We had to make that decision two years ago. Not only was UVA our in-state school, but we also had the prepaid tuition plan, so it certainly was the $120,000 question. We chose USC because my son was accepted into the film school. Had he not been accepted it would have been a tough choice. Actually, he probably would have wound up at UNC where both his mother and I went to grad school.
USC is a great place, and my son is very happy there, but it is not $120,000 greater than UVA unless you're going to one of USC's world class programs. UVA is right now a better overall school than USC especially for the price. But considering how the state is starving its academic institutions, and USC's determination to climb the academic ladder, who knows in five to ten years from now which school will be better.