COLUMBIA, SC — The South Carolina General Assembly completed work on the 2016-2017 State Budget on June 15 when it returned to Columbia to address Governor Haley’s vetoes. The more than $7.5 billion spending bill goes into effect on July 1 and adds more than $10 million for student financial assistance.
At the end of the six-month long appropriations process, SCICU was fortunate to realize all of its 2016 legislative goals which included:
- An additional $2.53 million in recurring state funds for the Tuition Grants Commission that will increase the maximum award from $3,100 to $3,200,
- Full-funding of the State merit scholarship program (Palmetto Fellows, LIFE, HOPE, Tuition Assistance) at over $300 million to include projected growth of approximately 2%,
- An increase of more than $4.54 million for the State need-based grant program at the Commission on Higher Education,
- Up to $1.5 million for PASCAL if the amount of unclaimed lottery prizes reaches at least $19.5 million (because of several large Powerball jackpots, there is a good chance that PASCAL will receive some or all of the appropriations), and
- Legislation authorizing the Commission on Higher Education to serve as the state’s portal agency for the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement; CHE will accept applications beginning on July 1.
SCICU would like to thank its Trustees, its many friends and allies, and the members of the General Assembly who recognize the importance of a strong and vibrant independent college and university partnership. The complete 2016 Legislative Priorities vs. Results report can be found here.