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USC offered a prevarication. They raised tuition for many more than 3.5%

JohnGaltIIIJohnGaltIII 206 replies13 threads Junior Member
I am in a private online forum with over a hundred parents of USC students who have had their financial aid DECIMATED. On average, the expected contribution was over $10,000 higher even though many had less income coming in due to the pandemic. And this is for an online experience,
edited July 13
9 replies
Post edited by CCEdit_Suraj on
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Replies to: USC offered a prevarication. They raised tuition for many more than 3.5%

  • NJdad07090NJdad07090 624 replies8 threads Member
    It sucks but all you can do is vote with your wallet, take a gap year if possible transfer if again possible or if your a first year go across town to ucla , ok maybe that is asking to much of a USC student.
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 28086 replies210 threads Senior Member
    edited July 7
    USC approved a tuition level of $57,256 for next year, which reflected a 3.5% increase over the prior year. Do you have evidence that they are charging more than that amount? (If not, your headline is incorrect.)

    Edited to add; if you are not feeling the love of your new Trojan Family, try someplace else. I wouldn't be surprised if your kid's second choice would not be amenable to re-accept him/her.

    edited July 7
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 25010 replies20 threads Senior Member
    Did they reduce room and board because students will not be on campus?
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  • WWWardWWWard 3163 replies15 threads Senior Member
    edited July 8
    My daughter's FA Summary lists the Estimated Cost of Attendance as $66,913, with Tuition as $59,260. But they also falsely assumed and defaulted to remote learning.

    Last year, the Estimated Cost of Attendance was $10,546 higher, $77,459, with room estimates of $9,612 and board estimates of $6,300.

    Since she is contractually committed to non-USC Housing, we have already submitted online through the FAST portal a Financial Aid Summary update to confirm that she will be there for both terms utilizing Non-USC Housing. Additionally, we uploaded a copy of that executed lease. Both of those steps are required to have them re-do the aid #s.

    In reply, FA emailed her stating that all FA summaries were defaulted to remote learning but that her summary will be redone asap.

    So those steps are necessary for all those utilizing non-USC housing.

    For those utilizing USC Housing, they will automatically re-do the summary once USC Housing locks in.

    Therefore, differentials in aid at this stage could be primarily due to the differentials in estimated total costs.

    Good luck getting everything straightened out eventually...
    edited July 8
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  • JohnGaltIIIJohnGaltIII 206 replies13 threads Junior Member
    edited July 8
    I specifically stated the difference was in expected contribution which takes into effect the decision whether to live at home or on/off campus. And with more folks on the other board checking in, the five figure or more difference seems to be pretty consistent,

    We made the decision to go to USC based on the initial aid package and a conversation where we were told that if your financial numbers stay the same the package should remain similar. Our numbers got worse due to Covid, yet there is a nearly $20,000 difference what they expect from us as compared to the previous year. I guess USC wants to be a place where only the poorest and richest can attend and screw the working class.

    As to the person who questioned my headline. Prevaricate is playing fast and loose with the truth. When you decimate financial aid numbers for thousands of students, you are doing the same thing as raising tuition higher for a significant number of people. .

    As to the people who say deal with it or go elsewhere, perhaps the image some have of USC as an elitist group of arrogant folks is deserved. I guess there is nothing to criticize about leadership failures that have cost a half billion dollars and climbing to the school in just the time my child has attended.
    edited July 8
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  • WWWardWWWard 3163 replies15 threads Senior Member
    edited July 8
    Fo all those similarly affected, I simply suggest submitting a formal FA appeal online. I would also suggest including with it as much documenation as possible, including a signed/notarized affidavit if warranted and/or paystubs and/or other items as warranted, etc. You can literally create a multi-page PDF to upload, if necesary or warranted.

    USC is going to be taking a huge financial hit this cycle on a number of fronts. As a result, they have clearly been given the edict within FA to err on the side of caution in terms of FA summaries. In doing so, they are likely making a # of fasle assumptions. In our case, they first assumed that my daugher will be graduating in November. They also assumed she will not be coming to L.A.

    This approach via FA will clearly lead to many contesting the results and challenging them though the appeals process. Until all such potential appeals are exhausted, I would not conclude that anything coming your way via FA is definitive or final. They have already sent us three erroneous FA summaries and a fourth is coming. Hopefully it will finally be correct.

    If their estimated costs are inadequate, show them the real #s. If they are over-estimating your ability to pay towards those costs, document the reality. In the end, they have to defend in writing their estimates and aid analysis. It may be unfair that the burden of proof is shifting more dramatically towards families this cycle, but that is the current reality. It is just as disapointing as the cruel reality of life overall during this global pandemic situation in 2020, but that's unfortunately also are collective reality. We had to appeal and may have to do so again... depending on how they reevaluate the #s the fourth time.

    Good luck...
    edited July 8
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  • nvadadnvadad 7 replies0 threads New Member
    @bluebayou: the tuition # you referenced might be for 2019-2020. USC's 2020-2021 tuition is $59,260. https://admission.usc.edu/learn/cost-financial-aid/. , a 3.5% increase from last year. It sucks the school raised EFC for some families at this 11th hour.
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 28086 replies210 threads Senior Member
    edited July 9
    nvadad wrote: »
    @bluebayou: the tuition # you referenced might be for 2019-2020. USC's 2020-2021 tuition is $59,260. https://admission.usc.edu/learn/cost-financial-aid/. , a 3.5% increase from last year. It sucks the school raised EFC for some families at this 11th hour.

    My bad, but since when does a college NOT raise tuition/fees every year?
    I specifically stated the difference was in expected contribution which takes into effect the decision whether to live at home or on/off campus.

    Sorry, John, you are still not clear on exactly what happened/is happening. All colleges have separate COA's for: living in on-campus housing and living at home. Some even have a separate COA for off-campus housing. Obviously, living at home means no dorm costs, so that is a reduction of $9.3k in the COA. Eating at home supposedly shaves $4k off of the COA.

    But as Ward notes, if your financial situation (income?) has changed significantly since you first applied for aid (last Jan?), you should appeal the FA award. Or, is it that your child plans to live in off-campus housing in LA but the FinAid office just assumes studying from home? If the former, definitely appeal.

    USC has been historically known for having pretty good need-based -- not HYPS level -- but better than many other private colleges.

    Good luck.
    edited July 9
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  • WWWardWWWard 3163 replies15 threads Senior Member
    I do agree though that USC likely missed the boat on the issue of tuition for 2020-21. They should have frozen the tuition level in place using the 2019-20 # or even adjusted it downward by 2-3%. They would have benefited from the resulting goodwill and even good press on the topic. USC could have been a trendsetter versus just following the lead of the herd. But, as I understand it, their upward tuition cost trend matches most of the nation's elite colleges and universities, who also increased tuition slightly. Oh well... we simply have to deal with it. At least with 2020-21, my family will have concluded the college process and its skyrocteting expenses. We, like many, are awating a final FA decision. Good luck to all those similarly waiting...
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