The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education hosted a town hall in Anderson Thursday night to discuss college affordability. It was one of the last stops on a series of town halls about the issue throughout the state.
According to the commission, South Carolina has the highest tuition as a percentage of household income in the country and ranks eighth in student debt, with an average student debt load of more than $30,000.
The commission’s chairman, Tim Hoffert, said the goal of the town halls is to shed more light on the issue of college affordability and accessiblity in the state.
Nationally, the cost of higher education has increased 1120 percent, according to the commission. That’s nearly twice as much as health care costs have increased over the same time period.
“Those challenges hit home for families,” Hoffert said. “We’ve got a group of commissioners that…believe education can change destinies, and that opportunity is becoming increasingly more difficult for a lot of families in our state. So what we’re doing is we’re just hearing their stories, so we can begin to put a face to a lot of these ominous trends.”