The University of San Diego has raised its annual tuition above the $50,000 level for the first time, placing the campus among a relatively small number of private liberal arts schools nationwide who charge at least that much money.

USD will charge $50,450 in tuition and fees during the 2019-20 academic year, a $1,700 increase over the current year. If you add room, board and related expenses, a full year at USD will cost $67,211. That’s an increase of $2,282 over this year.

The price increase places USD among the roughly 100 private colleges and universities nationally that charge a minimum of $50,000 in tuition. The schools include such large research universities as the University of Southern California, and small campuses, including Pomona and Pitzer colleges.

USD’s new $50,450 tuition figure represents the so-called “sticker price.” The actual cost, for most students, is significantly less after financial aid and scholarships are factored in.

Even so, USD has been concerned about tuition, which has recently risen about 3 percent at private schools. The university said last fall that it would attempt to reduce operating expenses by at least $15 million over the next five years so that it could avoid making big tuition hikes.

“Tuition is only part of the story,” said Lissette Martinez, a USD spokeswoman “Due to strong growth in our endowment and judicious cost control measures, USD students graduate with less debt than the national average.

“The total cost of attendance at USD for the most recent academic year is the lowest among our Catholic peer institutions. The average undergraduate student receives nearly $38,000 in financial assistance per year.”

Full story at San Diego U-T.