Saving SC State: historically black college struggles to survive

By Luis E. Gomez
Associate Editor Vol. 20.; Contributing Editor Vol. 21

South Carolina State University is facing dwindling admissions and funds. It is a struggle that is common among black colleges. The school is facing a $17 million budget deficit, and lawmakers are not inclined to lend more money. Many current students are concerned about the prospect of the school shutting down in the next few years, as it would place them in the difficult position of having to transfer. Students graduating this year are concerned that the school’s closing would negatively impact the long-term value of their degree. Due to years of increasing debt, the University was the target of a state House budget panel in February when it suggested shutting the school down and firing its administrators. Over the years, lawmakers have expressed concern over what’s been perceived as mismanagement of the school’s finances. S.C. State doctoral student Richard McKnight, on the other hand, believes that race is playing a major role in the inequitable way the school has been treated by lawmakers. He believes that the school over the years has not received federal and state funds that it was entitled to – something in the order of $100 million. To learn more about inequality in state funding of black colleges like SC State, read here and here.