money

The Coastal Carolina Board of Trustees approved their Tuition and Fees for the 2019-2020 school year this morning, raising undergraduate in-state tuition by 0.9 percent, and by 2.8 percent for out-of-state undergraduates.

That brings the yearly tuition for in-state undergrads to $11,640, while out-of-state students would pay $27,394.

David Frost, chief financial officer and vice president for finance at CCU, said that the state average for out-of-state students is $27,000, noting that Clemson’s out-of-state tuition rose 3.8 percent, and College of Charleston’s rose 3.9 percent. The average in-state tuition in the state is $12,200 per year.

Since their increase was below one percent for in-state students, the university will not lose any of their state appropriation funding, according to Frost.

Housing fees will not increase next year, or “in the foreseeable future,” according to CCU officials, as a result of a property refinance plan they initiated in 2014. All residential students will continue to receive a $75 per semester housing credit, which was implemented for the 2017-2018 school year but will continue for two more years.

In other CCU finances

• The board approved President David DeCenzo’s discretionary spending budget for 2019-2020 at $350,000, the same amount as last year. Some board members expressed concern it might not be enough, but DeCenzo said last year only around $200,000 was used.

• Trustees approved a resolution that provides for the early retirement of all outstanding maturities of the Series 2010A State Institution Bonds, up to $36 million. The repayment of these bonds will come partially from the Horry County penny sales tax for education, auxiliary funds, and other university funds. By doing this, CCU saves $6.5 million in interest over a 10-year period, and also goes back to their debt-level “pre-stadium”, improving their ratios.

DeCenzo said that if CCU is fortunate and the voters keep the penny sales tax going in 2020, the university could “conceivably” be debt-free.

“Being debt-free with constraints on tuition trying to ensure we don’t have to keep raising tuition, it’s a plan of action that hopefully in seven or eight years puts us in a position where you’re not dealing with ‘Oh my goodness, we can’t raise tuition,’ DeCenzo said. “By eliminating our debt we’ll be in a much better position to move this institution forward.”

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