Students at colleges and universities statewide will pay more for their education next year.
News broke last week that the state’s flagship university, the University of South Carolina will increase tuition by 3.25 percent next school year. The increase—an extra $373 per year for in-state students—is widely reported as the largest increase in five years.
Only 10.5 percent of the university’s $1.5 billion budget, which covers eight campuses, will come from the state next year. That funding is down from approximately 20 percent in 2008. And it’s been decreasing—as a percentage of the university’s budget—since the Great Recession of 2007-2009.
And you might expect that percentage to decline since regular tuition increases at USC began before the recession.
The General Assembly has been increasing funding to most colleges and universities since 2012. But state funding hasn’t recovered to pre-recession levels.
Part of the drive behind the increases is explained by several schools’ emphasis on becoming research universities with new and improved facilities. But tuition is trending upward even at USC’s satellite campuses and other two-year colleges.
Many students may be failing to get the jobs they need to repay their loans. As of 2012, the state’s borrower default rate was 13.1 percent, according the federal Education Department.
According to USC, the school’s default rate is 4.1 percent, compared to 11.8 percent nationally.
Other notable tuition increases next year include—
-a 3.14 percent increase at Clemson University
-3.29 percent at Coastal Carolina University
-3.5 percent at the College of Charleston
-3.25 percent at Francis Marion and South Carolina State universities
*Sources for charts–The Commission on Higher Education: 10-year summary of tuition and fees, 10-year comparison of state education appropriations