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Education

USC budget proposal would hold down tuition costs

Education
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The University of South Carolina’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023-24 seeks to keep tuition affordable across the eight-campus system.

The budget proposal also prioritizes construction of classrooms and innovative learning spaces, invests in research infrastructure and clinical outreach and promotes initiatives to support students’ needs, according to a news release.

The proposed budget was approved by the university’s Board of Trustees on Sept. 23 and will be submitted for consideration by state officials as part of the annual budget process, the release said.

Highlights of the budget request include $29.5 million in tuition mitigation funds for the Columbia campus to offset inflation and allow the university to hold tuition prices steady for the fifth consecutive year. An additional $4.7 million would provide for tuition price freezes across the entire USC system.

The request also includes $53 million to renovate and build classrooms and learning spaces in and around the Science and Technology building on campus and $41 million to renovate and upgrade outdated labs in the Coker Life Sciences building and the Jones Research Center, according to the release.

Also requested is $30 million to bring a new Brain Institute to the BullStreet health sciences campus, home to the university’s future new School of Medicine. The Institute will serve as headquarters for a Rural Brain Health Network and allow doctors to serve patients from across the state with complex brain health problems. An additional $10 million in recurring state funds would establish and support a program in which experts specializing in clinical dementia care would work together to serve patients in rural areas.

The proposed budget also includes a variety of programs to address regional needs across the system, including an expansion of the number of nursing graduates and enhanced instructional support for students.

“This request reflects our priorities: serving our students and enhancing the university’s ability to make a real difference in the lives of South Carolinians,” Michael Amiridis, university president, said in the release. “By working together with the General Assembly, we can increase the number of degree-holders in South Carolina and create innovate research and patient care models that improve the lives of all our residents.”

 

The S.C. Legislature will set budget appropriation.

Reach Christina Lee Knauss at 803-753-4327.

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