A Perspective on Diversity

The USC undergraduate student body has changed much over the last 20 years. Efforts to enroll talented students from different areas of life have dramatically changed the composition of our campus. The Office of Institutional Research is responsible for reporting demographic and outcomes statistics about the student body. We do this to stay compliant with federal regulations, consumer advocacy groups, accreditation bodies, and rankings organizations; but mostly we do it to promote transparency, accountability, and to help ourselves track the diversity of the student body. The image explores how these categories overlap in the undergraduate degree-seeking student population. The chart looks at diversity from three perspectives:

  • diversity in terms of racial and ethnic assignment,
  • diversity in terms familial circumstance (first-generation college student status), and
  • diversity in terms of economic circumstance (Pell Grant status as a proxy for low-income).

IGEN – First person in the immediate family to attend college. This standing is calculated from The Common Application; neither parent can have earned a 4-year college degree. PELL — is a student receiving at least 1 dollar in Pell grant aid. A Pell grant is a federal grant for undergraduate students with financial need. URM – Underrepresented minority; this status is calculated from IPEDS reporting categories for race/ethnicity. Any student classified as “Black or African American”, “Hispanic”, “American Indian or Alaska Native”, or “Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander” is counted as a URM. Any international student, regardless of race/ethnicity, is not included in the count of URMs. PIM – Any Pell, IGEN, or URM