SC State looks for answers to avoid $6 million shortfall - - Columbia, South Carolina |

SC State looks for answers to avoid $6 million shortfall

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SC State University trustees still have their work cut out for them.

In fact, one says right now is a very serious moment for the university.

As trustees try to fill a shortfall and balance a budget, the schools finds itself on SACS probation and one step away from losing accreditation altogether.

""Obviously, right now, with the latest action by SACS," State Sen. Brad Hutto said, "it just compounds the issue that was before them, but it does not make it insurmountable."

Trustees are looking at roughly a $6 million shortfall. The school was initially expecting a spike in revenue through an increase in enrollment. However, the surprise probation makes trustees a little less optimistic. Trustees now believe enrollment may drop which would make the shortfall even harder to fill.

"I would encourage anybody who's already been enrolled, been accepted, or planning to come to continue to plan, because South Carolina State is a viable institution it will continue to be," Hutto said.

A newly formed Blue Ribbon Committee will give the school more funding, according to Hutto, but only after a firm plan is in place.

Meanwhile, as trustees try to balance next year's budget, they're already looking at a number of things. Among them are increasing in-state tuition by 3.2 percent, increasing out-of-state tuition by five percent, increasing the food service fee, implementing an eight-day furlough and even decreasing athletic spending and possibly cutting men's basketball altogether.

"But that's not going to effect the teachers that are in the classroom," Hutto said, "and the quality of the classes are being taught."

At this point, however, those numbers are a moot point because they were based on previous enrollment. With an anticipated drop in enrollment, the new numbers could be even worse. Trustees wanted the new numbers before they finally decided how much will be cut.

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