Horry Georgetown Technical College out-of-state students will have to pay about $500 more per year for classes next fall.
The college’s Board of Commissioners raised out-of-state tuition by 15 percent Tuesday, which equates to about $500 more per year for out-of-state students ($320 per credit hour). In-state students will pay an additional $3 ($157 per credit hour) next fall thanks to a 2 percent increase, which is less than last year’s raise.
$320 Cost per credit hour for out-of-state students
The increase is meant to keep up with inflation and meet state standards, but it also means out-of-state students will pay about $7,680 annually. Neyle Wilson, HGTC’s president, doesn’t think the hike will deter too many students.
“It’s going to be unpleasant for some of them, but by law we have to charge them what it costs,” he said.
The college does not receive state or federal funding for out-of-state students, which means the students must cover the full costs of their education. HGTC enrolls about 685 out-of-state students.
This year’s hike is less than last year. In 2015, the college’s board approved a tuition increase of about 3 percent, which amounts to $106 more per year for in-state students and an additional $192 for their out-of-state peers.
We don’t want to have our funding cut, if we’re not in compliance.
Harold Howley, vice president chief financial officer
Officials also raised tuition in 2014 by $11 per credit hour for in-state students and $18 an hour for those from outside the state.
“It will still keep us in the middle of the pack in affordability,” Wilson said.
The state board governing technical schools sets minimum and maximum tuition levels. College officials have said the state board mandates a minimum tuition level because some institutions were not charging enough and were relying on the state office to offset their shortfalls, hurting other colleges.
HGTC had to increase tuition levels to stay in compliance with the state’s requirements, or else risk losing funding. In-state students should only pay about $3 more per credit hour than last year, which keeps the college’s affordability stable, officials said.
“We’re projecting we’ll still be tied for third most affordable in the state,” Harold Howley, vice president chief financial officer, told the board.
$157 Cost per credit hour for in-state students
HGTC is tied with Central Carolina Technical College as third most affordable tech school in the state, just behind Northeastern and Denmark technical colleges. Aiken Technical College has the most expensive in-state tuition, according to budget documents provided by HGTC.
Wilson said many out-of-state students only pay the higher costs during their first semester, and later pay the lower in-state tuition once their state residency is finalized. Many students move to the area for a job and switch their residency status once settled, Wilson said.
“We’ll still be affordable,” he said.
Claire Byun: 843-626-0381, @Claire_TSN