Better funding for higher education leads to one-year tuition freeze

Updated: May. 28, 2019 at 7:11 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Max Habicht is a graduate student at the University of South Carolina.

He said he picked UofSC because of the school’s public health program and the nice campus. “I knew my four years weren’t going to be a negative experience educationally.”

He’s from Michigan and knew he was going to have to pay a pretty penny to come to the Palmetto State for school. He also anticipated tuition increases every year but wasn’t a big fan of them. “I think everyone was aware of that fact and bit that bullet. Steered into that skid, you know.”

The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education said during and after the recession public colleges and universities in South Carolina weren’t receiving enough money from the state. Mike LeFever is the interim President and Executive Director of the state’s Commission on Higher Education.

“Any increased operating cost had to be borne by students by increasing the tuition each year,” he said.

Earlier this year, Governor Henry McMaster unveiled a plan in his executive budget to freeze tuition in South Carolina. Schools would receive money for funding in exchange for keeping their tuition low. To get that money schools that need to keep their tuition within one percent of what it was the year before. Lawmakers moved forward with the idea and are setting aside $36 million in this year’s budget for this sole purpose.

LeFever said, “These are publicly funded universities and it is a benefit for all of South Carolina, not just the students who are attending it.”

Habicht said he’s hopeful this leads to a more permanent solution later on down the road and better funding for higher education in South Carolina. “It’s a great idea. I’m all for the government helping out public schools.”

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