HGTC commission votes to raise tuition to meet state requirement

vgrooms@thesunnews.comApril 8, 2014 

Horry Georgetown Tech Enrollment

Students walk between classes at HGTC Conway campus.

CHARLES SLATE — cslate@thesunnews.com Buy Photo

— Horry Georgetown Technical College will raise its fall tuition, bringing the college into compliance with state policy for the minimum amount that can be charged by technical schools.

HGTC’s area commissioners approved the increase Tuesday night, and it will affect in-state and out-of-state students.

In-state tuition will increase $11 per credit hour, from $139 to $150 per credit hour. The college had asked to increase tuition to $149 per credit hour, which is the minimum set by the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education, but the commissioners approved an extra dollar for ease of accounting.

Out-of-state students will see an increase of $18 per credit hour, to $270 per credit hour. The state does not fund out-of-state students, and their tuition must cover the full cost of instruction and support services. HGTC has about 800 out-of-state students enrolled.

The state board establishes minimum and maximum tuition levels for the state’s technical college system.

HGTC President Neyle Wilson said the increase is reasonable, and that technical colleges that don’t charge the minimum level of tuition could face having their funding cut down the road.

Harold Hawley, HGTC vice president for business and finance, said the state board set a minimum tuition level because some technical colleges were not charging enough tuition and were relying on the state office to offset their shortfalls, which was hurting other colleges. HGTC runs “an incredibly lean organization” compared with other technical colleges and caps its charges at 12 credit hours, he said, while other colleges in the system have exorbitant costs and charge students per credit hour and extra lab fees.

HGTC has the second-lowest, in-state tuition in the 16-member technical college system and the fourth-lowest tuition for out-of-state students.

Contact VICKI GROOMS at 443-2401 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_VickiGrooms.

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