University of South Carolina raises tuition 2.9 percent

The University of South Carolina’s trustees voted Friday to raise tuition 2.9 percent, starting next fall.

That increase means in-state undergraduate students at USC's Columbia campus will pay $11,482 for an academic year, or an increase of $324.  Out-of-state undergraduate students will pay $30,298.

The increase is the lowest percentage hike in 17 years. For the 1998-99 school year, the school’s board OK’d a 2.8 percent hike, increasing tuition to $3,530.

The tuition hike is in line with other increases at S.C. public schools.

The College of Charleston recently approved a 3.25 percent increase for in-state students, and Coastal Carolina University OK’d a 3.03 percent hike. The Citadel approved a 2.4 percent increase. Clemson University has not announced how much it will increase tuition.

USC offered a “timeout” on tuition hikes last year, saying it would not increase tuition if S.C. lawmakers increased the school’s state funding. But lawmakers — increasingly unhappy and vocal about tuition hikes at public schools — passed on the offer, and the school increased its tuition by 3.2 percent.

State support for USC and other S.C. public colleges and universities has decreased since the Great Recession.

This year, $145 million, or about 10 percent, of USC’s $1.4 billion-a-year budget comes from the state. In 2007-08, state dollars accounted for 23 percent of USC’s then-$1 billion budget.

USC has increased tuition every year since 1987.

USC increases tuition

USC’s trustees approved a 2.9 percent tuition increase Friday for the school’s 2001-16 academic year. A look at tuition charges next fall:

Columbia campus

Undergraduate S.C. resident: $11,482

Undergraduate non-resident: $30,298

Graduate S.C. resident: $12,784

Graduate non-resident: $26,932

Columbia and Greenville medical schools

S.C. resident: $39,114

Non-resident: $87,750

Law school

S.C. resident: $24,208

Non-resident: $48,472