In 2021, tuition for full-time students at University of Southern California was $60,446 a year.
Tuition increased 2 percent in 2021, from $59,260 the prior year. On average, colleges raise tuition about 3 percent each year.
If these numbers feel scary, remember, the "sticker price" of tuition doesn't give you enough information to determine the actual cost. Many students pay far less than the total tuition after grants, scholarships, and tuition discounts kick in. Plus, student loans can make the amount you do have to pay for college more manageable.
University of Southern California is a private, nonprofit institution, so it has the same tuition for residents of California as it does for residents from other states.
Public colleges and universities receive funding from the state government. These institutions offer reduced tuition for students who are residents of that state.
Attending a school where you qualify for in-state tuition can save significant money on the overall cost of college. Each state has different requirements to qualify as in-state resident. The most common requirement is that students must have lived in the state for a full year before starting school.
USC has the same tuition for international students as for those from out of state.
International students are not eligible for federal financial aid, but may be eligible for school-specific aid and scholarships. International students with need may be eligible for the following types of financial support:
International students without financial need may be eligible for merit-based institutional scholarships and athletic awards.
In addition to tuition, there are other costs associated with college, like room and board, facility fees, and books and supplies.
Room and board at USC is $16,732 a year. This includes the cost of living in dorms or other campus housing, plus a meal plan that allows you to eat in the school dining facilities. Students who live off campus but still want to use the dining facility can pay for a meal plan. The cost of board-only is $10,102.
Board costs may vary depending on how many meals are included in the meal plan you choose.
The cost of books often surprises first-year college students. At USC, you can expect to pay about $1,200 a year for books and supplies. This does not count the initial cost of a computer or other technology. The actual cost of books depends on the courses you take and the materials required.
Most schools also have fees to help cover the cost of facilties, like the library, gym and computer labs. Full-time undergrads at USC pay $1,015 in fees each academic year.
There may also be optional fees associated with participating in certain activities, like joining a fraternity or sorority, or playing on an intramural sports team, may mean additional fees.
The total cost of transportation in college can really vary. It depends on if you drive or fly to get to school, own a car, or if you prefer to walk or take public transportation to get around campus.
A school's location can impact transportation costs. The University of Southern California campus is in a urban setting in California, not far from Los Angeles. First-year students are allowed to park a car on campus.
For USC students, $584 is good ballpark for transportation costs for on-campus students. $6,630 is a good estimate for transportation costs for students who live off campus.
When creating a budget for college, don’t forget to leave some room in your budget for personal expenses, like entertainment, clothes, furnishings and toiletries.
Let’s look at the breakdown of all expenses, which can add up for both on-campus and off-campus students.
|2021 Total Tuition and Expenses|
|Room and Board||$16,732|
|Books and Supplies||$1,200|
|Total Estimated Costs|
The breakdowns above provide a good estimate of the total cost of attendance before financial aid and scholarships. Tuition and fees may vary depending on program, course level, location, and more.
USC’s tuition and fees change based on: Academic program for both full and part-time students Course load for part-time students
The majority of University of Southern California undergrads use financial aid to help pay for school. In 2021, 7,471 of the 19,606 undergrads enrolled received financial aid. USC meets 99.2 percent of the demonstrated financial need for undergraduates.
The average financial aid package for a full-time, first-year student is around $58,709 a year. Around 33 percent of USC undergrads take out student loans to cover any remaining costs. USC graduates who have student loans graduate with an average of $26,850 of student loan debt.
The average debt for each loan type varies.
|Average Debt By Loan Type|
|Most Common Loans for USC Students|
Most students take out institutional or government loans, because they tend to have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options than private loans. Loans from the federal government can be subsidized or unsubsidized. Subsidized loans do not accrue interest during school, while unsubsidized loans begin accruing interest at the time the loan is issued. If students do no qualify for enough federal loans to cover the cost of tuition, some take out private loans. Parents can also take out ParentPLUS loans, which are government loans for parents who are helping their children pay for college.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) helps colleges determine how much financial need students and their familes have, so they can offer a financial aid package that meets, or come close to meeting, their need. For more information on USC financial aid, keep reading, or visit their financial aid website.
Some students may receive grants and scholarships to help pay for college. Unlike loans, scholarships and grants do not have to be paid back.
In 2021, USC awarded 6,569 need-based scholarships to students, giving away total of $348,396,899 to help students with financial need cover the cost of school. An additional $98,823,730 in merit-based scholarship money was awarded to students without demonstrated financial need.
The net price of college is the actual cost of attending a school for one year. Net cost is calculated by subtracting any scholarships, grants or other aid that does not need to be paid back from the total cost. Student loans are not part of the calculation, because they need to be repaid.
Now that we have a sense of the total estimated costs for USC students, we can subtract the average financial aid package to find the estimated net cost. Net cost can vary depending on a students’ need and the financial aid award received.
When considering whether a school fits your budget, it is important to consider the estimated net cost, not just the sticker price of tuition. Often, schools with the highest tuition also offer the most generous aid packages, so estimate your net cost before eliminating a school because it does fit your budget.
The average amount of financial aid received by a full-time first year student with demonstrated need at USC was $58,709 in 2021. By substracting the average financial aid package from the estimated costs, we get a number that may make the cost of USC seem more manageable.
|Estimated Net Cost for Full-Time Students|
What will attending USC really cost you? The answer depends on several factors.
As of 2011, colleges are required to have a net price calculator on their website to help prospective students and their families get a better idea of the actual cost of attending that school, based on their financial situation. You can find the USC's net cost calculator on their website.
Some students choose to use payment plans to make the cost of tuition fit more comfortably in their budget.
USC does not have guaranteed tuition.
USC offers an Installment Payment Plan, which allows students to pay tuition in a series of smaller chunks instead of one lump sum.
Schools sometimes offer tuition waivers to certain groups to cover some or all of the cost of tuition. Some schools offer them for employees and their family, underrepresented students, or military students. Even with a tuition waiver, other expenses and fees are the responsibility of the student
USC has some full or partial tuition waivers available for: Employees or Children of Employees
Check the financial aid website for more information on payment plans and tuition waivers.