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USC was my dream school, and getting accepted was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the USC campus before the 2020 lockdown; many of my classmates who graduated in 2021 had their first visit to campus the day we moved in to our freshman dorms. I fell in love with the campus the moment I stepped on. The buildings, trees, schools, professors, everything seemed just so perfect, and so geared towards me. Apart from the general beauty and awe of USC and its facilities, there are a few very specific reasons why I ultimately decided to attend USC over other schools I was considering, like Carnegie Mellon, WashU, and UC San Diego.

  • Weather: to me this was an incredibly important factor. I grew up in the midwest, so I knew that cold weather and snow would be my worst nightmare in college; seasonal depression is very real, and I didn’t want to experience those highs and lows anymore. SoCal is ideal weather, so I was very very excited.
  • Environmental engineering major: this was something else that caught my eye. Not many schools have an accredited environmental engineering program and major like USC does. A lot of schools have a civil engineering school where a civil with an environmental focus major is as close as you can get. The professors are all so accomplished, and they were doing the work that I wanted to do. I was so excited at this prospect, and it definitely outweighed the other schools.
  • Research: Speaking of professors, do your homework!! I knew the professors’ research labs and which ones were most interesting to me! This was another reason why I was so excited to go to USC.
  • People: USC has such an incredible student body and alumni network, and while this may not have been something I knew before I got here, it was a reason I stayed at USC. I love my classmates, friends, major cohort, future roommates, and so much more. The community and events and resources USC has is amazing, and it astounds me every time. The atmosphere of Viterbi is collaborative and noncompetitive and made me want to stay at USC.
  • Scholarship and Financial Aid: USC has a good financial aid program and generous merit based scholarships as well, and this was also a major part of the decision making process. Financial considerations are very important, so it was nice to have USC give me the tools I needed to be able to attend this school!

This is a short list of the greatest factors in my choosing in USC, and staying here as well. If you are an accepted student for the class of 2027, congratulations!! You have the first step done already! I hope you decide to come here! We are so excited to see you grow and your incredible futures. The Trojan Family welcomes you!

This is me (left) with my friends after walking at graduation!! Class of 2021 <3

Vidya Iyer

MAJOR: Environmental Engineering YEAR: Class of 2025 HOMETOWN: Des Moines, Iowa PRONOUNS: they/them/theirs Outside of VSA, I am a co-Lead Organizer for Student Coalition for Asian Pacific Empowerment, volunteer at the LGBTQ+ student center, and I participate in activism across USC and LA! I'm looking to get into research this year as well, hopefully in water quality or CO2 recycling.