If you cannot afford to go to the University of Southern California, can they deny you to enroll there with no money?

I'm interested in applying to USC Annenberg school for journalism. My other backup option is San Francisco State University which I live nearby. I'm a second-generation El Salvadorian American and even attending a CSU is too much money for my parents. I really cannot afford to pay over $5,742 in tuition per year to attend SF State, so I would need a loan. Additionally, SF State has listed journalism as an impacted major, which means not everyone who applies will get into the program. They are asking me to submit an essay commenting on my relevant journalism experience as well as 2 letters of recommendation. USC Annenberg does not ask for letters for recommendation, but at the same time it is extremely expensive. USC is asking over $74,000 per year. Their asking tuition price is higher than any private university in California. Right now I'm in City College of San Francisco and I have a 3.48 overall. I'm also on the editorial board for CCSF's newsletter and have contributed articles for the paper. There is no loan that will let me borrow $74,000 per year. I know that USC is worth the price but it's financially impossible for someone like me to go there even if offered a seat. USC is also asking for a fee of $450 for their mandatory transfer orientation that is done by their students. I cannot believe they are charging people just for a tour of the campus. To park your vehicle on campus I have to also pay $499.50 per semester. To pick up my transcript I need to pay $110 and this is just a piece of paper. I don't care how expensive USC is, it is a good school but I really cannot afford anything that they're charging !

A Hunch

USC tuition is not higher than "any" private university in California. USC = tuition & fees = $56K; housing & other incidentals = $19K = total $75K This the a standard cost for prestigious private universities in the state as you would expect the same at Stanford, Pomona Colleges, Chapman etc. If you apply to a private university, they will not take your financial ability to pay into consideration regarding your admittance. But if you can't afford to pay and don't qualify for enough scholarships and financial aid to pay the bill, you don't get some magical way to attend. Why do you jump to saying you need loans instead of applying for scholarships? In response to your additional comments: journalism, regardless of the school you go to is not worth the price. It's a dying field. An acquaintance graduated from USC and had a job working at CNN. 3 years later the show was cancelled and there was no other jobs available. She became a manager in the hospitality industry where she worked for a few years. Then she rejoined the journalism field working as an assistant editor for a weekly paper making $2 above minimum wage. However, it does not appear that you are a candidate for any 4 year university. You have little common sense or cognitive thinking skills: - if you can't afford to attend the USC transfer orientation, than don't attend. You are allowed to attend the university without going to orientation - If you can't afford to park your car on campus, don't bring your car. With the public transportation available, there is no reason to need a car. - I have no idea why you care how much your transcript costs. Why would you ever need a copy of them?

ibu guru

Journalism, media, communications, etc, are all severely glutted & have been at least since the 1960's, perhaps even the 1950's. With the current state of the publishing industry, you likely have a very limited future in the field unless you earn a master's from a premier journalism school (Columbia or U Missouri), and have truly exceptional talents & performance. IF you are a US citizen & qualify for financial aid, you might get enough to help with tuition. However, that's really only a fraction of total costs. If you & your parents don't have the money & you don't win independent scholarships (based on extraordinary academic performance) & get financial aid, you don't go. The vast majority of Americans cannot afford schools like USC. Many cannot afford SFSU, either. Fact of life. 80% of American college students WORK to help pay for school and/or living expenses. Many start earning & saving money by age 12-14, long before they are old enough to get a real "job." I note you are more interested in your "poor immigrant's kid" sob story, and no mention of working to help your family or yourself. Do what the vast majority of Americans do to pay for school - WORK!


Most universities offer financial aid of some kind to low-income students. If you are admitted to USC and file FAFSA information (which will qualify you for federal loans as well as scholarship aid), USC will offer you a financial aid package. You can then decide whether that aid package will allow you to attend USC. It is probably not worth taking out large loans to major in journalism since many journalism jobs are disappearing thanks to the internet, but a generous scholarship package (which does not have to be repaid) might make it possible.


You apply to universities. If accepted you fill out the FAFSA form and send it in. You will get a financial aid package for each university that accepted you. You see which universities gives you the best financial aid. Most US students do need to take out a student loan. Many work while in school. Many work over the summer. Your acceptance is not based on if you can pay. Once you enroll in classes you are legally responsible to pay the tuition fee. They’re is a very short period of time the school will allow you to officially drop out and receive any tuiton money back and /or no longer responsible for payment. If you can’t pay you don’t enroll. Most universities have a high parking fee Why would you need your university transcript? You certainly won’t need it while doing your undergrad studies. You would need to send it to gradute schools if you continue your higher studies. Orientation is more than a tour of the campus. If you want to go into journalism why are you afraid of writing an essay? Is it that hard for you to get two LOR? Student should get through their undergrad degree with the least student debt as possible. You should apply to more than two universities.

Pearl L

you can try applying for financial aid or scholarships