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USC touts diversity of incoming freshman class

9/28/2011, 8:31 a.m.

LOS ANGELES, Calif.--The incoming freshman class at the University of Southern California is the most diverse in the university's history, the school reported today.

Of 2,931 entering undergraduates, 25 percent are Asian, 12 percent Hispanic, 7 percent Black and 2 percent Native American or Pacific Islander, according to USC.

The university also reported that the entering class is the most upwardly mobile of any it has accepted. About 14 percent of incoming freshman are the first in their families to attend a university.

"We couldn't be more pleased with this year's class of incoming Trojans," USC Dean of Admissions Timothy Brunold said. "Not only are these students incredibly talented, both inside and outside the classroom, but they are a more diverse group by all measures--ethnically, geographically and socially."

The majority of students in the freshman class are from outside California. Thirty-seven percent are from other states--mainly Texas, Washington, New York, Illinois, Florida and Massachusetts--and 15 percent are international students, according to USC.

USC received 37,210 applications for 2,931 spots. The school admitted more than 8,500 students for an admissions rate of 23 percent.

The university touted the caliber of the incoming class. More than 90 percent of incoming freshman were in the top 10 percent of their graduating classes, and about 10 percent were valedictorians. The group's average GPA was 3.72.

The estimated annual cost of attending USC, including attendance, room, books and other expenses, is $57,876.

More than 60 percent of the entering class received need-based financial aid, and 23 percent received a merit-based scholarship, according to USC.