June 17, 2008
Monday morning, June 9th, the Board of Trustees for the College met to discuss tuition for the upcoming academic year. The Finance Committee proposed increases in tuition for in-state students by 8% and out-of-state students by 9%. This will be a total increase of tuition to $8,400 and $20,418- respectively. That afternoon, the Board approved the proposal for the 2008-2009 academic year.
Each year, the State of South Carolina gives less and less money to higher education. This year alone, there was a 4% reduction in state appropriations, totaling $1.34 million. In the past weeks, Board members were strong advocates for us, asking SC state legislators to overturn the vetoes presented by Governor Mark Sanford that would cut our budget by $4.1 million. The programs that would have been affected in particular were hospitality and tourism, real estate, global trade, and education. Luckily, our legislators fought hard for us and we were able to maintain the $4.1 million in our state-allocated budget. Had they not, you would have seen a significant loss in those programs.
In order to maintain the high-level of education that we do offer, these increases had to be put into place. To attract and maintain quality professors and students, and to continue to update our historic campus into one that continues to be state-of-the-art, the numbers were crunched to what was presented. Also, please note that the second largest increase was directed to student financial aid ($650,000); this includes merit-based, need-based, and a new study-abroad scholarship program.
As a non-voting member of the Board, I am in support of the raise. Being an out-of-state student myself, I understand the stresses that these increases can have on student and family finances. I agree with President Benson, that if this raise had not been put into place, the College would not be able to offer the quality education that we, as students, demand. Let me remind you that there are many people at work to ensure that you can receive funding that you need to attend the College. Our Financial Aid Office is located on the ground floor of Lightsey Center, towards McAlister Hall, and ais always available for your questions. You can browse their website at cofc.edu/finaid. And know that FAFSA, federal student aid, is always available to those who qualify.
If you have any questions about the this year’s tuition please contact me or Mike Robertson, Senior Director of Media Relations, at email@example.com. I hope you’re enjoying the Summer and I can’t wait to see you back in Charleston in the Fall.
M. Seaton Brown
President of the Student Body
College of Charleston
Charleston, SC 29424