State lawmakers shot down a request for extra financial help for low-income students who will attend South Carolina's public colleges and universities next year.
Meanwhile, they approved $2.5 million to help low-income students attend Bob Jones University, a private school in Greenville.
The State Commission on Higher Education had requested $10 million to increase grants for some needy students attending public colleges and universities. Last year, low-income public school students received, on average, $1,158 in grants while their private-school counterparts received $3,100, nearly three times as much.
Layton McCurdy, chairman of the commission and former dean at the Medical University of South Carolina, said "the Legislature didn't think it was important enough. I'm not very happy about that."
The state Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission distributes "need-based" grant money to students who attend the state's private colleges and universities.
Legislators approved a bill this past session that allowed Bob Jones University to be added to the list of 20 other private schools that are part of that commission, and whose students are eligible for grants.
The General Assembly then approved a $2.5 million increase in the total pool of money the Tuition Grants Commission has to distribute to private school students...
This from the Charleston Post and Courier.