Winthrop University in-state students will pay $382 more each year for classes and fees after trustees approved a tuition increase on Thursday.
The tuition hike, which affects both in-state and out-of-state students, is the lowest for Winthrop students since 2000 when legislators started steep cuts into state taxpayer support for public colleges. Its the second lowest tuition hike in the state this year among public, four-year colleges.
Undergraduate in-state Winthrop students will now pay $13,812 each year for tuition and required fees. Out-of-state students will pay nearly twice that.
Trustees said they would prefer not to raise tuition, but more money is needed to pay for two major budget increases: rising health care and retirement benefit costs, and a mandatory 2percent pay raise for South Carolina public employees.
As school officials look to boost enrollment which will increase the number of students paying tuition trustees will expect that Winthrop leaders hold the line on expenses, said Board of Trustees finance committee chairman Glenn McCall.
Graduate students at Winthrop also will pay more when the fall semester begins in August. In-state graduate students will pay $557 per credit hour and out-of-state students will pay $1,071 per credit hour.
The tuition increase will bring in about $1.6million extra over the next academic year. In addition, trustees approved some other small student fee hikes and a 4percent cost increase for on-campus living.
Students will pay $4,880 each year a $188 increase from the previous year to live in Winthrops hall-bathroom-style dorms, such as Wofford and Richardson halls. Apartment-style residence halls with four bedrooms will cost each student $5,920 each year a $224 increase.
On-campus meal plan costs will rise by 4percent. Winthrop students will pay $3,050 each year up from $2,930.
Trustees said more money is needed from on-campus living expenses because of the rising cost to serve students and expected utility rate increases for some services.
Several board members said they were concerned about the rising cost of college for South Carolina families.