Are you planning on applying for admission to USC this coming year? If so, you might want to check out this article in “The Daily Trojan” by Rachel Bracker. The article outlines how USC can establish itself among the Ivy League elites. In fact, the article is even entitled, “USC should pursue an Ivy League brand.” If imitation is the best form of flattery, well, it’s quite cute that USC wants to be thought of like we think of Ivy League institutions. Unfortunately, Ms. Bracker, your university will never be an Ivy League school. But you know that. The Ivy League consists of eight colleges in the northeastern United States. The league was founded as a football league. And while there are universities that have the prestige of some Ivy League schools but simply aren’t members, schools like MIT, Stanford, Caltech, Duke, Northwestern, Amherst, and Williams, USC — while certainly a good school that is significantly improving its academic reputation over these past few years — is not among them.
Writes Ms. Bracker, “Indeed, changes in the university’s academic selectivity and output over the last few decades have already launched USC toward a more Ivy-like reputation. Most notable has been USC’s rise in national college rankings, a change that is essential in transforming any university.” She goes on to write, “USC’s rise in national and world university rankings grants a certain prestige that the Ivies hold in our culture. At least in rankings, being more like an Ivy has tangible benefits for improving the caliber of applicants.” Oy vey, Ms. Bracker. You shouldn’t wish your university is something that it’s never going to be. You go to a great university — one of the finest in our nation. Is it one of our nation’s very top schools? No. Top ten? No. Top twenty? Maybe so.
Accept what school you go to and be proud of your university. You go to a great school, one with one of the best football teams in the land in beautiful, sunny Los Angeles. Own who you are. Don’t try to be another university. Don’t try to be an Ivy League university. The University of Southern California will never be an Ivy League university. It’s not even the best school in the greater Los Angeles area. That distinction belongs to Caltech in Pasadena, California. So get over it.
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