Pastides makes 'Case for Carolina' before legislators
University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides told legislators Wednesday (Jan. 26) that USC accepts every academically qualified student from South Carolina and is educating more South Carolinians than any institution in the state’s history.
Speaking before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Higher Education, Pastides reaffirmed the university’s commitment to accessibility and affordability and asked legislators to refrain from imposing caps on tuition and out-of-state enrollment.
“As the state’s flagship institution, the University of South Carolina heard the legislature’s concerns about increasing access to higher education,” Pastides said.
“We fully understand that education is the foundation for success and meaningful lives, and we are committed to remaining responsive and responsible to the needs of our students and their families and our state,” Pastides said.
The number of South Carolina students enrolled at USC campuses has increased by nearly 22 percent (about 6,000) in the past 10 years, making up approximately 77 percent of system enrollment. USC confers approximately 40 percent of all baccalaureate degrees in South Carolina.
In asking legislators not to impose tuition caps, Pastides said university officials are keenly aware of students’ limited capacity to continue paying higher tuition rates and pledged that the university would continue to make decisions with careful analysis and compassion.
“Tuition is the single-most-important financial deliberation we make, and it is discussed and voted upon in a completely transparent process with student involvement,” he said. “With the current downturn in the economy, the university’s Board of Trustees recognizes that students cannot continue to pay increasingly higher rates.”