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College construction frozen over tuition hikes

Local schools unsure of the impact

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State budget officials drew a line in the sand last week, cutting off funding for capital projects at the state's colleges and universities unless college tuition increases are at or below the national average of 7 percent.

Construction can continue if it's for student safety or funded privately.

The schools have argued that budget cuts have forced their hand on tuition increases. The College of Charleston had the highest increase this fall, 14.8 percent. The college will consider the state's demands that the school lower the tuition rate to avoid the construction ban.

After completing a string of high-profile capital projects, the only project in danger is a $1.9 million cafeteria expansion.

MUSC President Ray Greenberg says the school will look to slightly lower its 7.1 percent increase to meet the national average. The school says projects potentially at risk include the Strom Thurmond research building and the dental school classroom space.

The Citadel has no new construction projects planned.

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