Tuition at the University of South Carolina will increase by 2.9% for 2018-19, bringing the total for in-state students at the Columbia campus to $6,308 and to $16,649 for out-of-state students.
The university’s Board of Trustees approved a $1.6 billion budget on Wednesday that also funds various statewide technology upgrades and reduces tuition costs for Palmetto College students who have accumulated more than 75 hours toward a bachelor’s degree.
The budget focuses on continuing an initiative to bolster teaching and research at the Columbia campus, particularly in sectors where job demand is high, as well as upgrades to the university’s information technology network, USC said in a news release.
The university said the 2.9% bump is the lowest percentage increase since 1998. USC’s eight-system campus will receive an increase of more than $8.2 million in recurring funds under the state budget plan approved last month by the General Assembly.
“While there is still work to be done, it’s very encouraging that the leadership in the General Assembly recognizes that additional state investment has a direct and immediate impact on lessening the financial burden on South Carolina families,” USC president Harris Pastides said. “We look forward to more conversations with lawmakers on ways to ensure college remains affordable and accessible.”
More than 51,000 students are enrolled in the USC system, with 36,000 at the Columbia campus. The university system confers more than 40% of the state’s higher education degrees, the school said.
Nearly half the students in Columbia do not rely on loans to pay for tuition, USC said, and those who do graduate with an average debt of $28,972 — less than the national average of $30,100 in 2015, according to USA Today.
Graduate school tuition at USC’s Columbia campus will rise to $7,025 for in-state students and $14,798 for out-of-state students. Law school tuition will climb to $13,304 for S.C. residents and $25,751 for non-residents.
Medical school tuition will rise by 3% for state residents to $21,342. USC campuses in Aiken (2.5%), Beaufort (2.48%) and the Upstate (1.5%) will also see increases. Tuition at Palmetto College campuses will rise by 2.9% and by 2.5% for online students.