Tuition at the Medical University of South Carolina will increase an average of six percent next year. Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Mark Sothmann says the board approved the increase on Friday.
Sothmann says it’s imperative that the university be able to maintain accreditation:
Everybody here is very aware that we want to keep the tuition rates as low as we can while balancing the need to obviously cover what we call the unavoidable costs which are in the areas, for example of energy and health benefits, things that we cannot neccessarily control. So, it’s a delicate balancing act.
The university last year initially raised tuition an average of 7.1 percent. But the school rolled that back to seven percent after the state’s Budget and Control Board told public, four-year schools they would face a ban on new construction projects if they raised tuition higher than seven percent.
Sothmann says the board worked hard to be able to control spending, but “It’s a delicate balancing act each year on where we can in fact control costs while at the same time realizing that we have to cover some of those unavoidables.”
Sothmann said he spoke with several groups of students in recent weeks about the proposed tuition increases and most students seemed to understand.
This was, relative to past years, a modest increase when we’ve seen other universities, and quite honestly in South Carolina as well, increase their tuition into the double digits. That’s when the students get really concerned. But I think they understand that we have to cover these costs in a varity of ways.
MUSC has six colleges charging different rates, complicating the tuition structure. But Sothmann says in-state tuition increases will range between five and eight percent in most of MUSC’s colleges, with an average six percent increase.