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Lieutenant Governor joins students from across the state to observe Higher Education Day

Tue, 04/09/2024

Students from public, technical, and independent colleges and universities across the state came together April 9 at the South Carolina State House for the third annual Higher Education Day, a joint event to highlight all sectors of higher education and show appreciation for the state’s need based financial aid.

South Carolina Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette spoke at the Higher Education Day proclamation ceremony and encouraged students to take a broad view of higher education’s role in their lives.

Proclamation ceremony“What we need to think about is lifelong learning, because as technologies continue to change, as different career paths continue to get more advanced, we always have to make sure that we're on the cutting edge of education,” Evette said. “No matter where you are, don't close the doors on education. Continue to look at what you're doing today as a lifeline to getting to exactly where you need.”

Evette added that South Carolina attracts a variety of different industries, and that higher education has continually evolved to help provide the skilled workforce that existing and arriving businesses require.

The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, South Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities (SCICU) and the South Carolina Technical College System (SCTCS) partnered to co-host the event.

“Higher Education Day gives us an opportunity to express our gratitude to the governor and General Assembly for the emphasis they have placed on higher education affordability in recent years - with significant increases in both the need-based grants used at public institutions as well as the tuition grants used at independent institutions,” said Dr. Greg Little, South Carolina Commission on Higher Education Acting President and Executive Director.

In academic year 2023, more than 40,000 South Carolina students received need-based financial aid. Nearly 28,000 students at public institutions received Need-Based Grants, while approximately 12,000 students at independent institutions received Tuition Grants.

In the fiscal year 2021-2022 budget, South Carolina increased the Need-based Grants from $20M to $60M and doubled tuition grants from $10M to $20M. Need-based grant funding increased to $70M in 2022-23, and to $80M in 2023-24. This year’s proposed budget also reflects continued levels of support for both need-based aid and tuition grants.

“Thank you for this investment in the young people of our state,” Little added. “I have every confidence that our graduates will provide a tremendous return on this investment as they enter the workforce, and further strengthen South Carolina’s economic competitiveness on the world stage.”

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