West Ranch Grad part of ‘highest achieving’ USC freshman class

Jorge Campos Franco, a West Ranch High School graduate, is now a Trustee Scholar studying human biology at University of Southern California (USC). Courtesy of USC

Jorge Campos Franco is one of 3,559 students who make up the most diverse and highest achieving class in University of Southern California’s (USC) history.

The class of 2021 includes at least one student from all 50 states and 452 students from 46 other countries.  A majority of the students come from California, 41 percent, followed by New York, 3.5 percent and Texas, 3.1 percent.

This class is also the most diverse with 16.7 percent of students who are first-generation college students and two-third of students who are students of color.

“We’re not only increasing our academic metrics, we’re also increasing our number of underrepresented minority students,” said Timothy Brunold, dean of admission, in a statement.

The 3,559 students also have the highest average scores in history with students scoring in the 96th percentile and having an average unweighted 3.76 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

Campos Franco—who was named a Milken Scholar earlier this year—is one of these high-achieving students.  The West Ranch graduate was selected as a Trustee Scholar, giving him a full ride to the university.

“USC was always my dream school,” Campos Franco said.  “I feel like I wasn’t too surprised getting in, but I was surprised when I was offered the full tuition scholarship that they gave me.”

As part of the Trustee Scholars program, Campos Franco lives in the new McCarthy Honors College at USC Village.

“It’s really cool because we’re away from main campus and we’re all high achieving,” Campos Franco said.  “We all bounce ideas off each other and we’re all involved… It motivates me more.”

For Campos Franco, another draw to the university was its connection to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

“My sister had a brain tumor when she was 8 and we were at the Children’s Hospital and the neurosurgeon that operated on her did his residency at USC,” he said.  “Children’s Hospital is really affiliated with USC and is branded all over the hospital so being there at a young age I knew USC was a great institution and that’s where my interest stemmed from.”

Now, Campos Franco is on the pre-med track, studying human biology as he works toward his career as a neurosurgeon.

“I want to go to a top-notch Ivy League medical school,” he said.  “I feel like USC undergrad could get me there, the resources are insane and are pretty awesome.”

But for now, Campos Franco is enjoying the independence and community he found at his college of choice.

“I really feel like most people will say this but the independence is really cool and always wanting to study,” he said.  “It’s really fun, working, doing homework, studying with everyone.”

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