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Caslen promised to freeze tuition. Even without him, USC likely to to go along

Caslen promised to freeze tuition. Even without him, USC likely to to go along

The University of South Carolina is still on track to freeze tuition, despite a change in the university’s top position.

The Finance and Infrastructure Committee of the university’s board of trustees on Friday approved a fiscal year 2022 budget that includes no increase in tuition or fees.

Freezing tuition “shows our commitment to keeping costs low,” said Kelly Epting, USC’s associate vice president for finance and budget.

Under Robert Caslen, USC had already been planning to freeze tuition, but the move Friday shows the university intends to continue forward with that plan.

USC Interim President Harris Pastides, who was president from 2008 to 2019, led the university after the Great Recession and during the governorship of Nikki Haley, when higher education funding saw consecutive decreases.

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If the full board approves the tuition and fee freeze, it would be the first time under Pastides’ watch that tuition and fees did not increase. Undergraduate, in-state tuition and fees at USC is $12,688 per year. Out-of-state tuition is $33,928.

Last spring, USC faced a budget crisis as the coronavirus pandemic threatened to decimate enrollment. However, USC actually increased enrollment, albeit slightly, for the 2020-2021 school year.

USC’s chief operating officer, Ed Walton, said Friday at the board meeting that USC was more financially healthy than at any time since he arrived at the school in the late ‘90s.

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