USC to Offer Free Tuition to Students of Families Making Under $80,000 a Year

The University of Southern California has just created two new policies to make education more affordable for students. On Thursday, the Los Angeles-based college announced plans to provide free tuition for incoming freshmen whose family income...

USC to Offer Free Tuition to Students of Families Making Under $80,000 a Year

The University of Southern California has just created two new policies to make education more affordable for students.

On Thursday, the Los Angeles-based college announced plans to provide free tuition for incoming freshmen whose family income is less than $80,000 a year. The financial break will go into effect for first-year undergraduates enrolled in the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters and continue with each new entering class.

Owning a home will also no longer be factored into the calculation when determining a student’s financial need to aid “families who are finding it increasingly difficult to pay the rising costs of a college education,” according to a press release.

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“We’re opening the door wider to make a USC education possible for talented students from all walks of life,” USC president Carol L. Folt said in a statement.

“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. Investing in the talent and diversity of our student body is essential to our educational mission.”

The university, founded in 1880, hopes the expansion will result in more need-based financial aid for students with varying household incomes. The new policies will increase undergraduate aid by more than $30 million annually and help over 4,000 students every year once fully implemented, according to USC.

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Annual tuition at USC for full-time students currently stands at $57,256 before school fees and the cost of housing and books, according to the school’s website.

USC says it has expanded need-based grant funding by more than 60 percent since 2010, with two-thirds of its undergraduates receiving some form of financial aid.

“USC is committed to educating the strongest minds, independent of background or ability to pay. For decades, USC has invested in this commitment,” USC Provost Charles F. Zukoski said in a statement. “With this new initiative, we will be even better positioned to recruit students from all backgrounds and strengthen the USC experience for everyone.”