The South Carolina Budget & Control Board’s recent decision to place on hold all new building projects at all state-supported colleges and universities if their tuition increases for full time students go above a certain threshold not only at four year public colleges, but also two-year schools, including community colleges and technical colleges. For two-year colleges, including technical schools, the threshold is an increase above 6.3 percent from this past spring semester to this year’s fall semester. State Technical College System President Dr. Darrel Statt says only 4 of the 16 state technical colleges are affected by the decision: Horry-Georgetown, Orangeburg-Calhoun, Tri-County, and Williamsburg.
Statt says Orangeburg-Calhoun, which raised its tuition 7.3 percent, currently has no ongoing major building projects. Horry-Georgetown raised its tuition 7.5 percent and Tri-County had an increase of 12.7 percent. Statt says Williamsburg received special permission to increase its tuition above the stated threshold. Building projects funded solely from privately donated funds are unaffected by the Board’s decision.
Staat says the technical colleges’ mission to work with new industries in educating employees and students in manufacturing techniques used by the manufacturers will not be affected by the Board’s decision.
Statt says in lieu of tuition increases above the designated threshold, technical colleges will be seeking increased contributions into the schools’ foundations by business and industry. He adds seeking increased alumni contributions may also be an option, but not the main option.
Statt says his understanding is that the Budget & Control Board’s decision is a temporary action that will provide some financial relief for students and parents during this recession.
Statt says when you look at the bottom line of higher education in South Carolina; technical colleges are one of the state’s best investments.