Originally created 03/09/99

Aiken Tech board OKs tuition increase



LANGLEY -- Education commissioners blamed state legislators Monday for the need to increase tuition for the second consecutive year at Aiken Technical College.

Beginning this fall, tuition at the college will increase by $50, bringing the total cost per semester to $575 for students who take a minimum of 12 hours.

Members of the Aiken County Commission for Technical and Comprehensive Education unanimously approved the increase Monday, less than five minutes after bringing up the subject.

The tuition increase also will affect part-time students, who will pay an undetermined but prorated amount.

"We never like to increase tuition, but a lack of state funding has forced us to make that decision," said Don Campbell, the college's interim president.

If not for the increase, he said the college may have been forced to cut several services such as resume writing, career placement and computer use, all offered to the 2,300 students free of charge.

Last year tuition increased $30 from $495 to $525.

Still, Aiken Tech has the third-lowest tuition of the 16 technical colleges in the Palmetto State. Only Williamsburg Technical College in Kingstree and Central Carolina in Sumter boast lower rates.

It is not known whether the University of South Carolina Aiken will seek to increase tuition.

Like Aiken Tech, the college raised tuition fees last year. Costs rose by $72, bringing the total per semester to $1,509 for undergraduate in-state residents.

Chasiti Kirkland covers education for The Augusta Chronicle. She can be reached at (803) 279-6895 or scbureau@augustachronicle.com.