Sept. 10, 2013 – In response to the University of South Carolina’s expanded summer course offerings – now a full third semester is available during the summer months – Gov. Nikki Haley has asked whether S.C. Lottery scholarship funds could be expanded to support summer semesters at USC and elsewhere.
The S.C. Commission on Higher Education will team up with representatives from the state’s colleges to determine how lottery-funded scholarships for fall and spring semesters could be spread to cover a third semester in the year.
But first, they’ll need to figure out a way to implement a new scholarship structure.
Haley’s proposal to offer scholarships for summer semesters would not change the $10,000 cap on yearly scholarship amounts or the eight-semester eligibility period, according to GreenvilleOnline.com.
However, the state would need to provide an initial boost to the lottery’s scholarship fund for those students who wanted to use part of a lottery-funded scholarship during a summer semester.
Figuring out just how much of a boost the program would need from the state’s coffers is the first task for the investigators.
Haley told Greenville Online that she expects any costs would “smooth-out over time” as students taking summer semesters use their eight-month scholarship in a shorter period of time.
The extra semester would allow students to pursue internships during the fall and spring semesters, or to simply graduate sooner – students taking three semesters each year could graduate in just over two years, rather than four.
Offering a full third semester during the summer benefits colleges and universities as well. Haley pointed out that colleges are “changing the way they do business [to] adapt to rising healthcare and construction costs.”
“We at the state level have an obligation [to create] an environment in which our institutions have the ability to tailor their offerings,” Haley said.