After months of budget hearings, committee meetings, floor debates, and vetoes, the $7 billion general fund budget became law on July 1.
For programs of interest to the independent higher education community, the final version of the budget adds $258,784 in lottery funds to the Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission. The additional funds, along with an increased share of state need-based grants, will allow the agency to increase the maximum Tuition Grant from $2,900 to $3,000 for academic year beginning this fall.
The Tuition Grants Commission will receive more than $36 million in general and lottery appropriations during FY 2014-15. Thanks to the committed efforts of the Governor and General Assembly over 13,500 South Carolina residents will receive financial assistance to attend one of the state’s 21 private non-profit colleges or universities.
This year’s budget fully funds the state’s merit scholarship programs and directs an additional $2.6 million in nonrecurring state appropriations to the need-based grants program at the Commission on Higher Education. The Tuition Grants Commission will receive a proportionate share-approximately $400,000-of the new money allocated to CHE’s need-based grants.
PASCAL, the Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries, was given #1 priority consideration for up to $1.5 million in excess unclaimed lottery prize money above the $8.0 million certified level.