Photo retrieved from: www.sc.edu/sotu
Despite hopes to freeze tuition at the University of South Carolina, it appears students will be forced to pay higher tuition, meal, and housing costs this year to compensate for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other state mandates.
A press release from the university states:
USC will start FY2015 applying nearly $18 million toward the additional costs of state-mandated employee pay raises, health and retirement benefits and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
The ACA will require the university to extend coverage to all employees who work 30+ hours a week. This provision alone will cost $4.5 million and the university simply cannot afford to shoulder that expense.
Instead, students and their families will bear the burden by paying the 3.2 percent increment for the upcoming school year. This equates to a $342/year increase for in-state students and $912/year increase for out-of-state students. The extra revenue will help cover both the ACA implementation and the rising cost of state-mandated employee pay raises.
University President Harris Pastides explains to students, parents, faculty, and South Carolina lawmakers the importance of keeping costs down:
"We are now at a critical tipping point. The current trajectory is no longer sustainable for our students, parents and taxpayers. We must ensure all South Carolinians have access to an affordable college education and the opportunity to earn workforce-ready baccalaureate degrees. Our state's future economic prosperity depends on it."
As a current student at the University of South Carolina, it concerns me that these mandates are making my school less affordable to attend. Across the country, we have seen tuitions continue to rise and the value of the education received decline.
Will somebody remind me again where “affordable” fits into the Affordable Care Act?