Continued: 'Case for Carolina'
He said USC in-state freshmen, on average, incur an average out-of-pocket tuition expense of $2,680 per year. Earlier this month, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine ranked USC No. 42 in the nation as a “Top 100 Best Value in Public Education,” which, according to the publication, are universities that, “despite shrinking budgets, deliver a stellar education at an affordable price.”
In his third appearance before the committee since becoming president of the state’s flagship university, Pastides asked the committee not to impose caps on out-of-state student enrollment and emphasized the value that they bring to the university.
“Out-of-state students not only bring a rich diversity to our campus, they also help support higher education in South Carolina,” he said. “Non-resident tuition totals $110 million on the Columbia campus and accounts for three times more than what in-state residents pay.”
He assured the legislators that the university would carefully monitor out-of-state enrollment and said no qualified South Carolinian has ever been denied access to USC because of out-of-state students.
Pastides also asked legislators to continue to support the lottery funds for higher education. “This important program has single-handedly changed the profile of South Carolina higher education, from that of being an exporter of our finest high-school graduates to one of the country’s greatest net retainers of top academic talent.”
He was joined by Alexandria "Alex" Tracy, a senior international-relations major from Pinopolis in Berkeley County who is a recipient of the lottery-funded Palmetto Scholarship.
Pastides said the university has reacted thoughtfully and responsibly to the sharp drop in state appropriations, which funds only 10 percent of USC’s budget.
“Through increased efficiencies and shared sacrifice, we have worked to accommodate the needs of South Carolina students. We have held spending constant while increasing our enrollment dramatically, and we have done so strategically and with compassion.”