USC increases tuition by 5% for 2022-23 year

The tuition for the 2022-23 school year will be approximately $63,468 after the USC Board of Trustees approved a 5% increase. 

A statement to faculty and staff on March 29 from President Carol Folt about salary increases read that extra costs from the pandemic amounted to $1.2 billion. The University cited the coronavirus pandemic and resulting inflation as one of the main reasons for the increase. 

“The tuition increase is necessary due to both the magnitude of the financial impact of COVID-19 and persistent inflationary pressures facing our economy,” the statement read. 

USC was named in a class action lawsuit after the University did not give partial tuition refunds after the campus closure because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Essentially, students have paid Defendants for access to buildings they can no longer enter, technology the University is not providing, activities that are not available and meals that will never be served,” the complaint, filed in May 2020, read. “USC is thus profiting from COVID-19 while further burdening students and their families.” 

The University received more than $19 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act after agreeing to the grant in April 2020. 

An open letter to administration from the USC chapter of the American Association of University Professors written in January 2022 called for faculty salary increases that are proportional to the cost of living in Los Angeles. The letter has garnered more than 900 signatures at time of publication.

“We need an annual cost-of-living adjustment, in addition to — not instead of — our ‘merit’  increases,” the letter read. “Given the inflationary trend, which shows no sign of abating, we will fall increasingly behind without it.”

Folt wrote in the March 29 statement that the University intends to invest $700 million into employee benefits, salary increases and market adjustments. USC has put aside $150 million for the first year of the plan. 

“Tuition is the largest source of the university’s academic operating budget, which pays for teaching, student services, facilities and administrative support,” the University statement read. “USC has long kept tuition increases below 5%; the last tuition increase of that size was in 2009 coming out of the Great Recession.”

From 2020 to 2021, the University’s endowment increased from $5,914,358,000 to $8,126,222,000. USC also reached two settlements in 2021 connected to the case of former USC gynecologist George Tyndall for $215 million and $852 million, totalling to over $1 billion in fees.

The University did not announce the tuition increase to the public. 

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that USC’s endowment grew from $5,914,358 to $8,126,222 between 2020 and 2021. USC’s endowment grew from $5,914,358,000 to $8,126,222,000. The Daily Trojan regrets this error.