CollegeCalc Highest List Price Rank - 11th

Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

Tuition for University of Southern California is $55,320 for the 2018/2019 academic year. This is 94% more expensive than the national average private non-profit four year college tuition of $28,471. University of Southern California is one of the 100 most expensive colleges in the America, coming in 11th on our Expensive 100 Ranking. The cost is 131% more expensive than the average California tuition of $23,930 for 4 year colleges. Tuition ranks 143rd in California amongst 4 year colleges for affordability and is the 2nd most expensive 4 year college in the state. Price does not vary by residence.

The school charges an additional fees of $905 in addition to tuition bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $56,225.

Housing Costs

On campus room and board is provided by the school at a cost of $15,400 per academic year. Students electing to live off campus elsewhere in Los Angeles should budget at least this amount.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $1,200.

Other Living Expenses

If living on-campus, students should budget for $2,000 in additional living expenses. Off-campus students should budget for $2,000 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The annual tuition and living expense budget to go to USC was $74,825 for the 2018/2019 academic year. The cost is the same for all students regardless of California residence status as there is no in-state discount.

Citation: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2018-2019 and 2017-2018 IPEDS survey response for University of Southern California and represent reported costs for the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 academic years.

Costs and Tuition for University of Southern California
Estimated Budgets
California Resident Total Budget $74,825
   In-State Tuition$55,320
   Other Fees$905
   Room and Board$15,400
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,000
   Books and Supplies$1,200
Non-Resident Total Budget $74,825
   Out-of-State Tuition$55,320
   Other Fees$905
   Room and Board$15,400
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,000
   Books and Supplies$1,200


What it Really Costs

Depending on many factors including student and parent income and assets, the total cost of attendance may be less than the $74,825 published price if scholarship or grant aid is made available to you.

Net Price

The net out-of-pocket total cost you end up paying or financing though student loans is known as the net price. The reported USC net price for in-state students is $32,892* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

58% of University of Southern California students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $36,686. 17 percent of students received aid in the form of Pell Grants from the U.S. Federal Government. The average Pell Grant awarded for 2014/2015 was $4,724. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend University of Southern California, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for University of Southern California
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$32,892*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid58%
Average Total Grant Aid$36,686
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants17%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,724

Average Net Price by Family Income

The average net total cost of attendance for different levels of family income after federal, state or local government, institutional grant and scholarship aid are awarded. Data last published for the 2014/2015 academic year.

Family Income Avg. Net Price
$0 to $30,000$14,777
$30,001 to $48,000$17,084
$48,001 to $75,000$22,445
$75,001 to $110,000$30,084

Average Financial Aid Mix - $74,825 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $74,825. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.


Grants and Scholarships

 50% - $36,686

Money granted to you by the U.S. Department of Education, University of Southern California or other organizations. These are not loans and do not need to be repaid.

Federal Loans

 8% - $5,730

Low interest student loans funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This amount will need to be repaid.

Out of Pocket

 42% -  $30,409

Covered by family savings, work or private student loans which you will have to repay.

*Reported Average Annual Net Price for students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Academic Year 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Note that for colleges with no reported on-campus room and board, the average net price has been increased to account for living expenses. This number may not only reflect the net price paid to the school for tuition.

Is it Worth the Cost?

To make a comparative assessment if USC is worth the price, measures of it's relative value for tuition dollar can be examined. We've calculated an academic national percentile rating of 97/100 for University of Southern California. Considering an average net price paid of $27,541, this leads to an overall value ranking of 66/100. This places the school 124th on our national Best Value Colleges ranking as a provider of a very high value education compared to actual overall price paid.

Tuition Comparison to Similar Private Colleges in the Region

School Cost vs. University of Southern California
California Institute of Technology8.7% less expensive
Claremont McKenna College2.1% less expensive
Harvey Mudd College1.8% more expensive
Pomona College5.3% less expensive
Scripps College0.9% less expensive

Cost of a Degree

When considering ability to pay for college, the annual cost is often discussed but it's the "all in" multi-year degree cost which matters in the end. Let's take a look at what it could really cost for four years at University of Southern California.

Estimated 4 Year Cost at Published Tuition

At the current published rates, an estimated total tuition, fees and living expense price for a 4 year bachelor's degree at USC is $299,300 for students graduating in normal time. This methodology for estimating the 4 year cost is a straight multiple of the most recent reported annual total cost and does not factor in tuition increases during the time you're in school. It also assumes you receive no grant or scholarship aid and pay the full list price.

A potentially more accurate but less conservative estimate of a degree cost can be made by using the school's annual $27,541 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 4 would estimate the cost of a degree at $110,164**

If you end up on the "five year plan" and need an additional year to graduate, your five year cost could be as high as $374,125 or $137,705 using an average net price.

**Based on a 4 year multiple of Average Annual Net Price for students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Other Costs

Estimated Cost Per Semester

Most colleges don't charge students on an annual basis but instead require payment semester by semester. If you ever need to take an additional semester of classes to complete you degree you shouldn't have to pay for a full academic year. These our estimated costs for a semester at University of Southern California.

California Resident Tuition Per Semester$27,660
California Resident Total Cost Per Semester$37,412

Cost Per Credit Hour and Cost for a Class

Some schools offer the ability to take single classes by paying on a per credit hour basis. The reported price per credit hour and estimated cost for one class at University of Southern California are as follows. Per credit costs are for reference only as many schools will not allow students to pay by credit hour.

Cost per credit hour and per class at University of Southern California
Price per credit hour$1,863
Cost for one class (3 credit hours)$5,589
Cost for one class (4 credit hours)$7,452


Student Loans and Debt

The second consideration after understanding the cost of college is determining how to finance it. Some students are fortunate enough to have some form of family financial assistance, but student loans end up financing a significant portion of higher education in the U.S. 29% of University of Southern California students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $5,730. The reported average student debt upon graduation is $29,136.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for University of Southern California? Obviously this varies based on a number of factors - offsetting financial aid you receive, percentage of fee you pay upfront while enrolled and the interest rate on your loans. We've modeled a sample student loan based on current Stafford loan rates to give you an approximate idea.

The following are the costs for a loan if you borrowed $110,164, 100% of the estimated average net price for a four year program and paid nothing while enrolled. The total of all payments including interest would sum $136,688.26. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at University of Southern California. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 58% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $27,541. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our University of Southern California student loan calculator below to change loan assumptions and recalculate.

Student loans are not free money and must be repaid. You cannot dismiss student loans by via bankruptcy.

University of Southern California Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$1,139.07
Amount Borrowed$110,164.00
Interest Rate4.5%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$26,524.26
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$136,688.26

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend USC? In the end, the answer comes down a determination if you will earn enough to comfortably pay back a student loan with your post graduation salary. This is an extremely important point to consider. In order to afford student loan payments and still meet all your other costs of living, it is recommended not to borrow more than you can pay back using 10% of your monthly income earned after graduation. If you're considering attending University of Southern California, you need to carefully consider if it will be realistic to make the post graduation loan payments based on your expected salary.

Using the 10% of salary threshold, an annual income of $136,688.26 would be needed to afford a $1,139.07 monthly payment in the example $110,164.00 loan modeled above. You will need to determine if it is at all realistic that you will be earning this type of salary after graduation. This assumes a loan payback over 10 years. You can change the terms of this example loan using the student loan calculator below.

Estimated Future Cost and Expected Tuition Increase

What will it cost to send your child to University of Southern California in the future? In the past four years, this school's published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $43,722 to $55,320. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 5.3%. Nationally, university tuition prices are rising around 5% per year. Looking out five, ten, fifteen or eighteen years, these are CollegeCalc's estimates how much you could expect to pay for a 4 year degree assuming tuition increases at the national average rate. Estimated future prices are based on the current 4 year cost of $299,300.00. Use the college savings plan calculator below to perform a more comprehensive analysis on future costs and how much you will need to save for University of Southern California.

Annual4 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2025$102,902$411,607
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2030$131,332$525,327
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2035 $167,616$670,465
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2038 $194,037$776,147

Tuition History

What was tuition at USC five, ten, fifteen or twenty years ago? Hop into our time machine and take a look. Pay attention to how aggressive the school has been with price increases in the past as it provides indication as to how the school may raise tuition in the next few years. Historical tuition and fees for all available data years back to 1987 follows.

YearTuitionAnnual Increase

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at University of Southern California to the national average for all other colleges offering the same major. Use this comparison to determine particular programs where this school offers value relative to other colleges.

Area of Study Graduates vs National Avg
Business Administration and Management, General Bachelor's Degree 990 117% costlier
Accounting Bachelor's Degree 286 101% costlier
Public Policy Analysis, General Bachelor's Degree 141 35% costlier
Architecture Bachelor's Degree 99 57% costlier
Behavioral Aspects of Health Bachelor's Degree 83 6% costlier
Mechanical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 72 76% costlier
Music Management Bachelor's Degree 62 89% costlier
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Bachelor's Degree 59 77% costlier
Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 55 46% costlier
Industrial Engineering Bachelor's Degree 50 85% costlier
Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering Bachelor's Degree 48 64% costlier
Computer Science Bachelor's Degree 39 78% costlier
Structural Engineering Bachelor's Degree 34 69% costlier
Biochemistry Bachelor's Degree 29 61% costlier
Chemical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 29 63% costlier
Playwriting and Screenwriting Bachelor's Degree 27 44% costlier
Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Bachelor's Degree 27 101% costlier
Political Science and Government, General Bachelor's Degree 27 80% costlier
Financial Mathematics Bachelor's Degree 26 41% costlier
Civil Engineering, General Bachelor's Degree 25 76% costlier
Occupational Therapy/Therapist Bachelor's Degree 24 77% costlier
Psychology, General Bachelor's Degree 22 85% costlier
Art History, Criticism and Conservation Bachelor's Degree 22 52% costlier
Computer Engineering, General Bachelor's Degree 22 77% costlier
Biology/Biological Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 22 85% costlier
Speech Communication and Rhetoric Bachelor's Degree 19 88% costlier
Environmental Studies Bachelor's Degree 18 53% costlier
Stringed Instruments Bachelor's Degree 18 43% costlier
International Relations and Affairs Bachelor's Degree 18 59% costlier
Human Biology Bachelor's Degree 14 34% costlier
Neuroscience Bachelor's Degree 14 30% costlier
Spanish Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 13 74% costlier
Economics, General Bachelor's Degree 13 67% costlier
Voice and Opera Bachelor's Degree 12 69% costlier
Public Relations/Image Management Bachelor's Degree 12 90% costlier
Gerontology Bachelor's Degree 12 111% costlier
Physics, General Bachelor's Degree 11 70% costlier
English Language and Literature, General Bachelor's Degree 10 86% costlier
Acting Bachelor's Degree 10 70% costlier
Geology/Earth Science, General Bachelor's Degree 9 81% costlier
Chemistry, General Bachelor's Degree 9 80% costlier
Creative Writing Bachelor's Degree 9 63% costlier
Environmental Science Bachelor's Degree 8 75% costlier
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 8 76% costlier
Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering Bachelor's Degree 8 57% costlier
Philosophy Bachelor's Degree 7 66% costlier
Civil Engineering, Other Bachelor's Degree 7 58% costlier
East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics Bachelor's Degree 7 33% costlier
Film/Cinema/Video Studies Bachelor's Degree 6 47% costlier
Broadcast Journalism Bachelor's Degree 6 95% costlier
Fine/Studio Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 6 73% costlier
History, General Bachelor's Degree 6 83% costlier
Keyboard Instruments Bachelor's Degree 6 68% costlier
Music, General Bachelor's Degree 5 81% costlier
Jazz/Jazz Studies Bachelor's Degree 5 61% costlier
Sociology Bachelor's Degree 5 82% costlier
Social Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 5 95% costlier
Woodwind Instruments Bachelor's Degree 4 29% costlier
Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology Bachelor's Degree 4 73% costlier
Cinematography and Film/Video Production Bachelor's Degree 4 76% costlier
American/United States Studies/Civilization Bachelor's Degree 4 44% costlier
Brass Instruments Bachelor's Degree 4 41% costlier
Geography Bachelor's Degree 4 102% costlier
French Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 3 62% costlier
Comparative Literature Bachelor's Degree 3 34% costlier
Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, and Group Studies, Other Bachelor's Degree 3 52% costlier
Music Theory and Composition Bachelor's Degree 3 60% costlier
Biophysics Bachelor's Degree 2 37% costlier
Mathematics, General Bachelor's Degree 2 82% costlier
Philosophy, Other Bachelor's Degree 2 38% costlier
Anthropology Bachelor's Degree 2 66% costlier
Game and Interactive Media Design Bachelor's Degree 2 97% costlier
Physical Sciences Bachelor's Degree 2 85% costlier
Italian Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 2 44% costlier
Journalism Bachelor's Degree 2 94% costlier
Linguistics Bachelor's Degree 2 51% costlier
Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics Bachelor's Degree 2 41% costlier
Linguistic, Comparative, and Related Language Studies and Services, Other Bachelor's Degree 2 59% costlier
Religion/Religious Studies Bachelor's Degree 2 57% costlier
Near and Middle Eastern Studies Bachelor's Degree 2 25% costlier
History, Other Bachelor's Degree 2 68% costlier
Hispanic-American, Puerto Rican, and Mexican-American/Chicano Studies Bachelor's Degree 2 55% costlier
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other Bachelor's Degree 1 79% costlier
Visual and Performing Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 1 84% costlier
East Asian Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 31% costlier
American Literature (United States) Bachelor's Degree 1 36% costlier
African-American/Black Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 59% costlier
German Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 1 59% costlier
Kinesiology and Exercise Science Bachelor's Degree 1 94% costlier
International Public Health/International Health Bachelor's Degree 1 32% costlier
Ethics Bachelor's Degree 1 43% costlier
Digital Arts Bachelor's Degree 1 80% costlier
Computational and Applied Mathematics Bachelor's Degree 1 38% costlier
Archeology Bachelor's Degree 1 40% costlier
Education, General Bachelor's Degree 1 75% costlier
Percussion Instruments Bachelor's Degree 1 41% costlier
Russian Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 1 43% costlier
Astronomy Bachelor's Degree 1 44% costlier


Use the calculators below to formulate a college savings plan for University of Southern California or model a student loan.

College Savings Calculator

Plan and Save for College

Discover how much will you need to start saving now to afford University of Southern California in the future.

Student Loan Calculator

Estimate Loan Payments

Modify the loan assumptions to fit your financial situation and likely tuition price. Then calculate your payoff and loan payments for a University of Southern California student loan.

Prepayment Option

About University of Southern California

University of Southern California is a four year private college located in Los Angeles, California.  Full time enrollment is 40,952 and part time is 6,358. Learn more about getting accepted at University of Southern California at CollegeSimply.

Students attending this school may pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

University of Southern California
University Park
Los Angeles, California

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

University of Southern California is a private not for profit institution.

University of Southern California cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=123961 IPEDS survey data.