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The University of Southern California

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityC Faculty AccessibilityB
Useful SchoolworkB Excess CompetitionB
Academic SuccessB Creativity/ InnovationB
Individual ValueC University Resource UseC+
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyC- FriendlinessB
Campus MaintenanceB+ Social LifeA
Surrounding CityC Extra CurricularsC
Describes the student body as:
Snooty, Closeminded

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful, Arrogant

Lowest Rating
Campus Aesthetics/ Beauty
Highest Rating
Social Life
He cares more about Campus Aesthetics/ Beauty than the average student.
Date: Sep 28 2009
Major: Philosophy (This Major's Salary over time)
USC, hmmm….where do I begin? When I was growing up in Southern Cal, this college was one of my dream colleges. Now, I'm a bit older and after spending some time in the service and in community college, I can say with all honesty that the University of Southern California is just that, a dream, and one that in some ways coincides with my idea of a proper undergraduate education, but in many more ways does not. I can think of no better example of what one may coin as "regional biases". Having relatives and extended family who contributed much to this institution in the way of administration and athletics, and who?ve been my mentors in life both directly and indirectly, I feel I have every right to be as critical as possible without losing any dignity or class. Many people from Southern California and USC alumni seem to perpetuate a type of "hollywood" image of what an education should be. It is trumpery at best and machiavellian at worst. On one hand, the college has much to offer in the way of athletics and Greek life. If you are the next Olympian, NFL star, or Hollywood socialite, this school can and WILL launch you into stardom. The cinema school is probably the best the nation has to offer although I've never taken a class there so this is purely subjective and hinges on reputation only. The Viterbi school is also pretty good from what I hear. Do not be fooled, USC is a private college, but a "big" private college. The undergraduate education you receive here in the liberal arts is a notch above one you would receive from a reputable CA state college (Long Beach,Fullerton) or a median level UC college (Irvine,Davis, UCSC). For those not from California, this is not saying much. Some may argue that SC's private status allows for closer interaction with professors and a more "personal" education. The is partially true, some classes have no more than 10-15 students, but this is not from the result of a low student:faculty ratio that would idealistically pit some of the best academic minds in the nation with but a handful of motivated and brilliant students. Rather, it stems from the fact that such classes are just plain uninteresting to the majority of the student body. The Marshall School is what it is. It does not put itself (in most cases) out to be a fantastically innovative, rigorous, and prestigious business school on the frontiers of business science, primarily because it is none of those things. The only exception to this will be for those on the Accounting and Entrepreneurial track. USC is on par with the elite business schools when it comes to these concentrations. Looking to graduate placement will attest to this.

Now, the honors program here and thematic options do cater to the more academically inclined, and I think it is probably the only thing keeping this institution from becoming a complete failure, at least in an academic sense. Don't get me wrong, these programs are filled with a small minority of wonderful, brilliant, and dedicated students who deserve great praise. One only needs to look to their curriculum to see that this is true. However, their light is put out by the pervading darkness that is athletic and greek fanaticism The main force that keeps this bright and shining aspect of USC from being seen is the overwhelming majority of the students that are not only academically dismal, but just plain disappointing both in terms of decency and humility. Here is a good analogy: Imagine taking all the worst people in the movie "animal house", we'll call this variable n. Now take n to the 10th power. The result you get should give a good idea of the force in which this misguided institution markets itself through the actions and temperament of its student body. If USC truly wants to break its perpetual rank of 25-30 in the US News, (as if those rankings mattered in the first place) and even hope to be in the top 15 colleges in the US, it should abolish its athletic programs and not recognize Greek organizations. The remaining resources if concentrated solely to academic quality would make headlines and launch the institution into the national spotlight in immeasurable ways. But if USC did this, it wouldn?t be USC.

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The University of Southern California
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