USC Budget Proposal Holds Down Tuition, Board Advances Key Projects

The University of South Carolina’s Board of Trustees approved Friday (Sept. 15) a state budget request for the next academic year that prioritizes access and affordability, enhances research and improves health outcomes for South Carolina residents.

The SFY 24-25 budget request approved by trustees will keep tuition flat for in-state students through a continuation of tuition mitigation funds totaling $25.8 million for the Columbia campus and $41.8 million for the entire eight-campus system. USC has not increased tuition for South Carolina students for a record-setting fifth straight year. Other budget requests support additions and improvement of academic spaces, increased investments in STEM areas and multiple initiatives at USC System institutional to address regional needs.

With the approval by the trustees, these requests will be forwarded to the state’s Executive Budget Office later in the month for consideration by the Governor and legislature during the state’s budget process. The university expects to learn of final FY24-25 state budget decisions next spring.

“The Board and the university continue to focus on strategic investments to benefit current and future students, improve the health of our citizens and grow South Carolina’s economy,” said Board Chair Thad Westbrook. “We look forward to building on our strong partnership with the Governor and state and local leaders to ensure USC continues its positive impact on the state for decades to come.”

Also on Friday, the Board advanced key infrastructure projects designed to enhance the student and fan experience on the Columbia campus:

Formal institutional approval to start a Request for Qualifications/Request for Proposals (RFP) process for a land lease arrangement for approximately 800 acres of undeveloped property near Williams-Brice Stadium and adjacent to the Congaree River. The Board’s approval is a first step in gaining state approval for identifying potential development partners who have an interest in pursuing a comprehensive land use agreement with the university. The eventual agreement could generate significant private funding for future improvements to the stadium and economic development in the community.

Approval of an RFP for future campus housing. The goal of the RFP is to identify developers who wish to partner with USC on a plan to renovate existing student housing while developing creative concepts for new construction to meet the growing demand for additional on-campus housing and address maintenance needs.

“We are experiencing steady growth, and every indication is that demand for a USC education will only increase. Today’s projects approved by the Board will allow us to partner with the private sector to meet our housing needs and ensure that future students continue to have a world-class experience at USC,” said USC President Michael Amiridis.

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