The University of Southern California announced this week that it will offer free tuition to admitted students from families earning less than $80,000. The university is following the lead of institutions like Harvard University that offer free tuition for low-income families.
According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, the University of South California will offer free tuition to students from families earning less than $80,000 each year. Tuition at USC is $57,256 for the 2019-2020 academic year. When costs for housing and books are added, the total estimated cost of attending the university is $77,459 each year.
Richard Kahlenberg, a senior associate at the Century Foundation, told the Los Angeles Times that many colleges have failed to follow through on proposals to offer reduced tuition to low-income families.
“There’s a lot of promising rhetoric about increasing access for low-income students and making college more affordable,” Kahlenberg said in a short comment. “But in terms of actual access … progress has been very, very slow.”
USC President Carol Folt said in an interview that she wanted to change that trend. “We really want this to be an institution where great students can attend regardless of their financial background,” Folt said. “Education should be the great bridge across income that really is the equalizer and makes our talented, hardworking students able to make real contributions.”
Trenton Stone, the president of the student body at USC, said that the free tuition plan will help the university shed its reputation of catering exclusively to students from wealthy families.
“The University of Southern California is seen as a private institution with a lot of money,” Stone said, “but this opens up the possibility for so many students that come from lower-income backgrounds to see USC as a place that might be a possibility for them.”
Breitbart News reported in January that USC was forced to fire three officials that were connected to the “Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal. The three officials allegedly took bribes from high-profile celebrities and business executives in exchange for admission to the university.
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more campus trends.