Many USC students are concerned after USC announced on Monday a $1,872 undergraduate tuition increase for the 2018-2019 school year, bringing the total cost of tuition to $55,320. Provost Michael Quick said in a statement that the 3.5% increase from this year's tuition marks "USC's lowest single-year increase" since the 1969-1970 school year.
USC undergraduate students saw a $2,006 increase from the 2016-2017 academic year to the current academic year. USG President-elect Debbie Lee said though a tuition freeze is unlikely, the situation encourages students to fight for an increase in accountability and transparency from the administration.
USC said the reason for the tuition hike is to increase the financial aid pool for all students, according to a statement from Provost Michael Quick. Provost Quick also said that large aid pool will bring down the average cost of attendance to just over $32,000 per year.
"I'm proud that our university aid continues to meet the financial needs of our students — of whom two-thirds receive some form of assistance — and we will continue to admit qualified students without regard to their ability to pay," Quick said. "We also will continue to find ways to keep tuition rates low, and we are pleased that this is our lowest increase in decades."
Courtney Beauliu, a senior political science major, said the tuition price increase would affect her decision to attend USC if she were a prospective student.
"We have amazing UC schools, so I think that definitely would impact my decision to go here," Beauliu said. "I could go to a UC for a quarter of the price or even a state school for a fraction of the price, so I think USC needs to calm it down."
As tuition continues to increase, many students are reigniting their call for transparency in how the school's money is being used.
"Last time there was a hike in tuition, I know a lot of people protested saying that they wanted transparency," said senior Tia Johnson. "They wanted to see where the money was going, and that never got resolved."