USC to offer free tuition for MFA program

USC announced Wednesday that beginning with the 2024-25 school year, tuition will be free for students in the USC School of Dramatic Arts' Masters in Fine Arts program.

The university says the move comes "at a pivotal moment for the entertainment industry, as actors and writers navigate tightening competition for opportunities in film and TV."

"Removing the tuition burden for the MFA acting and writing programs is an important investment in the future of storytelling and the performing arts," School of Dramatic Arts Dean Emily Roxworthy said in a statement. "So often we see exceptional talent unable to reach their potential because financial barriers keep them from accessing top-tier training.

"At the USC School of Dramatic Arts, we've been privileged to witness the unique voices and multi-hyphenated ambitions of these diverse young artists. By offering free tuition, we can now give more of these promising students the artistic home they deserve."

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USC officials said offering free tuition in the program will allow the university to recruit MFA candidates "who bring distinct stories and experiences to stage and screen with no financial barriers."

According to the university, the MFA programs serve 35 students, and all of them have been receiving financial assistance through grants and scholarships.

"Providing full tuition scholarships to the current and incoming MFA acting and dramatic writing students is a commitment to creating opportunity for all, and emphasizes the school's value in telling diverse stories from varied backgrounds regardless of financial means," actress and school Board of Councilors member Connie Britton. "We're letting the storytellers and performers of tomorrow know that we believe in them and the power of their dreams. I'm so proud to be supporting this groundbreaking initiative."