USC announced on Wednesday that undergraduate tuition will increase to $53,448 for the 2017-18 school year, $2,006 more than the current tuition. This marks a 3.9 percent increase from the 2016-17 tuition of $51,442.

"The value of a USC degree keeps getting stronger," said Provost Michael Quick in a press release.

The press release emphasized the university's efforts to provide financial aid, boasting that USC will continue to grow "one of the nation's largest financial aid pools."

"I am proud that we provide ways to lessen the impact of a tuition increase with financial assistance," Quick said in the release, "so that we can continue to provide new and returning students with a challenging and relevant USC education."

Last year's tuition hike of $1,978 was highly controversial, as students organized protests and calls to President C. L. Max Nikias. The hike came after a 2015 USG tuition freeze resolution, in which the Undergraduate Student Government called for tuition to stay the same "until the University develops and publishes a strategic plan to address the issue of college affordability."

Austin Dunn, the USG president-elect and current USG vice president, said that the university has "increased the transparency surrounding this increase as opposed to last year." Last year's tuition hike was posted on the financial aid website, whereas this year's announcement was through a press release.

"The ultimate goal would be to lower tuition," Dunn said, "but that seems a little bit unfeasible at this point in time given how much the university is expanding both in size and student population."

Correction: this story was updated to fix the title of Austin Dunn, who is the current USG vice president, not a USG senator. We have also updated the story to remove a quote that was not authorized for publication due to a misunderstanding by our reporter. 

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