The Daily Gamecock

In our opinion: Recent tuition increases fault of SC legislatures

We guess it’s time for college students to take on yet another part-time, or perhaps even full-time job. With tuition and fees set to rise across the board this upcoming school year for USC students at almost every campus in the system, it’s clear our state’s legislature doesn’t have its priorities straight.

When USC’s board of trustees announced its budget, we expected these tuition increases — 3.13
percent for in-state students and 3.2 percent for out-of state students — as a necessary reality for education here in South Carolina.

Higher education doesn’t come cheap, and the money needed to support the various infrastructures, professors’ salaries, maintenance etc. needs to come from somewhere. But as a institution created primarily for the growth and prosperity of the public, shouldn’t the state, not us students, foot the majority of the bill?

Sadly, our state legislature doesn’t see it that way. It should go without saying the amount of money USC pumps back into the state in terms of research and knowledgeis abundant — but what about this do our legislators not understand?

Instead of focusing on the needs of such an important institution in South Carolina, they have decided yet again to divert their attention from the real issues. When our legislators spend more time focusing on debating useless priorities — such as arguing over “so-called” Obamacare legislation that has already been upheld by the Supreme Court — clearly something is amiss.

President Harris Pastides said it best when he said that we currently are not funded according to quality or the amount of service we provide to South Carolina and we can’t help but agree more. Its high time our legislatures recognize our value and adequately fund higher education in this state for both our future and theirs.