The College of Charleston’s Board of Trustees voted this week to revise the Spring 2011 semester tuition for in-state students. Tuition for an in-state graduate student enrolled in twelve or more credit hours will decrease from the current rate of $5673 to $5290. This represents an overall decrease of $383. Similarly, in-state students enrolled in nine credit hours will see a decrease of $288 from the original rate. This reflects a reduction of $32 per credit hour, from $473 to $441 per hour for in-state students. Out-of-state students’ tuition will remain unchanged. Graduate tuition is set at ten percent above undergraduate tuition, and these revised rates continue to reflect that difference.
The reduction in tuition is in response to a construction moratorium imposed by the SC Budget and Control Board on four-year public institutions that raised in-state tuition by more than seven percent this year. The College’s in-state undergraduate tuition was originally increased by fourteen percent (out-of-state tuition was increased by six percent over last year), and this reduction for the spring semester will set the College’s in-state tuition at only a seven percent increase over last year’s levels, thus ending the moratorium and allowing essential construction projects to proceed as planned. As a result of the tuition decrease, the College faces a mid-year budget cut of $2.3 million, and a potential fiscal year budget cut of $4.6 million. Mission-central areas that will be affected by the decrease in tuition include the ability to fund faculty and staff positions, the ability to enhance financial aid, the ability to pursue new capital projects, and the ability to fund technology improvements.
Despite these budgetary setbacks, President Benson has assured the student body that the College intends to keep in place the 25% increase in Financial Aid originally allocated for the current academic year. However, other areas will be impacted by the severe shortfalls in the College’s yearly budget. These impending impacts will be announced by the College after it conducts a quality and efficiency study of its operations (which is currently underway). You can read the full press release regarding the tuition reduction here.
As always, we encourage graduate students to make their voice heard about tuition and other important issues facing them. Today, you will have the opportunity to personally discuss these issues with President Benson and members of the Board of Trustees at a Student Town Hall meeting. The event starts at 4:00 PM in the Wachovia Auditorium (in the Beatty Center/School of Business Building), and we urge you to attend to voice your concerns about issues important to you.