Originally created 02/13/01

Cut threatens S.C. higher education



As a student at University of South Carolina-Aiken, I take issue with Gov. Jim Hodges' proposed budget cuts in higher education. A budget cut of 15 percent has been floated as a way to balance the state budget... Such a cut would force colleges and technical schools to increase their tuition or cut programs...

University leaders have stated that such a budgetary reduction would result in a 30-40 percent increase in tuition. That would put even the USCA campus, with the lowest in-state tuition of any four year institution, out of reach for many. Presently a single full semester at USCA costs a student $1,799 plus books, room and board, but if the estimates of the tuition increase are correct, the per semester tuition would increase $540 to $720, for tuition and fees...

Even with the Life Scholarship, the cost to the student would be between $839 and $1,019. The USC main campus, with a present tuition of $8,540, would have to increase tuition to between $11,102 and $11,956. Those figures are for tuition only, they do not take into account room board, books and fees.

With cost becoming a major factor in university selection, a tuition increase of this magnitude would cause our best and brightest high school graduates to consider other options for furthering their education.

The University of Georgia (out-of-state tuition, room, board, books and fees cost $17,612) and North Carolina State University (out-of-state tuition, room, board and fees cost $15,800) would begin to siphon off South Carolina students...

How can we expect South Carolina to become a force in the next millennium when our high school graduates are seeking education elsewhere because of hefty tuition expenses...

Jason Hancock, Aiken