University of Southern California President Carol L. Folt announced two new policies to make a USC undergraduate education more affordable for those who may not ordinarily meet the financial constraints of the university: families with an annual income of $80,000 or less will attend USC tuition-free and owning a home will not be counted in the calculation used to determine a student’s financial need.
These new actions will start with first-year students who will enter USC in the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021.
“We’re opening the door wider to make a USC education possible for talented students from all walks of life,” said Folt in a written statement, who has promised to make access and affordability a priority since she became president. “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.”
These changes will allow the university to provide more viable opportunities for low- and middle-income students both in California and throughout the United States. Eligible students who apply will receive up to $45,000 more aid during their undergraduate studies.
“Financial barriers should not be a deal-breaker for students with the merit and motivation to attend a top-tier research university like USC,” said Undergraduate Student Government President Trenton Stone. “This plan will help make our incredible university community more accessible to a wider range of individuals from diverse financial, geographical, and cultural backgrounds.”
As part of this new expansion, USC will increase undergraduate aid by more than $30 million annually, which will allow the university to provide stronger financial assistance to more than 4,000 students every year once the program is in full effect. It is anticipated that approximately one-third of the fall 2020 and spring 2021 entering class will benefit from this increase in financial assistance.
“USC is committed to educating the strongest minds, independent of background or ability to pay. For decades, USC has invested in this commitment,” provost Charles Zukoski said. “With this new initiative, we will be even better positioned to recruit students from all backgrounds and strengthen the USC experience for everyone.”