A new bill that could potentially revolutionize college tuition was proposed to the South Carolina legislative committee on Wednesday, Oct. 18th, 2018.
The legislative committee of South Carolina reviewed a bill that would temporarily freeze college tuition increases on Wednesday. Members of the committee applauded and praised this new bill.
The bill is designed to create a $125 million trust fund to ramp up state funding of colleges to enroll students who are in the state. For their part, colleges will have to freeze tuition for a year and a cap was set at any time of tuition increase to only 2.75% each year.
Sen. Vincent Sheheen, one of the committees who designed this bill said, “It seemed to me, it was time for a grand bargain,” Sheheen said The State. “South Carolina has the highest tuition rates in the Southeast and, last time I checked, the seventh-highest in the nation.”
South Carolina’s public colleges all unanimously vote yes for the bill.
With the bill soon in action, there are still a lot of details that still need to be planned.
For one, many people think that tuition increase restriction isn’t enough.
“If you really want to talk about how to reform this… we have to talk about cutting tuition, not just freezing it,” said Sen. Darrell Jackson. Even the president of the University of South Caroline recognizes the plight.
USC President Harris Pastides says,
“Let’s cap it at first, then every two years, then three, then four,” said Pastides. “Then we’ll be rolling it back someday.”
President Pastides argues that the only way for colleges to cut tuition to help students is if the state increases college funding. Since 2017, 15% of the state’s college fund has diminished to a measly 7% that angered many college administrators.
“There is no way for us to eliminate enough programs, or to fire enough people… to freeze tuition.”
For this school year, the University of South Carolina has increased tuition by 2.9%.
The committee is scheduled to meet next Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m, to discuss more on this bill.