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It Now Costs $70K A Year To Attend USC

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That’s right, $70,000. Well, technically $70,062 if you’re a new student, as the University of Southern California has a $350 "New Student Fee." Returning students can expect to pay $69,711 for the privilege of skipping class, and day-drinking on a Thursday.

But more seriously, USC’s Office of Financial Aid quietly updated the “cost to attend” section of their website last week. The new total-cost represents a $2,500 increase from last year, most of which is due to a $1,978 increase in tuition. Students were, as students tend to be, outraged that the change came without a statement from University administration, according to the Daily Trojan.

The increases make USC, already one of the single-most expensive universities to attend in the United States, potentially the most expensive school in the entire country. According to U.S. News College Report, Vassar College had the highest tuition in the United States last year, charging students $51,300 in tuition and fees to attend. USC's new tuition rate alone is $51,442, making it more expensive than Vassar (and the other top ten most expensive schools last year), even without the barrage of fees the University loves to charge.

Why on earth could school cost so much? Though USC is a highly ranked school, it is no more highly ranked than its significantly less expensive neighbor in Westwood. At the same time, USC is in the middle of an epic fundraising campaign, well on its way to building an endowment of $6 billion(!) mostly through outside donations.

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Part of the increase could have something to do with the monstrous new $1 billion dollar USC Village about to unleash a tsunami of gentrification on to South Los Angeles, or the multitude of other building projects dotting the school's campus. But even then, the cost should be somewhat offset by the literal billions the school receives in donations.

KPCC spent some time speaking with a UCLA education professor yesterday exploring the why behind USC's increase, but ultimately it comes down to the fact that college in America is booming business. As long as folks are willing to fork over oodles of money for school, universities will continue jacking up the cost.

According to the Institute for College Access and Success, the average USC student who graduated in 2014 graduated with $28,950 in debt.

Fight on, guys.