Market Overview

USC Offers Free Tuition For Families Earning $80K Or Less

USC Offers Free Tuition For Families Earning $80K Or Less

For a host of families nationwide, an education at the University of Southern California will now come at the low, low price of “free.”

USC announced this week its “Affordability [af·ford·a·bil·i·ty] Initiative.” The goal? Provide a world-class education to students, regardless of their family’s financial situation or ability to pay.

What Is USC’s Affordability Initiative?

According to USC’s financial aid site:

  • Families making $80,000 or less, in a calendar year, will attend USC tuition-free.
  • Home ownership is no longer something used to determine a student’s financial need

One Less Hurdle Toward A College Degree

So what does it take to get an undergraduate education from USC, an institution ranked 22nd on US News and World Report’s list of best colleges for 2020 and regarded as one of the most selective schools in the world?

  • An awesome GPA: for accepted students, the average GPA falls at a 3.76
  • An outstanding test score: for accepted students, the 25th-75th percentile ACT score falls at 30-34
  • Like many of the nation’s most-selective universities ask for: a well-rounded portfolio of extra-curricular and volunteer activities through the conclusion of high school

All of these facts and figures sum to a 13% acceptance rate, according to US News.

Numbers Never Lie

For the 2019-2020 academic year, attending USC meant facing a tuition bill of $58,000 and room and board rate of $16,000. A bill of $74,000 was what stood in the way of numerous admitted students who couldn’t.

In other words, over the course of four years at USC, a family could expect a total cost of attendance of $296,000, less any financial aid USC or government or non-government student loans could provide.

Thoughts From USC’s President

As much as free tuition sounds only like what would be possible in Hollywood’s next picturesque [ pik-chuh-resk ] masterpiece, the impact reducing tuition has for students is very serious to University President Carol Folt and staff.

“We really want this to be an institution where great students can attend regardless of their financial background,” Folt stressed in an interview regarding tuition policy. “Education should be the great bridge across income that really is the equalizer and makes our talented, hardworking students able to make real contributions.”

Folt reiterated USC’s determined mindset toward making college affordable for families worldwide, stating how one’s finances cannot be a barrier to entry toward academic endeavors.

"This significant step we are taking today is by no means the end of our affordability journey. We are committed to increasing USC’s population of innovators, leaders and creators regardless of their financial circumstances," Folt said in Thursday’s news release.

Photo credit: Bobak Ha'Eri, Wikimedia


Related Articles

View Comments and Join the Discussion!

Posted-In: USCEducation General Best of Benzinga