USC will be introducing two new policies to make undergraduate education more affordable for those in need of financial aid, according to the USC website. First-year students beginning their studies this fall and spring 2021 will see these adjustments to the USC’s financial aid package:
- Students from U.S. families with an annual income of $80,000 or less with usual assets will attend USC tuition-free.
- Being a homeowner will not be included in the formula used to decide a student’s financial need.
The upshot of these changes to the university’s financial aid program will be more need-based financial aid for students in all financial strata, especially families who are having an increasingly hard time paying the increasing costs of a college education.
According to Carol L. Folt, President of USC, “We’re opening the door wider to make a USC education possible for talented students from all walks of life. 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.”
Once completely implemented, this expanded package will give increased financial aid to more than 4,000 students – more than $30 million annually in undergraduate financial aid. An estimated one-third of the 2020-21 entering class will receive increased financial aid due to this new policy.
USC – a longtime leader in financial aid
Annually, USC’s undergrads get more than $640 million in financial aid for tuition and expenses. USC grants and scholarships provide $375 million of this aid.
Since 2010, USC has increased need-based grants by more than 60%. Sixty-six percent of USC undergrads get some type of financial aid. More than 21% of the university’s undergraduates are from low-income families.
USC’s admission process is need-blind. The ability to pay or need for financial aid is not part of the admission decision.
Effect on students
The additions to USC’s financial aid policy will allow USC to admit more low- and middle-income students from California and throughout the U.S.
USC sees this as just the beginning of their financial aid makeover. They look forward to advancing their financial aid package to provide higher education to even more students.
According to Undergraduate Student Government President Trenton Stone, “Financial barriers should not be a deal-breaker for students with the merit and motivation to attend a top-tier research university like USC. This plan will help make our incredible university community more accessible to a wider range of individuals from diverse financial, geographical and cultural backgrounds.”
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