up, so does the quality of intellectual interactions in residence halls and discussion groups and extracurricular activities. And of course, the stronger the student profile, the greater our ability to attract more students of similar accomplishment. Statistics also show that the harder it is for students to get in, the more likely they will stay in school and graduate, which is, after all, one of the top priorities at any institution.
There are some other benefits of selectivity that are lesser known, but very powerful. USCs bond rating is significantly affected by the quality of the student body. The better the student body, the easier it is for the university to get more favorable interest rates on loans for improvements to facilities to educate those students.
So now that weve raised USCs national profile among all institutions of higher education, and now that more students than ever before are clamoring to get in, what does it mean for our alumni?
In a very real way, alumni are among the first to benefit because the more selective USC becomes, the greater the value of a USC degree. This is a boon for everyone who holds a diploma from the University of Southern California.
But we know that some alumni parents are also concerned that the higher standards may make it difficult for their children to attend USC when the time comes. We have always cared deeply about traditions at USC, and that includes the tradition of multi-generational Trojan families. In order to help ensure your childrens competitiveness in todays admissions process, we have developed this material to assist them in preparing for a USC education.
Higher education, like the competitive sports at which USC excels, reflects a continual effort to improve performance. Just as a sprinter tries to run faster and a pole vaulter seeks to soar to ever greater heights, so a university strives to attract increasingly talented students and faculty.
We are confident that the Trojan Family is up to the challenge.