USC tuition growth rate remains stable

first_imgLast month, University of California system President Janet Napolitano proposed a tuition hike for undergraduates. If approved, the cost of attendance could rise by as much as 5 percent in each of the next five years if the state does not increase funding for the system’s budget.Currently, average costs for a full-time undergraduate California resident living on campus is $33,100 per year, with the number jumping to $55,978 for non-residents in the same situation. The proposed hikes could raise those figures by an estimated $3,000 by 2019, according to the Los Angeles Times.Napolitano defended what would be the first rise in tuition in four years for the statewide system to help cover mounting pension costs and keep the schools competitive in terms of hiring new faculty and admitting more students. A portion of the funds would also be used to increase financial aid for students.University administrators said that financial aid at USC has stable funding.“Costs will always be a primary factor, financial aid also does play a large part, and especially here at USC since our aid packages are very generous. Our need-based aid averages $43,000 currently. It also helps that we have stable funding so there is no uncertainty about if our financial aid will or won’t continue,” said Thomas McWhorter, dean of financial aid at USC.Nearly two-thirds of UC system students receive some sort of aid while attending school, with an average award of over $16,000 according to the University of California system website.USC, a private institution that doesn’t charge students based on geography, estimates its yearly costs are $64,761 for a full-time undergraduate student living on campus at present time.Tuitions and fees at USC are set by the Board of Trustees and have increased an average of 4.28 percent annually over the past five years.“Any time an institution significantly increases its costs, that is going to have some sort of an impact. However, we aren’t going to be changing any of our recruitment practices or our messages based on that,” said Timothy Brunold, dean of admissions. “The increase will also contribute to the continued discussion that many people are having about the affordability of college.”Newly re-elected Gov. Jerry Brown, who also serves as the official president of the Board of Regents for the UC system, voted against the tuition hike at the meeting. Brown is in the process of forming a committee to analyze current UC spending and reforming the current curriculum to help students graduate faster in a way to stem the proposed tuition increase. According to the Campaign for College Opportunity, 84 percent of students graduate from the UC system after six years.On Tuesday, a group of Democratic lawmakers proposed an alternative to Napolitano’s measure. The proposition would cut funding for a newly established scholarship program focused on middle-class students and simultaneously raise tuition for out-of-state students only.Napolitano added insight on the recent measure.“The bill introduced today is a promising first step toward making sure that public higher education benefits Californians today and for generations to come, and we look forward to working with Senate Democrats and other elected officials to secure the state funding essential to this end,” she said in a statement.last_img

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