The Board of Trustees has approved a 3.9 percent increase in undergraduate tuition for the 2017-2018 academic year, according to a USC press release. The new cost of tuition, $53,448, is up $2,006 from the current price.
According to the statement released by the administration, the USC tuition hike is at a five-year average low, and “reaffirm[s] [USC’s] longstanding commitment to maintain one of the nation’s largest financial aid pools and access for qualified students.”
Even with these increases, the University said that full tuition only covers 78 percent of the total cost of instruction, and the average cost of attendance — which includes housing and fees — covers 57 percent. USC also noted that it has one of the largest financial aid pools in the nation, awarding over $545 million each year from all sources, and that Trojans graduate with less debt on average than students who attend other private universities.
U.S. News and World Report placed USC in the top 10 most expensive tuition rates in the country for the 2016-2017 academic year, with mostly elite liberal arts colleges ranking ahead of it.
“The value of a USC degree keeps getting stronger,” Provost Michael Quick said in the statement. “We want to create a high-touch environment that ensures all students have access to the world’s best faculty, academic programs that prepare them for the 21st century, high-value internships and career services, and an exceptional residential college experience.”
Undergraduate Student Government President-elect Austin Dunn said he saw the news as a step forward for the University, as the administration was forthright about the news of the tuition increase, though the press release only covered the cost of tuition.
“It was quite an accomplishment for us regarding transparency in financial decisions because the press release did provide a few infographics,” Dunn said. “We will be continuing to have quite a few conversations regarding the entire cost of tuition with President Nikias and Provost Quick.”
Olivia Deveau contributed to this report.