SC State President explains tuition hike

South Carolina State University Board of Trustees approved a 8.4 percent tuition hike starting in the 2009-2010 school year. President George Cooper, who’s only been in office for ten months, says, “We’re having this increase in order to provide access and quality of education programs for students. Our appropriations this year for South Carolina State decreased 36.4 percent, we were told there are no additional funds, so the only realistic way that we had to balance our education and general budget was to increase tuition,” says Cooper.

The increase will cost students $327 more per semester. Full-time, in-state students will now pay $8,460 per year.
Cooper says all South Carolina universities are facing economic challenges, but he doesn’t foresee the increase will keep students from applying.
“We do not think that it’s gonna impact our enrollment, but we don’t know. As we look at our potentials, our admission staff is working, and our statistics compared to previous years are up slightly. We don’t think it will have a negative impact, but I can tell you that my board is a little concerned, so we’ll be making quarterly reports to the board so that they’re aware of the enrollment statistics and the impact of our tuition on enrollment of students,” says Cooper.
Cooper says the three priorities are as follows,  “First priority is to the students who attend our university, second priority is maintaining critical student support functions, and our third priority is to maintain a safe environment for our students, our faculty, and our staff- that will drive the decisions.
“As for school employees, Cooper says 65 percent of the school’s budget is based on salaries and wages. They will do all they can to keep positions, but some non-teaching positions may be eliminated.
“The critical thing now is that we maintain stability in our permanent faculty who are involved in the classroom, that’s our first priority. So, we’ll be looking at administrative positions and other positions at the university so that we can maintain essential functions and focus on the needs of students who attend our university,” says Cooper.

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