I think this counts as an actual act of college insurrection. Wow.

Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed reports.

M.F.A. Exodus

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.

“We each made life­-changing decisions to leave jobs and homes in other parts of the country and the world to work with inspiring faculty and, most of all, have the time and space to grow as artists,” the letter said. “We trusted the institution to follow through on its promises. Instead, we became devalued pawns in the university’s administrative games. We feel betrayed, exhausted, disrespected and cheated by USC of our time, focus and investment. Whatever artistic work we created this spring semester was achieved in spite of, not because of, the institution. Because the university refused to honor its promises to us, we are returning to the workforce degree­-less and debt­-full.”

University officials said that they were aware of the concerns of some students and had been working to address them.