What's the deal with USC?

(Where, When and What Did You Think)
thruruby
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:14 pm

What's the deal with USC?

Postby thruruby » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:33 pm

Just wondering if anyone has actually done in-depth research about the area/already lives there.
1) Is the area around USC scary?
2)What is rent like around USC for a 2 bedroom place? Parking?
3) How many people commute? Is this a major hassle? (I'm thinking about living in Santa Monica or El Segundo... any tips?)
Last edited by thruruby on Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

leron
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:22 pm

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby leron » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:35 pm

1. the general area around usc is horrible - the worst part of la. usc itself is nice.
3. commuting is a major hassle. if you live in santa monica or el segundo it will take you about 1 hour to commute each way during rush hour. i think a lot of usc students live in downtown la which isn't nearly as bad as a commute and lots of nice apartments have opened up lately.

thruruby
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:14 pm

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby thruruby » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:43 pm

leron wrote: if you live in santa monica or el segundo it will take you about 1 hour to commute each way during rush hour.

uhg
Last edited by thruruby on Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

leron
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:22 pm

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby leron » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:46 pm

it would be 18 minutes if there was magically no traffic. this is never the case. i remember when i first moved here and was telling people how shocked i was that it took 1 hour to drive to downtown from santa monica. people would be like, well, it is 10 miles. you get used to it when you live here. just plan your life around the traffic.

User avatar
cardinalandgold
Posts: 554
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:00 pm

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby cardinalandgold » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:52 pm

1) USC's actual campus is beautiful and generally pretty safe, but the surrounding neighborhoods around USC can be dangerous. I do think people exagerate how bad the area surrounding USC is. Granted its not as nice as Westwood, but during my 4 years at 'SC I did not encounter any problems with crime. The key is to use your best judgement and avoid situations that may make you a target (i.e. walking around alone late at night with an ipod out), but that advice holds true in any major metropolitan city. USC also runs several trams that have routes that drop students off at most of the popular off-campus housing buildings. There is also a free campus taxi service that can take you anywhere close around campus.

3) I would also urge you to avoid the commute if at all possible. The LA traffic is horrendous. It can often times take an hour to get somewhere that would normally take 10 mins without traffic. Staying close would make things easier, though it can be hard to find decent student housing around USC that is also affordable since a lot of the surrounding student housing is owned by one management company. My advice is start early, and get room mates if at all possible to minimize the cost.

Good luck!

leron
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:22 pm

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby leron » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:56 pm

i agree with everything that cardinal says, but it's no exaggeration - usc is in the worst neighborhood in la. like he says, use your judgement and you will be fine.

samcortina
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:07 pm

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby samcortina » Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:43 pm

cardinalandgold wrote:1) USC's actual campus is beautiful and generally pretty safe, but the surrounding neighborhoods around USC can be dangerous. I do think people exagerate how bad the area surrounding USC is. Granted its not as nice as Westwood, but during my 4 years at 'SC I did not encounter any problems with crime. The key is to use your best judgement and avoid situations that may make you a target (i.e. walking around alone late at night with an ipod out), but that advice holds true in any major metropolitan city. USC also runs several trams that have routes that drop students off at most of the popular off-campus housing buildings. There is also a free campus taxi service that can take you anywhere close around campus.

3) I would also urge you to avoid the commute if at all possible. The LA traffic is horrendous. It can often times take an hour to get somewhere that would normally take 10 mins without traffic. Staying close would make things easier, though it can be hard to find decent student housing around USC that is also affordable since a lot of the surrounding student housing is owned by one management company. My advice is start early, and get room mates if at all possible to minimize the cost.

Good luck!


USC is in a horrible neighborhood. In the first semester alone this year there was already a student murdered (stabbed) and a girl was raped. I also have a friend who was stabbed there as well. Yes, you should not be dumb and walk around at night alone... but it is still in a place where shitty things happen even to smart people who are safe. The campus itself is guarded and enclosed by gates... but you aren't going to be living inside the campus.

trojan
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:22 am

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby trojan » Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:43 am

pshhh, its not the worst neighborhood in LA. I have made some wrong turns in other areas and been in much worse spots. The truth is, it is a historic district and used to be a very nice part. Ya, its kind of sketchy in some parts now, but the recent crimes have spurred the university to make some major improvements to security, etc...
I think its all part of the experience of USC personally. I dont know when in life I would ever experience this other than now. And dare I say that it is motivational at times when I look out the window???
But ya, you really do just have to use good judgment. Its an amazing place though, the campus. There is no place I would rather be for undergrad.....

User avatar
h_frog_88
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 4:00 pm

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby h_frog_88 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:47 am

The worst part of la is further south, and further west. Commuting can be a drag (took me 45 min last night to go 1.8 miles.) But it can be avoided if you plan accordingly. Furthermore, I was walking on campus yesterday and people were bbqing and playing frisbee, it was low 70s. That is a selling point enough for me.

papercranes
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:06 am

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby papercranes » Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:19 am

1) I am a small girl and go to USC. Have never once worried about my safety but DO pick the good parking garage if you come here.

2) varies. My place is on the pricier side but you can live in Culver City (15-30 minute commute) for like 700-800 per person in a 2-bed. Downtown is SUPER close. my commute is 6 minutes door to door.

3) most people commute. fact of life in LA. I really don't mind it to be honest.

User avatar
Amplified
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:09 am

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby Amplified » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:42 pm

USC is full of good looking small girls, if they can survive, I'm sure you can also.

mwazaumoja
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:40 pm

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby mwazaumoja » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:30 pm

I'm curious when people say 'bad' what their politically correct language is covering up.

I grew up around Newark, NJ and if anyone has been there would you say it was the same or different?

Is the area really all that impoverished, or are their just a few shady characters who hang out around liquor stores?

Is the neighborhood mostly black/hispanic/asian/white etc?

I don't mean to start any conflict, I'm really just curious.

leron
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:22 pm

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby leron » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:34 pm

we're not being politically correct at all. it's impoverished and there are shady characters hanging around liquor stores. it's mostly black and hispanic, but that's completely besides the point. beverly hills is mostly white and it's rich. but it's not the white part that makes it a nice neighborhood. it's the beverly hills part.

parisienne
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:08 pm

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby parisienne » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:42 pm

i lived 1 block from the usc campus a few summers ago and commuted to downtown LA for work.

i always had a friend pick me up if i was leaving my apt after dark. during the day, i never felt unsafe walking around..

there was a shooting in the ralphs a couple blocks from my apt. scary.

just be smart and take escort service after dark..

maxima099
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:00 pm

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby maxima099 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:27 pm

parisienne wrote:i lived 1 block from the usc campus a few summers ago and commuted to downtown LA for work.

i always had a friend pick me up if i was leaving my apt after dark. during the day, i never felt unsafe walking around..

there was a shooting in the ralphs a couple blocks from my apt. scary.

just be smart and take escort service after dark..


Oh man - how the hell am i supposed to afford an escort every night? Those bitches are expensive.

TrojanBadger
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:42 pm

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby TrojanBadger » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:39 pm

The area around USC is mostly just "not nice." It can be dangerous, sure, but you can insulate yourself from a lot of risk. The guy who was murdered was arguing drunkenly with a local--the girl who was raped was walking alone at night. Obviously I don't mean to imply in the slightest bit that either of them "deserved" it--what happened to them was horrible and unforgivable, and 100% on their perpetrators. That being said, they are not necessarily examples of why the campus area is dangerous, since they did not take many precautions most take. The service that drives people home late at night--Campus Cruiser--just expanded and wait times are very low now.

Rent is expensive. I have a 1BR with a roommate a ten minute walk from campus for $725/person/month. Most student housing is north and west of campus (probably more UG north, more grad NW and W).

thruruby
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:14 pm

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby thruruby » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:50 am

.
Last edited by thruruby on Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Amplified
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:09 am

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby Amplified » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:00 pm

You'll be fine.

User avatar
GOB Bluth
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:22 pm

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby GOB Bluth » Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:30 am

I gotta visit USC and UCLA and see this for myself. Talk about a split opinion

funbox
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:26 am

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby funbox » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:06 pm

GOB Bluth wrote:I gotta visit USC and UCLA and see this for myself. Talk about a split opinion

Franklin has your back.

User avatar
OutofBako
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:15 am

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby OutofBako » Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:41 am

I just used Megan's law website to assess the danger around USC. It's very BLUE. I suggest all females, might be good for the guys too, to use this site if you plan on moving to CA. Put in the address to find out where you are moving into. For those of you that are not familiar with this, google Megan's law. You type in an address and you are able to view all of the registered sex offenders, their pictures (not always available), statistics, and crimes convicted of. I'm not saying that these people will certainly do it again, but I think most people would sleep better knowing the person two apartments down isn't a convicted rapist. Zip code for USC is 90089.

DomerDan
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:30 pm

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby DomerDan » Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:31 pm

funbox wrote:
GOB Bluth wrote:I gotta visit USC and UCLA and see this for myself. Talk about a split opinion

Franklin has your back.



Dude went through the washer, remember? He's white and has a GingerFro now.

seattlite
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:53 pm

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby seattlite » Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:23 pm

Having lived in Southern CA most of my life and having commuted to USC for grad school at night, I would generally agree that commuting stinks. I know whereof I speak because I used to commute 3+ hours to undergrad at UCLA from Orange County and I also commuted 1 hour from Orange County to USC for grad school.

*BUT* - and this is a really important but - the commute from the South Bay (e.g. El Segundo area or, better yet, the surrounding beach areas - Manhattan Beach / Hermosa Beach / Redondo Beach) is not bad at all! IMHO, the commute is way better than even living in the West LA (read: UCLA and Santa Monica areas) because the 105 freeway is so-o-o-o-o-o much more convenient to getting to downtown LA than the the 405 freeway, the 10 freeway, or the 5 freeway. The 405 freeway is the worst freeway ever in terms of traffic IMHO!

So, I completely disagree that it will take 1 hour to get to USC from the South Bay area. It will be closer to 20-30 minutes (I used to commute that way when I worked in downtown LA and that is what it took me). Manhattan Beach / Hermosa Beach / Redondo Beach are all really nice areas where a lot of young professionals live, and they are physically cooler during the summer and really all year round because of the ocean breeze.

As for the area around USC, it is not very good. I have heard that there has been a lot of gentrification going on around the area though so it might have improved since I went there in the late 1990s, but if it were me, I would likely live in the South Bay.

Personally, I would NOT recommend living in downtown LA because the area is only marginally better than USC (they used to lock the hotels downtown so that you had to have a card key to get in because they had such a problem with crime), parking stinks and is uber-expensive, public transportation is not that great (it is LA, what can you expect, right?), it is significantly hotter (esp during the summer) than the beach areas - which are only 10 miles away, and there is more to do and more young professionals living in other areas (e.g. the South Bay area).

If I were you, I would not let the area around the campus scare you off. USC is a great law school and the campus itself is very nice and very safe. Just make sure that your car doors are locked (even when you are driving...they have carjackings a lot in LA...or at least they used to when I lived there 10 years ago) and be smart in the way you operate / function in your daily life. LA is a big city and the same type of crime that goes on in NY, Boston, Chicago, and Miami goes on in LA so you just need to be aware of your surroundings.

I found my MBA experience at USC to be FANTASTIC! I am a small girl too who used to drive by herself to USC and often leave campus at 11pm (after classes were over and after I had talked with classmates and professors). As long as you are smart (e.g. have enough gas to go home or if you think you might run out of gas and there are no safe and / or open gas stations to go to at night in the immediate USC area, then take a freeway home...especially one like the 10 freeway which goes through a better part of town than the 105 freeway so that if you do run out of gas, you will be safer running out of gas on the freeway than in a bad part of South Central LA), you will probably be totally fine.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to PM if you have any more questions about USC. :)

User avatar
excitedutterance
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:18 pm

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby excitedutterance » Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:39 pm

seattlite wrote:Having lived in Southern CA most of my life and having commuted to USC for grad school at night, I would generally agree that commuting stinks. I know whereof I speak because I used to commute 3+ hours to undergrad at UCLA from Orange County and I also commuted 1 hour from Orange County to USC for grad school.

*BUT* - and this is a really important but - the commute from the South Bay (e.g. El Segundo area or, better yet, the surrounding beach areas - Manhattan Beach / Hermosa Beach / Redondo Beach) is not bad at all! IMHO, the commute is way better than even living in the West LA (read: UCLA and Santa Monica areas) because the 105 freeway is so-o-o-o-o-o much more convenient to getting to downtown LA than the the 405 freeway, the 10 freeway, or the 5 freeway. The 405 freeway is the worst freeway ever in terms of traffic IMHO!

So, I completely disagree that it will take 1 hour to get to USC from the South Bay area. It will be closer to 20-30 minutes (I used to commute that way when I worked in downtown LA and that is what it took me). Manhattan Beach / Hermosa Beach / Redondo Beach are all really nice areas where a lot of young professionals live, and they are physically cooler during the summer and really all year round because of the ocean breeze.

As for the area around USC, it is not very good. I have heard that there has been a lot of gentrification going on around the area though so it might have improved since I went there in the late 1990s, but if it were me, I would likely live in the South Bay.

Personally, I would NOT recommend living in downtown LA because the area is only marginally better than USC (they used to lock the hotels downtown so that you had to have a card key to get in because they had such a problem with crime), parking stinks and is uber-expensive, public transportation is not that great (it is LA, what can you expect, right?), it is significantly hotter (esp during the summer) than the beach areas - which are only 10 miles away, and there is more to do and more young professionals living in other areas (e.g. the South Bay area).

If I were you, I would not let the area around the campus scare you off. USC is a great law school and the campus itself is very nice and very safe. Just make sure that your car doors are locked (even when you are driving...they have carjackings a lot in LA...or at least they used to when I lived there 10 years ago) and be smart in the way you operate / function in your daily life. LA is a big city and the same type of crime that goes on in NY, Boston, Chicago, and Miami goes on in LA so you just need to be aware of your surroundings.

I found my MBA experience at USC to be FANTASTIC! I am a small girl too who used to drive by herself to USC and often leave campus at 11pm (after classes were over and after I had talked with classmates and professors). As long as you are smart (e.g. have enough gas to go home or if you think you might run out of gas and there are no safe and / or open gas stations to go to at night in the immediate USC area, then take a freeway home...especially one like the 10 freeway which goes through a better part of town than the 105 freeway so that if you do run out of gas, you will be safer running out of gas on the freeway than in a bad part of South Central LA).

Hope this helps. Please feel free to PM if you have any more questions about USC. :)


I've lived at USC for nearly four years, and in my experience it's been absolutely fine. The area isn't the most attractive (anything that isn't an old Victorian was likely built in the '60s and hasn't aged well), but it's fine. Despite its reputation, it's no less safe than virtually anywhere else in LA that doesn't have a guarded gate around it. In fact, my car has been broken into once in Hancock Park, but never in four years around the USC area. My roommates and I feel comfortable walking together around the area at night, and we've never had any problems inside or outside of our apartments--and my roommates are both small ladies. I was told repeatedly before coming to 'SC about what a terrible neighborhood it's in, but in reality those living in the area who aren't USC students are generally decent, hardworking lower-middle-class people. If you ask one of my many fellow students who grew up in Palos Verdes, you'll get a completely different analysis of the area. I suppose it's all about perspective.

As for cost of renting an apartment, I paid $4640 for a three-bedroom 2 years ago, and I'm paying $3000 for a four-bedroom now, so there's a wide range. For a two-bedroom, I'd expect to pay anywhere from $1500 to $2500.

Also, as an alternative (and contrary to what's been said above), downtown is not a bad place at all to live. There are so many attractive new developments in the area that it's gotten much better even in the short time I've lived in LA (I grew up 60 miles away). I know a couple very--what's the nice word for spoiled?--young ladies who live alone downtown in lofts, and they absolutely love it.

Perspective. :D

User avatar
excitedutterance
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:18 pm

Re: What's the deal with USC?

Postby excitedutterance » Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:59 pm

Looking at government statistics (available up to 2007), USC and UCLA are comparable in terms of crime both on campus and in the surrounding areas; in fact, UCLA has had more forcible sex assaults in the surrounding neighborhood than USC. UCLA also has more on-campus car theft and more on- and off-campus burglary.

UCLA
USC

And for the record, anyone who thinks that USC is in the worst neighborhood in LA is clearly not familiar with the various scenic neighborhoods LA has to offer...




Return to “Talk About Law School Visits, Open Houses, Admit Days”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest