Policymakers | Costs

Study finds faults in S.C. colleges and universities

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER   |  November 26, 2011 by Wayne Washington

Many South Carolina public colleges and universities are excessively expensive and have strayed too far from their core mission: educating students, according to a recent study by a Columbia-based think tank.

Tuition is rising faster than household income in South Carolina, says the study of eight colleges and universities by the S.C. Policy Council, a public policy research and education foundation that advocates for more limited government.

The study, which did not include Winthrop University, The Citadel and many other state institutions, also says:

The colleges and universities do a poor job of retaining and graduating students.

The amount they spend on administrative costs is rising faster than the amount they spend on instruction.

Instruction too often is tilted away from general education coursework toward “narrow or trendy subject matters.”

Governance of higher education does not encourage efficiency nor does it offer help in measuring and improving academic quality.

“When taken as a whole, the findings of this report are troubling,” the study says. “Many students throughout the state can graduate with large gaps in their knowledge. Tuition and costs are rising rapidly, and families are being asked to pay more and more of their hard-earned dollars.”


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