Students in the College of Charleston’s School of Professional Studies (SPS) may get a welcome surprise when they receive their Fall 2016 tuition bills: they will be paying approximately 20% less than the Spring 2016 tuition. The CofC Board of Trustees has recently approved a tuition reduction - exclusively for students in the SPS’ Bachelor of Professional Studies program - in recognition of the unique circumstances of post-traditional students who are completing their degrees.
The standard CofC tuition rates incorporate fees for a range of student services, many of which are designed to meet the needs of traditional students. As SPS students do not frequently make use of these services - if at all - the SPS team, CofC President Glenn McConnell, and CofC Board of Trustees, acknowledge that it is only fair to assess a reduced fee to these students. The CofC leadership also recognizes that SPS students are at a financial disadvantage when compared to traditional students. While incoming freshmen and traditional transfer students are eligible for state-supported scholarship programs and tuition abatements, SPS students - all of whom are current South Carolina residents - are generally self-supporting or reliant on student loans. As Ashley Riser, Associate Director of Admissions, notes, the reduced tuition will help to offset that discrepancy, and possibly permit students to take courses they might not otherwise be able to afford: “Many of our students are using tuition assistance and/or paying their own way—this allows them to let [their tuition] dollars go further.”
The tuition reduction, which will take effect in August 2016, applies to all students enrolled in the SPS degree completion program (Bachelor of Professional Studies). The tuition per 3-hour course will be $1,197: approximately $250 less than the previous rate. Godfrey Gibbison, Dean of the School of Professional Studies, hopes that this reduction will not only help ease student financial woes, but will expand the reach of the College's degree completion program, and strengthen the Charleston economy as a whole:
"We believe, by reducing tuition cost for Professional Studies students, we are helping to create stronger families and a stronger community in the Charleston region. With families spending as much as 60% of their income on housing and transportation, reducing tuition by $1,000 per semester for full-time students significantly improves the financial health of families today, reduces the future cost of college debt, and improve affordability, making the attainment of a College of Charleston degree within reach for a broader cross-section of local citizens.”
The SPS is deeply committed to providing a high-quality education to non-traditional students, and is pleased to be able to do so at a more affordable cost. While this upcoming tuition reduction was sought as a means to level the playing field for adult students, it is also, as Gibbison states, a part of the SPS mission to offer enriching opportunities, and improve the quality of life, for Lowcountry residents. Prospective students - who are looking to continue their own academic journey - are encouraged to explore the degree completion program areas of study, or contact the SPSthe SPS for additional information.