Inside Higher Ed
May 18th, 2015
Seven students, making up the entire first-year class in the visual
arts master of fine arts program at the University of Southern
California, issued an open letter saying that they were quitting.
While students drop out of graduate and professional programs all the
time, and the program is a small one, losing an entire class of
students is unusual -- and attracted immediate attention.
The students say that since they enrolled, in the fall of 2014, the
program has changed in ways that have led valued faculty members to
leave, that have reduced the value of the financial aid packages they
have received, and that have left them questioning the commitment of the
university to the program. They say that they would have graduated --
and now leave without a degree -- with debt that they believe they were
promised they would not need, and without some of the teaching
experience they expected to pick up. And they say that the good
financial packages for which the program had been known were a big part
of the original attraction to USC.