COLUMBIA, SC — On Friday, July 6, Governor Henry McMaster vetoed 42 items in the $8.2 million general fund budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. None of the vetoes affected the funding increases for student financial aid and other programs appropriated by the General Assembly. The House and the Senate will return to Columbia in September to address the vetoes.
For the higher education community, the final budget was a compromise that balanced little additional funding in the House version with a more robust approach by the Senate.
Programs that significantly impact students attending independent colleges and universities did, in the end, receive House and Senate approval for increased funding over the previous year.
Specific budget items impacting funding for independent higher education include the following:
- Tuition Grants – Increase of $1,169,992
- Commission on Higher Education’s need-based grant program – Net additional increase of $1,612,922 of which approximately 16.5% or ($266,122) is designated for Tuition Grants
- PASCAL (Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries) – $1,500,000
- SC Merit Scholarship program – Full-funding at over $350 million
The Tuition Grants Commission voted to use the additional $1.44 million to increase the maximum student grant by $100 to $3,300 for the 2018-19 academic year. This is the largest maximum grant available to SC Tuition Grant recipients since the grant became level-funded in 2000.
SCICU thanks it many advocates for their efforts in helping to increase the amount of financial aid that will be awarded to South Carolina students who attend a private non-profit college or university. A more complete report will be provided to the SCICU Public Policy Committee at their next committee meeting on July 17 at 10:00 a.m.