Increasing the size of State Higher Education Scholarships

H.4459 and H.4460 would each increase the size of scholarships available under various state provided higher education scholarship programs.

H.4459 would:

  • Increase the size of scholarships available under the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Program from $6,700 to $7,300,
  • increase the annual amount available from a LIFE scholarship from $4,700 to $5,170
  • Increase the size of scholarships available under the SC HOPE scholarship program from $2,500 to $2,750

H.4460 would specify that grants made by the Tuition Grants Commission can be in any amount up to an including $3,200. The maximum amount for the current year is $3,100.

The problem is that increased state-based funding of higher education, whether through scholarships or direct budgetary appropriations, is great for universities and their administrators but bad for students. National studies have found that increases in government provided student financial aid have gone hand in hand with tuition increases. On the state level, a 2007 study by the South Carolina Policy Council found that universities responded to an increase in higher education scholarships by raising tuition.

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