right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Many schools have delayed their deadlines for enrollment due to COVID-19. Check out our exclusive directory of extended deadlines we know about right now.
STUDENT GUEST OF THE WEEK: Ethan is a burgeoning tech enthusiast who got accepted into Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Duke, Brown. This week he's answering your questions on how to best craft your application and narrow down your college search/decision process. ASK HIM ANYTHING!
Concerned about how to pay for college amid COVID-19 economic changes? Join us for a webinar on Thu, Apr. 9 at 5pm ET. REGISTER NOW and let us know what questions you have and want answered.

USC tuition free for families who make less than 80K

CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 1116 replies107 threads Senior Member
This is a smart step to get attention away from scandals and remedy loss of applicants due to negative publicity.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-02-20/usc-financial-aid-expansion-free-tuition-families-home-equity?_amp=true
edited February 20
17 replies
Post edited by skieurope on
· Reply · Share

Replies to: USC tuition free for families who make less than 80K

  • MWolfMWolf 2206 replies14 threads Senior Member
    I don't know whether there were fewer applicants this year, but their yield last year was slightly down. However, even if the number of applicants hasn't dropped, USC is in desperate need of having their name in the headlines for a reason which wasn't connected to a scandal.

    I also think that this particular move was chosen because the most recent scandal was about how under-qualified wealthy applicants were bribing their way into USC. That is exactly the type of scandal which reminded people that USC's nickname was "University of Spoiled Children".
    · Reply · Share
  • amsunshineamsunshine 855 replies8 threads Member
    I do believe their application numbers were slightly down this year, but can't recall where I read that. It didn't strike me as a hugely significant decrease, however.
    · Reply · Share
  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 1116 replies107 threads Senior Member
    edited February 20
    What’s going on there?

    “Goldstein Investigation: 9 USC Students Die In Single Semester, 3 From Accidental Fentanyl Overdoses”

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/losangeles.cbslocal.com/2020/02/19/david-goldstein-usc-fentanyl-deaths/amp/
    edited February 20
    · Reply · Share
  • simba9simba9 3296 replies20 threads Senior Member
    edited February 20
    USC has long wanted to get itself into a financial position where it can offer full tuition to students from lower-income families, as schools like Harvard and Stanford do. That was one of the goals of its $6 billion endowment drive. I suspect the timing of the announcement has something to do with the recent scandals, but the idea of free tuition isn't something USC just came up with as a PR move.

    Also, USC's application numbers were about 64,000 in 2018 and 66,000 in 2019.
    edited February 20
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 81216 replies729 threads Senior Member
    Perhaps they are losing too many California resident applicants or admits to UCs? Or applicants or admits generally to other private schools with better FA? USC claims to "meet need", but its FA historically has not been as good as that of other "meet need" private schools or UCLA for California residents, based on net price calculator checks.
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 81216 replies729 threads Senior Member
    MWolf wrote: »
    I also think that this particular move was chosen because the most recent scandal was about how under-qualified wealthy applicants were bribing their way into USC. That is exactly the type of scandal which reminded people that USC's nickname was "University of Spoiled Children".

    The Singer scandal presumably revived those old stereotypes, but USC in recent years has had a relatively high percentage of Pell Grant students compared to other USNWR top 25 private universities, so even though it does have a lot of students from wealth, it is less exclusively a college for the scions of wealth than other highly selective private universities.

    https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities/economic-diversity-among-top-ranked-schools
    · Reply · Share
  • HiToWaMomHiToWaMom 1453 replies18 threads Senior Member
    I hope they will support over and beyond the tuition and fees. If your family income is below $80,000, room and board are still too expensive to cover.
    · Reply · Share
  • MWolfMWolf 2206 replies14 threads Senior Member
    edited February 21
    @ucbalumnus It's not that they deserve the stereotype anymore, but they're still working at distancing themselves from that reputation, so they probably feel the need to take PR steps that the other colleges involved in the scandal did not feel were necessary.

    @simba9 I don't know about this being a long-term goal. The new president just started there last July, and replaced an interim president who was appointed in August 2018. The previous president's main aim was to raise the academic and research profile of USC (something at which he was unbelievably successful). The philosophy of USC during that time was to provide merit-based scholarships to high performing low-income applicants.

    Moving to full support to all kids who are accepted whose families make less than $80,000 is not only to combat the "rich kids U" reputation, but to combat the idea that USC is not an academically "elite" college, since "full need met" is a sign of an "elite" college in the USA today. It announces that the college believes that any student it accepts is good enough, that USC will make sure that they will be able to afford to attend.

    Based on what I read about Nikias, it would seem to me that he would have expanded the number and amounts of merit aid to low income students, which is why I think that it is relatively new. Moreover, under Nikias, USC had been extremely successful at recruiting high achieving low income students, compared to other "elite" colleges, so I'm not sure that he would have pushed to change the way that low income students were supported.

    In fact, under the previous process for recruiting low income students, they have been more successful than most other "elite" colleges, including all of the "full ride for under XXX income" ones. Only UCLA and UCB have higher proportions of students with Pell grants than USC.
    edited February 21
    · Reply · Share
  • simba9simba9 3296 replies20 threads Senior Member
    edited February 21
    @ucbalumnus, USC has long wanted to be at the point where it could compete for the same pool of students as Harvard and Stanford, and to do that USC needed to be able to offer free tuition to low-income students, just like Harvard and Stanford do.

    The reason USC couldn't do that earlier was because it didn't have the endowment money to cover the costs. The best it could do was offer a small number of full-tuition merit scholarships, and a larger number of partial scholarships. But even after receiving the partial scholarships, many excellent students still couldn't afford to go to USC. USC started a $6 billion fund-raising drive several years ago, and now it's raised enough money to be able to offer free tuition.
    edited February 21
    · Reply · Share
  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 1116 replies107 threads Senior Member
    If you google USC scandals, it seems they are always facing one or the other.
    · Reply · Share
  • MWolfMWolf 2206 replies14 threads Senior Member
    @simba9 I don't know - with their previous system they still have a much higher percent of low income students than either Harvard or Stanford, so I'm not sure how this will help them.

    PS. I think that you were responding to my comment me, not @ucbalumnus's
    · Reply · Share
  • simba9simba9 3296 replies20 threads Senior Member
    edited February 22
  • CalDreaminCalDreamin 73 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Needs-met, and no-loan (or low loan), schools are not limited to Stanford and Harvard anymore either. It's a growing group of schools and it's high time USC moved towards it. Kudos to them. We had decent need and my oldest, who was a Presidential Scholar, chose a different university which was markedly cheaper (after FA) even though it offered only needs-based aid.

    Bowdoin, Wash U, Vanderbilt, Duke, the ivies, Rice, Amhert, Colby, U Chicago etc al are generous at meeting need with no or low (student only, not parent) loans. It's nice to see USC move in that direction for lower-income families.
    · Reply · Share
  • Justme2024Justme2024 2 replies0 threads New Member
    That's wonderful!
    · Reply · Share
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom 12691 replies551 threads Senior Member
    edited February 24
    "This is a smart step to get attention away from scandals and remedy loss of applicants due to negative publicity."
    That is not why this decision was made.
    USC had reached its 6 billion $$ goal quite a while ago and could have afforded to expand the reach of the FA program before now. Simba was correct to say it was a long time goal.
    The change to FA awards was in the works for quite a while. But those in charge of FA could not get final approval from Nikias.
    The fact that it is finally happening is a direct result of USC having a new President who made the decision to make the change.
    edited February 24
    · Reply · Share
  • sushirittosushiritto 4985 replies18 threads Senior Member
    edited February 24
    The annoucement that USC hit its $6 Billion dollar goal was almost 3 years ago, Summer of 2017 when this article was published.

    https://news.usc.edu/trojan-family/the-campaign-for-usc-hits-6-billion-and-keeps-on-going/

    In March 2019, the admissions scandal went public.

    In November 2019 the news that 4 of 9 student deaths during the Fall semester were/are suspected overdoses:

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/14/us/california-usc-student-deaths/index.html

    edited February 24
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity