COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A college education is a great investment. But for parents of South Carolina's four-year public college students, the investment is getting very expensive. This fall, tuition at USC and Clemson is up 7 percent, at the Citadel, it's up 13 percent, and College of Charleston's increase is 15 percent. Ouch!
Governor Sanford says our in-state tuition is now the highest in the southeast and roughly double that of Georgia and North Carolina. There's something wrong with that picture. The Southern Regional Education Board says the problem here is that state lawmakers don't fund public colleges as much as other states. But a USC spokesman says only about 10% of USC's budget comes from the state. The governor and USC officials disagree about the wisdom of spending money on capital projects -- bricks and mortar -- while tuition is going up fast. The issues are complicated, and there are no easy answers.
We agree with the Governor that South Carolina needs a state Board of Regents to have more oversight on finances. A statewide perspective on higher education is needed to reduce duplication of programs and campuses -- and to make sure that our state tax dollars are distributed fairly among the many state colleges and universities.
That's my perspective, I'd like to hear your thoughts.