South Carolina bill to extend in-state tuition to Georgia, North Carolina

Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 6:31 PM EST
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - There’s a new bill that could allow some colleges in South Carolina to expand in-state tuition to students from Georgia and North Carolina.

USC Aiken is one of them. While this particular college allows students from Richmond and Columbia County to pay in-state tuition, here’s how it could help attract students from Atlanta or North Carolina.

House Bill 3325 means more options and less money.

“We have the capacity for 1,000. We have 1,000 beds on campus, currently less than 700 are occupied. So by being able to strategically recruit in a place like Georgia, or perhaps North Carolina, higher population zones, distant from our campus, we figure we will be able to offset some of the losses that we’re facing,” said USC Aiken Chancellor Daniel Heimmermann.

The bill would allow students in Georgia and North Carolina access to in-state tuition at seven South Carolina schools.

Daren Timmons is the provost vice chancellor for academic affairs. He said, “The number is pretty small from North Carolina, the bit of a stretch about 30 or so students from North Carolina currently on campus, we have nearly 250 from Georgia, that are a part of USC Aiken programs. Half of those come from Columbia in Richmond County.”

It costs around $5,200 to attend USC Aiken in-state. Over the border, it’s double.

“We’re 90%, almost 90% in-state residents, college students at USC Aiken. Other universities across the state don’t have that high of a population. We see it more as an opportunity to engage with more students. So we don’t look at it as a financial loss,” he said.

There was a catch, but not anymore. The subcommittee struck down a $250 award limit.

S.C. District 56 Representative Tim McGinnis said: “It was kind of an arbitrary number. And frankly, I don’t think we need the cap because if you come to us looking for money because of these discounts offered, you’re not going to get i,t so we kind of like leave the cap to you.”

If passed, It can go into effect this fall. Now that it has been approved by the subcommittee, the bill will go to the full House Education and Public Works Committee next.