Executive Committee gives preliminary OK to budget
The Executive Committee of the University of South Carolina’s Board of Trustees gave preliminary approval to a 2010-11 operating budget Friday (June 18) that balances several critical needs of the university with efforts to keep tuition as low as possible without compromising students’ educational experience.
The full board is expected to take up the budget when it meets June 25.
The $1.1 billion, eight-campus budget, which will take effect July 1, includes the $576 million operating budget composed of tuition and state appropriations, as well as the estimated restricted grants and contracts and auxiliary enterprises. The new operating budget incorporates federal stimulus funds to be applied only to non-recurring expenses.
Undergraduate tuition and required fees on the Columbia campus will go up by 6.9 percent. For students who are South Carolina residents, that is an increase of $315 per semester. The additional tuition revenue is expected to add $15.525 million to the budget. Part of that revenue, $8 million, will be used to restore a portion of academic unit budget reductions resulting from cuts in state appropriations; the balance of the new tuition dollars will cover inflationary items and minimal strategic initiatives, including a commitment to experiential education, an initiative that will expand internships and job preparation through the Career Center.
University President Harris Pastides said that he is heartened by the record number of freshmen who plan to attend the University of South Carolina in the fall and is committed to providing them the best educational experience possible.
“The state’s bleak budget picture continues to impact us, and once again we have made some gut-wrenching choices,” Pastides said. “However, it is imperative that we maintain the quality that we are known for and continue to provide an outstanding educational experience for our students. The record number of freshmen from South Carolina who plan to attend the university this fall is a ringing endorsement of the university and its mission, and the confidence that they have put in Carolina is a reminder that we cannot falter in our commitment to educating the people of our state.”
Pastides said that at the Columbia campus, a tuition increase of 16 percent would have been required to restore the university’s 2010 base budget, a figure out of the question in order to keep education affordable.
Since the 2008 fiscal year, the university’s state appropriations have been cut by nearly $105 million.
Seventy-seven percent of the operating budget is slated for categories that directly serve students, including instruction, academic support, student services and scholarships, Pastides said.
State appropriations for FY 2010-11 will make up 10.9 percent of the total system budget and 10.3 percent of the Columbia campus total budget, following federal grants and contracts, auxiliary enterprises, and tuition and fees.
The tuition adjustment for undergraduates on the Columbia campus will raise tuition and required fees for in-state students by $315, to $4,893 per semester. Non-resident tuition and required fees will increase to $12,681 per semester.
Graduate-student tuition and required fees also will increase by 6.9 percent: $351 per semester for in-state students, for a total of $5,445; $735 per semester for non-resident students, for a total of $11,475.
Tuition and required fee increases for the system campuses are 6 percent for Aiken, 9.5 percent for Beaufort and 5 percent for Upstate.
For the regional campuses (Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter and Union), students with fewer than 75 credit hours will see tuition and required fees increase by 6.5 percent. For students with 75 or more credit hours, tuition and required fees will increase by 5.4 percent.
The University of South Carolina is the state’s flagship university, enrolling more than 43,000 students on its eight campuses.