As a major research and teaching institution, the University of South Carolina has a large and complex operating budget with multiple sources of revenue and a variety of operating costs.
The following Q&A will serve to provide a better understanding of the University's budget and how the institution is addressing major reductions in state appropriations to higher education.
Tuition and fees, grants, contracts, and gifts, and state appropriations are the major sources of University revenue.
The total University system budget, approved by the Board of Trustees for fiscal year
2009-10 is $1.08 billion.
State appropriations account for 16.3 percent of the University's system revenue. That percentage varies among the individual campuses, ranging from a high of 31.5 percent for the School of Medicine to 11.7 percent at USC Beaufort. Note that state appropriations make up a larger percentage of the University's operating budget, which does not include sponsored grants and contracts, student financial aid, and auxiliary enterprises.
Tuition and fees account for 40.3 percent of the University's system revenue. Again, that percentage varies at each campus with USC Beaufort deriving the most, 55.6 percent, of its revenue from that source and the School of Medicine deriving the least, 14.9 percent.
Grants, contracts, and private gifts from fund raising make up 26.8 percent of the University's revenue.
The remaining sources of University revenue include sales and service educational activities, 3 percent; and sales and service auxiliary enterprises, 13.6 percent. An auxiliary enterprise is an entity that exists primarily to furnish services to students, faculty, and staff. Examples include the student health centers, housing, parking, and athletics. By state law, auxiliary operations must cover their own costs.
Carolina reports expenditures based on the following categories that support the primary mission of the University to educate the state's diverse citizens through teaching, research and creative activity, and service. These activities include both unrestricted and restricted expenses normally categorized as: instruction; research; public service; academic support; student services; institutional support; operation and maintenance of plant; scholarships and fellowships and auxiliary enterprises.
As of June 11, 2009, the University's state appropriations have been reduced by $55.4 million since last June. The percentage reduction varies by campus and is apportioned as follows:
|School of Medicine||($5,673,845)||-24.71%|
|USC Columbia and SOM Total||($45,436,340)||-24.72%|
|USC System Total||($55,437,493)||-24.85%|
|USC System||Budget FY2001||Base Budget FY2009||Base Budget FY2010|
|Percent of Total Current Fund Revenue||40%||21%||16.3%|
Although the total system budget covering eight campuses exceeds $1 billion, the operating budget of the University system is a smaller but critically important piece of the budget picture. The operating budget is the University's unrestricted funds that can be used based on strategic needs and priorities.
The operating budget deals with the general day-to-day activities and expenses of the institution. For USC Columbia, the operating budget revenue is approximately $437 million. Operating budgets of all University campuses account for about 54 percent of the total University budget. As a percentage of the operating budget, state appropriations make up a relatively large slice of the pie, making reductions of this magnitude difficult to manage.
All state budget cuts are to recurring or "base" funds. State appropriations reductions reduce permanently the amount of revenue allocated to the University of South Carolina system from the state. To put this in perspective, on the Columbia campus, a tuition increase of 16.5 percent would have been required to restore the university's base budget to the fiscal year 2008-09 level.
With student tuition being the primary source of operating revenue, the University seeks to balance the need for additional revenue with a commitment to ensure that Carolina remains accessible and affordable.
The tuition adjustment for undergraduates on the Columbia campus will raise tuition and required fees for in-state students by 3.6 percent, or $159 per semester, to $4,578 per semester. Non-resident tuition and required fees will increase to $11,866 per semester.
In-state graduate student tuition and required fees will increase by $176 for a semester total of $5,094. Non-resident graduate student tuition and required fees will increase by $372 for a semester total of $10,740.
Students in the School of Law, the School of Medicine, the S.C. College of Pharmacy, and the Moore School of Business graduate programs also will have different tuition increases. For in-state students, law school tuition and required fees will increase by 6.6 percent; medical school tuition will increase by 9.9 percent, and pharmacy students will seen an increase of 10 percent. Tuition increases for Moore School graduate students will vary by program.
Required tuition and fee increases for the system campuses are 3.6 percent for USC Beaufort and USC Upstate and 4.9 percent for USC Aiken.
For the regional campuses (Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, and Union), students with less than 75 credit hours will see tuition and required fees increase by 5 percent. For students with 75 or more credit hours, tuition and required fees increase by 5.8 percent.
Increased tuition is expected to raise $7,740,000 in new funds for strategic allocation as follows:
|Academic Programs and Services|
|Faculty Excellence Initiative||$1,250,000|
|University Libraries||$ 340,000|
|Undergraduate Research||$ 110,000|
|Academic Support and Student Affairs Programs|
|4 percent fee waivers||$ 772,414|
|Student Affairs||$ 250,000|
|Research computing||$ 150,000|
|General Institutional Costs and Central Operations|
|Law enforcement and safety||$ 250,000|
|Environmental health and safety||$ 100,000|
|Board of Trustees, general counsel, and finance operations||$ 648,630|
|Student activities||$ 161,968|
Federal Stimulus funding, part of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Program in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is expected to be $29,237,161 for the University system. These are non-recurring funds available for a period of two years that will be allocated as follows:
|USC Columbia and SOM||$23,945,887|
|USC Aiken||$ 1,469,806|
|USC Beaufort||$ 481,777|
|USC Upstate||$ 1,959,567|
|USC Lancaster||$ 356,295|
|USC Salkehatchie||$ 310,271|
|USC Sumter||$ 575,463|
|USC Union||$ 138,095|
|Total System Federal Stimulus Funding||$29,237,161|
Stimulus funds will be distributed strategically to the campuses and will be used generally for one-time expenses that support our core mission of teaching, research, and service and for initiatives that will spur economic development.