Stimulus could help hurting SC colleges

By: Samantha Andre Email
By: Samantha Andre Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, February 9, 2009

AIKEN, S.C.---Colleges across the country have been making budget cuts left and right because of the economy, but if the president's recovery plan passes they could get some relief.

Brandon Henry hits the books hard, trying to get good grades so he can get a good job when he graduates USC-Aiken, but the economy is as scary for him as the rest of us.

"The simple fact of having to pay back student loans after college and finding jobs now, it's just tough all around," said Henry.

There may be a little relief for students like him, as the federal stimulus package could keep tuition in check.

Although it's debatable whether the stimulus plan would actually stimulate the economy, faculty at USC-Aiken say they could definitely use the money.

"It would be an incredible help to us right now. State cuts have been the worst percentage-wise of any state. So it would be just huge for higher ed," said Ginger Hudock, the vice chancellor for business and finance at USC-Aiken.

She says the school has had a hard time dealing with state budget cuts, which have totaled about 22% this year.

The federal stimulus would come in very handy, since schools don't know what's to come.

"We're afraid there are going to be additional cuts," said Hudock.

The federal money would also help in construction and making schools more energy efficient, but for students like Henry, it's all about tuition.

"I think that any amount would help as far as benefiting college students," he said.

USC-Aiken would still have to raise tuition, but it wouldn't have to go up as much.


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