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Clemson’s Skyrocketing Tuition Costs

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Clemson University raised its tuition costs by three percent for undergraduate students (and four percent for graduate school students) this week, the school announced. And while Clemson officials (and our state’s supplicant mainstream media) are hailing this latest hike as the school’s smallest tuition increase in fifteen years, it’s worth looking back over this time period for some context.

According to Clemson’s Office of Instutional Research, yearly tuition and fees for the 1998-1999 school year totaled $3,344 for in-state students and $9,100 for out-of-state students. Adjusting those figures for inflation, we ought to be looking at $4,779 per year for in-state students and $13,004 for out-of-state students in 2013 dollars.

Clemson’s actual tuition costs? For the 2013-14 school year, in-state students will pay $13,054 while out-of-state students will shell out $30,488 (the school has yet to determine its fees for the coming school year, incidentally).

Those are massive increases even after adjusting for inflation … 173 percent for in-state students and 134 percent for out-of-state students.

Clemson – which is run by an unconstitutional governing board – has been ballooning its budget in recent years to pay for all sorts of unnecessary expenditures. Among them? Its wasteful “public service” division, a wind turbine facility and an entire campus devoted to a Confederate submarine. Then there’s the school’s totally unnecessary architecture school in Charleston, S.C. (which will soon be employing its president – James Barker).

Clemson is slated to receive $783 million in the FY 2013-14 state budget – an increase of $6 million from last year. Its “public services” division will receive another $69.4 million.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – higher education is not a core function of government: Which is why we believe every single one of the state’s thirty-three government-run colleges and universities should be set free to pursue their destinies as private institutions.

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