S.C. State University, still wrestling with a deficit that has passed $20 million, received a lifeline Tuesday when state political leaders agreed to extend repayment of a $6 million loan for five years.
The loan, granted by the S.C. Budget and Control Board last year, was due June 30. The board, led by Go. Nikki Haley, gave the 119-year-old school until 2020 to repay the state.
The first payment of more than $350,000 is due in a year.
The loan extension is the latest in a spate of good news for S.C. State.
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The school’s accreditors decided Thursday to give S.C. State another year to fix its finances rather than pull the official seal of approval needed so students can receive federal financial aid.
Meanwhile, S.C. State is set to receive $3 million from a $12 million fund that legislators approved to aid S.C. State last year. The state budget could bring another $4 million to the Orangeburg college.
The state’s only historically black public college has struggled to pay bills after failing for years to reduce its budget as enrollment shrank.
S.C. State’s deficit is scheduled to grow to $23.5 million by the end of the month, according to a state-ordered audit that was a condition of receiving the $6 million loan.
S.C. State’s leadership has undergone a complete makeover in the past three months with a new president and an entirely new board.