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Gov. Sanford to Address Vital Questions Facing SC, Hold Higher Education Summit

September 8, 2010

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STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
MARK SANFORD, GOVERNOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ben Fox 803-734-2100 bfox@gov.sc.gov

Gov. Sanford to Address Vital Questions Facing South Carolina GOVERNOR TO HOLD HIGHER EDUCATION SUMMIT LATER THIS MONTH

Columbia, S.C. – September 8, 2010 – With the passage of Labor Day and the beginning of another busy school year, Gov. Mark Sanford today outlined a number of his fall goals that will, alongside continued economic development efforts and a final Executive Budget, be the Administration’s focus in the months to come. The first topic of discussion, already prevalent in editorial pages across South Carolina, is the rising cost of higher education in South Carolina, while the second item of unfinished business will be the taxpayer threat associated with the state’s ability to fund its own retirement and pension system in the long term.

“Given the already contentious debate over soaring tuition rates at many of our state’s taxpayer-supported colleges and universities, we thought it important to dig deeper into this larger question of higher education funding and college accessibility for students across South Carolina,” Gov. Sanford said. “The fact is that our current system is broken, and allowing a broken system to continue is unfair to taxpayers, unhelpful to so many young South Carolinians who dream about attending college one day, and indeed unworthy of our great state. In fact, we believe that once all the facts are laid out, the costly building boom and out-of-control tuition hikes at many state colleges in recent years may be only the tip of the iceberg.

“The first step in this education process is clearing away several misperceptions about higher education, student body composition, and college affordability that have been circulated for far too long. Upending these popular misconceptions is necessary as the House, Senate and Executive Branch come together next year to address these burdensome tuition hikes and explore ways to better protect the taxpayer while keeping the dream of college within reach for hard-working South Carolina families. We’ll be introducing * and refuting * the first of these common misconceptions in the days to come.

“Also toward this end, the Administration plans to host a Higher Education Summit at the end of September that will bring together lawmakers, college administrative leaders, students and parents for a candid discussion about higher education, its affordability, and reforms that will both allow universities to thrive competitively and students survive financially.”

This year alone students will have seen the College of Charleston raise tuition by 15 percent, The Citadel by 13 percent, MUSC by 9 percent, and USC and Clemson by 7 percent each * with Clemson effectively tripling its tuition over the last decade, from $3,590 in 2000 to $11,908 today.

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