By SEANNA ADCOX
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - State efforts to save a historically black college in one of South Carolina's poorest areas include offering local high school graduates free tuition.
A law signed Friday by Gov. Henry McMaster puts the state Technical College System directly in charge of Denmark Technical College until November 2018.
An audit last fall showed Denmark Tech's operating balance had plummeted from $9 million to $285,000 in four years, prompting state officials to demand changes at the college that primarily serves Allendale, Bamberg and Barnwell counties.
The state agency recommended the temporary takeover. To boost enrollment, it developed "Panther Promise," which offers two years tuition-free to students graduating from tri-county area schools in the coming weeks.
Interim President Chris Hall welcomes the state's intervention, saying it will provide much-needed resources.
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