“We know we’ve been on this path for a while now, and at some point that will fix this issue, and I’ll come back to the board to ask you to review it,” Conyers said.

He said building a first-generation company will also help increase enrollment and build on the university’s 125-year legacy of educating first-generation college students.

“Other universities are now doing it very intentionally. As we compete for the same students, they are very intentional about the resources they provide them. … So I want to be very intentional about supporting our first generation students, ”said Conyers.

The university is also in urgent need of a review of its academic program, he said.

“We need to look at the programs that work best for the university, the ones in which we have students paying as they go, and we need to let the data guide the decisions. We cannot let who is in the positions, who is in these departments, drive these decisions. We need to overlay the data, and then I’ll come back to you for decisions, data-driven, based on our academic program review, as well as the tuition fee review, ”said Conyers.

He said the average African-American student owed $ 52,000 in debt, compared to $ 25,000 for the average white student.

“But for us in South Carolina, we’re one of the state-funded public schools that pays the highest tuition. If you have a student from one of our poorer counties here and they are eligible for the Pell Scholarship, the Pell Scholarship is $ 6,500. Our tuition fees are already $ 10,000, ”said Conyers.


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