StudentsReview :: The University of Southern California - Extra Detail about the Comment
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The University of Southern California

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityB- Faculty AccessibilityB
Useful SchoolworkC- Excess CompetitionB-
Academic SuccessD Creativity/ InnovationC-
Individual ValueC University Resource UseC+
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyA FriendlinessB
Campus MaintenanceA Social LifeD+
Surrounding CityB Extra CurricularsD+
SafetyC
Describes the student body as:
Afraid, Approachable, Broken Spirit, Closeminded

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful

Male
SAT2350
Bright
Lowest Rating
Academic Success
D
Highest Rating
Campus Aesthetics/ Beauty
A
He cares more about Academic Success than the average student.
Date: Dec 01 2013
Major: History/Histories (art history/etc.) (This Major's Salary over time)
This review is meant for prospective USC students that are currently intellectually inclined seniors in high school (i.e. you know Noam Chomsky isn't a kind of polish food). I hope that you can take as much as possible away from this review because I understand how hard it is to see past all the brochures and, for lack of a better word, propaganda that schools throw your way.

The only reason why I put this review as negative is because I personally have had a negative experience with USC, although I should also mention that I know many people who genuinely enjoy it here.

Let me begin by saying that I worked very hard in high school with the hopes of attending a prestigious institution of higher learning so that I could meet interesting people and develop a better understanding of the world. Unfortunately USC is not the place where someone such as myself belongs. I'm not denigrating USC, I'm just informing you that intellectually stimulating conversations with your peers will not occur at this school. I don't know if it's any better anywhere else, but I do know that the best conversations I've had in the last year have been with people who went to other schools. The reason why I don't consider this to be an insult to USC is because USC isn't trying to be a place where intellectual stimulation occurs. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a diploma mill, but it is fairly safe to say that the school is overwhelmingly pre-professional. This is in line with a broader trend in higher education, so you will probably find that in most schools. People are highly specialized in their majors and don't know very much outside of their field. I know its anecdotal but the perfect demonstration of this point was when a straight-A biology major asked me who Dick Cheney was the other day.

Self-actualization, self-discovery, or even self-betterment are really not priorities among most of my peers. I was shocked at this when I was a freshman because I received the "Presidential" scholarship and lived in the "honors" freshmen dorm. The people I met in the honors dorm (all merit-based scholarship recipients) were overwhelmingly A)pre-med B)engineering or C)cinema students. This is great if you are in to pre-professional education and think you know what you want to do at the ripe old age of 18 (ha), but if your someone like me who really didn't have a good idea the atmosphere is difficult to deal with because the pre-med and engineering kids have too much work/ are very concerned with their grades while the cinema kids primarily keep to themselves. The remainder of students that do not fall in to these groups are primarily in the Greek system. I used to have antipathy toward the Greek system because I viewed it as paying for friends, limiting social horizons, being a little creepy etc. That being said, I now understand why people join the Greek system: its the center of the social scene. Many people will join because there are simply very few other social opportunities afforded by USC student culture(apart from binge drinking on McCarthy quad on game day of course). The greek system fluctuates from people who enjoy a few beers and occasionally like to hook up (how I would classify myself) to atavistic brutes. If you come here you'll understand what I mean.

Activism, with a few exceptions of course, is for the most part none-existent. Most people don't care about sweatshop labor, rape, wars, etc. People are generally nice but superficial. There just isn't much there with most of these guys. Banality is the norm.

The neighborhood isn't as bad as everyone says, but I still wouldn't feel comfortable walking around alone close to campus after midnight though.

The classes and professors are about what you'd expect. Some big classes, some small. Some inspiring professors, some that make you want to mainline drain-o. From what I hear this is similar to most good colleges.

Don't be like me. Don't just pick USC because they give you a scholarship. If you don't get a scholarship, you may want to consider less costly options for an undergrad degree because student loan debt is soul crushing. Regardless of what they say USC is not considered on par with elite institutions such as any in the Ivy League, Stanford, Amherst, or even Berkeley. I was offered admissions to other more prestigious schools and given what I know now I probably would have cashed my chips elsewhere.

         
Responses
responseI completely agree! I am in the same situation and I'm in the social work masters program! This school baffles me. They are also idiotic when it comes to registration. I am highly disappointed and if you are a student in search of an intellectual pursuit, this school is not for you.
responseYour review echoes my thoughts exactly about the school when I was a student there. I went to USC for two years, then transferred to a school in the Ivy League. It IS possible to get out and find what you desire from your education. Know that the lack of intellectual stimulation of which you write does NOT exist everywhere! I am inspired everyday by my peers at my current school, and the real-world conversations that I have with them (even drunk at parties!). I would encourage you to apply to transfer so that you, too, may find a better educational environment.
How funny! I am actually in the process of applying to transfer to an Ivy league myself =)
responseYou should consider the University of Chicago. I graduated in '08 and it sounds like it would be a good fit for you.
responseThis is a SPOT ON review of USC. I am transferring next year after spending my freshman year at USC, and everything you have said is true.
responseI graduated from USC and later attended a Ivy when I moved back to the East Coast. In retrospect for me I would have dropped and returned to East Coast All USC alumni are in Southern Cal. Outside of that area there is no reason to be a SC alum. Outside they are known for football not much more. There are some good schools (example:Cinema)but overall there are better values. I also attended UCLA and think it is a better value. Sorry SC I know you are working hard but still have a long way to go.
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The University of Southern California
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