Monday, July 14, 2014
The South Carolina State University Foundation has pledged $1 million to the institution.
The pledge comes following a request made by the university’s president, Thomas J. Elzey. At its June meeting, the SC State Board of Trustees empowered Elzey to ask the Foundation for its support as the university strategically works to maximize recruitment and retention efforts for the 2014-2015 academic year.
“We are extremely grateful to the SC State University Foundation for this monumental commitment to the success of the university and its students,” said President Elzey.
“This is the time when students and their parents are making their final decisions about where to go to college. For many of them, that final decision comes down to whether they have the money or not.” Elzey said.
The $1 million pledge is one of the largest made by the Foundation in recent history.
During its June meeting, the board heard from the university’s vice president for enrollment management, Betty Boatwright, who reported that, while the university is seeing a record number of new student applicants, a large number of those who have been accepted by the university and received financial aid packages remain uncommitted and have not paid orientation deposits because they lack sufficient finances to secure class schedules.
Boatwright further explained that if the university offered assistance to close the financial gap for these students, they would attend. The same is true for returning students who may need financial support.
She added that SC State is competing with other institutions that are aggressively targeting the same students for commitments.
“These days, students have choices,” said Boatwright. “It’s important that prospective students and their parents know that SC State has the best offerings and is committed to doing whatever it takes to help its students get a quality college education,” Boatwright said.
As of June 2014, SC State University’s office of admissions processed more than 6,000 applications from prospective new undergraduate and graduate students. Of those, more than 2400 were accepted.
Like many historically black colleges and universities across the nation, SC State experienced a serious drop in enrollment mainly due to major cuts in college funding sources for students, including federal Pell Grants and Parent PLUS loans.
From the first day of his presidency, President Elzey made increasing enrollment a top priority. His multi-year enrollment management plan aims to return enrollment to robust levels that will stabilize the university.