While it's true that having someone who couldn't succeed at Cooley buy their way into Harvard might not work, I think most people who could gain acceptance into lower Tier 1 schools would probably do fine at T14, even if they're near the bottom, as their options would still be more going to Harvard than if they'd gone to Loyola or something.
Yes about the area around there not being great(I've lived at SC for 20 years), but random people unconnected to the gangs are unlikely to ever deal with that stuff. Student housing is fine, and you're in the greater LA area which has a lot to do.
And yes, I'd much rather be in the murder capital of LA, which is part of the US, than the murder capital of the US. =P
I'd pick USC, simply because they actually seem to care about members of the "Trojan Family." I understand it's a lot less fierce than some schools, and even though USC is in South Central, do you really want to live in the murder capital of the US?
Sorry to hijack, but I changed mine to Feb because I actually want to take in June, but I don't want to cancel or pay the full price again. I can move from Feb to June, right? And if I cancel before the test, does it show up as canceled, the same as if I'd taken it and canceled it? Oy.