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As the oldest kid in an immigrant family, I could not receive much help from my parents when I was applying for colleges. Neither my parents nor I knew anything about colleges in the U.S.. I had to rely solely on information from the internet and what I heard from people around me. I came across USC Viterbi and the Viterbi Voices website in junior year of high school, when I was looking for schools with civil engineering programs. As I went through research articles, student blogs, and YouTube videos, I learned so much about Viterbi and fell in love.


Academics, Financial Support, and Student Life

What I loved about Viterbi was the opportunities offered there. If students wanted to, they could easily become involved with research, take elective classes that interested them, and join organizations that would strengthen their skill sets. I believed those opportunities would help me become an engineer that would shape a better world. It was also attractive that students could also switch majors very easily, if they decided that the major they are pursuing is not for them. In fact, I have switched majors twice in one semester that I have been at USC!

Another important key factor was the merit scholarship. My family’s unique financial situation made it difficult for me to receive financial aid, so I had to look for a school that offered merit scholarships. In addition to USC’s merit scholarship, Viterbi offers the Viterbi Fellow program. As a Viterbi fellow, the school pays you to do research, which helps both you and your research advisor. Not only do they offer financial support, but also provide enriching academic experience.

On top of it, students seemed to genuinely love what they were doing. Many say the workload at Viterbi is worth it because they enjoy their classes and extracurriculars. As a high school student, I admired that lifestyle. I wanted to have the college experience that they were having.



By the time I was applying to colleges, USC had become my definite first choice. When I was admitted, my dream of attending USC became a reality. Even if it’s online, I feel very lucky to be able to live the college experience I wished for. If you are a prospective student considering applying, then I hope this blog helps you make a decision.

Namiha Yasuda