SC scholarship increases don't match tuition hikes

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News 12 First at Five, January 15, 2008

AIKEN, S.C.---Latina Turner is glad to be back in school this week. She says she's always been a pretty good student, and that's what got her a scholarship to USC-Aiken.

"I'm really grateful for it. I mean I worked and I received it, you know with my 4.0 GPA. So I was really grateful for it," the junior said.

She has the Life scholarship, which is funded by the South Carolina Education Lottery.

At USC-Aiken, before the lottery, tuition was $3,558 and the Life scholarship gave recipients 2,000. Tuition is now $7,006 and the scholarships are worth $5,000.

That means before, students paid about $1,500 out of pocket. Now, they pay about $2,000.

"Tuition has increased not because of the scholarship, but because of a result of state funding cuts," said Virginia Hudock, the Chief Financial Officer at USC-A.

She says the school now receives about a million dollars less from the state now than they did in the 2000-2001 school year.

With tuition nearly double what it was seven years ago, students without the scholarships may find it hard to pay the cost of education.

"It's not the magic bullet for all of higher education," the CFO said.

She says tuition will probably go up even more next year. Just how much it goes up depends on the state government, and how much money it gives to schools.

"There are students out here who want to make something out of their lives and they have to go to college in order to do that," Turner said.

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