How Does USC Free Tuition Work?

I know nothing about finances and have yet to fill out my fafsa, so I have quick question about USC’s free tuition thing that they started this year:

So, my dad makes about 86k a year, but after taxes and stuff it is 69k. USC says they gave free tuition to those who makes under 80k. So, do they base that off of total income (before taxes and stuff), or adjusted gross income.

I’m applying to usc and if (by some miracle) I get in, I just want to know what I should hypothetically expect my financial aid to look like.

Adjusted gross income most likely… which is still before deductions. Taxable income is the lower #, but I suspect they mean adjusted gross income. But, USC is rather generous with financial aid regardless. They do of course take into consideration other factors, like total assets, etc.

Good luck…

What does your mother earn? What assets does your family own other than your primary residence?

@TomSrOfBoston Unfortunately, she is deceased. Also, we don’t really own any other assets. We just live in mediocre apartment (the town we live in is quite expensive).

@ssessoms21 I would suggest calling USC financial aid to understand what is taken into consideration and discuss your situation. They are super helpful and you will know better where you stand. There were several disappointed posters this year because they thought it was simply income that was evaluated.

You do realize that Tuition does not include room and board?

California real estate is expensive, so housing costs along with meals, transportation, health and school fees add up.

Run the Net Price Calculator (NPC) to get an estimated cost of attendance. Covid 19 has affected a lot of schools’ budgets, so they may have to scale back what they can offer.

Just an FYI if you do call financial aid, the phone wait times are very long - often over 30 min.