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06/03/2005

Winthrop to Stay the Course Using 10 Percent Fee Increase

Quick Facts

 Tuition and required fees for in-state students entering Winthrop for Fall 2005 will be $7,054, which includes room and board.
 Out-of-state students will pay $10,751 per semester, up from $9,701 last year.

ROCK HILL, S.C. - The cost of attending Winthrop University will increase by 10.15 percent next year – a level board members said Friday is the minimum needed to "stay the course" that has earned Winthrop repeated top state performance ratings and national recognition as one of the "best values" in the U.S.

Tuition and required fees for in-state students entering Winthrop for Fall 2005 will be $7,054, which includes room and board. That’s an increase of $650 from last year’s fees of $6,404. Out-of-state students will pay $10,751 per semester, up from $9,701 last year.

Trustee Skip Tuttle, who chairs the board’s Finance Committee, said the increase reflects Winthrop’s commitment to keeping administrative costs in check and investing new revenue where it will have the greatest impact on students’ campus experiences.

"When Consumers Digest said Winthrop is the only public S.C. university deserving to be counted as one of the 'best values' in the nation, it said we’ve been doing a lot of things right. We need to stay the course that has earned that kind of national recognition repeatedly," Tuttle said.

In making his recommendations to the Board of Trustees, President Anthony DiGiorgio noted that the increase will keep the University on track with fully implementing a 21st century "living/learning" approach to higher education that positions it at the leading edge of institutions nationally. That program has been in design and piloting phases for several years, and in 2003 led Winthrop to create University College to integrate the foundational academic and personal development components.

"Our students' first-year experience is now residential by definition because everything we know about freshmen says those who live on campus ultimately are more successful both academically and personally," DiGiorgio said. "Learning at Winthrop isn’t confined to classrooms, but now extends more than ever into residence hall programming and other progressively developmental experiences that focus on traditional-age students."

Such an approach is designed to help students think in inter-disciplinary ways, develop global perspectives, adapt to change, and see community service as part of productive citizenship, regardless of what their individual majors may be. Those qualities are frequently cited by employers as attributes they want college graduates to possess. 

Revenues generated by the tuition increase will be invested across the campus, in everything from academic programs, such as a new master’s degree in social work, to facilities needs.

One portion of the fee increase will provide the final funding for a new Campus Center, planned for completion in 2008.                                                             

Another increment will pay for the addition of an auditorium to the Thurmond Building, which houses the College of Business Administration.  The S.C. General Assembly responded to a call from S.C. Rep. Herb Kirsh to provide $1 million toward the $2.8 million building. While donor support has been sought for the auditorium for a number of years, University officials indicate donors say academic needs should be met by the state or the institution itself. With interest rates on an upward path and likely to continue to increase, DiGiorgio recommended the project be fast-tracked "before inflation erodes the value of what the state has been willing to provide this year." That project is tentatively set for 2008 completion as well.

Other portions of the fee increase will go toward salary improvements, including making up the $800,000 unfunded portion of a statewide salary increase ordered by the General Assembly, as well as increases in fuel costs, postal rates and other "marketplace inflation" issues.

In addition to making his budget recommendations, DiGiorgio also reported to trustees that the S.C. Commission on Higher Education this week approved Winthrop’s third consecutive “substantially exceeds standards” performance, after several years of “exceeds standards” ratings.  Its multi-year record of top performance ratings is the best of all public institutions in all categories in S.C.

For more information, contact Rebecca Masters, Office of the President, at 803/323-2225.


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