|name=University of Southern California
|motto=Palmam qui meruit ferat
|mottoeng=Let whoever earns the palm bear it
|endowment=US $3.3 billion (2011)
The University of Southern California (USC) is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, research university located in Los Angeles, California, United States. USC was founded in 1880, making it California's oldest private research university. USC's development has closely paralleled the growth of Los Angeles, and the university historically has educated a large number of the city's business leaders and professionals. In recent decades, the university has also leveraged its location in Los Angeles to establish relationships with research institutions throughout Asia and the Pacific Rim. Reflecting the status of Los Angeles as a global city, USC has one of the most diverse student bodies of any major research university.USC's four year, full-time undergraduate program enrolled 17,380 undergraduate students in Fall 2010. USC is also home to 19,516 graduate and professional students in a number of different programs, including business, law, social work, and medicine. The university has a "very high" level of research activity and received $463.7 million in sponsored research from 2008 to 2009. USC was named "College of the Year 2000" by the editors of Time and The Princeton Review for the university's extensive community-service programs. In recent years USC has risen usually quickly in various rankings, including the U.S. News survey of U.S. universities, where USC rose from 44th place in 1996 to 23rd place in 2011. USC students hail from 112 countries, and all 50 states in the United States.
USC sponsors a variety of intercollegiate sports and competes in the NCAA Pacific-12 Conference. Members of the sports teams, the Trojans, have won 93 NCAA team championships, ranking them third in the nation, and 361 NCAA individual championships, ranking them second in the nation. Trojan athletes have won 236 medals at the Olympic games.
Twenty-four percent of the entering freshman class received a merit-based scholarship from USC. Over 60 percent received need-based financial assistance. Many received both.