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Tuition increases lower at 4-year universities

COLUMBIA --- Students paying for college at South Carolina's 12 traditional four-year schools are facing lower tuition increases.

Only two schools -- South Carolina State University and Coastal Carolina University -- increased tuition for the fall by more than 4 percent. Last year, every school raised tuition by at least 4.5 percent, with several going significantly higher.

Officials at the universities told The State that the decrease in state money given to the colleges was smaller than expected. The decreases in funding were just 5 percent to 8 percent after threats of cuts of up to 25 percent.

Another factor also likely contributed to the lower tuition increases. State Sen. Hugh Leatherman suggested in a letter to university presidents in May that they keep tuition increases under 3.95 percent.

The Florence Republican has a seat on the Budget and Control Board and is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

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