South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has just signed a new bill which puts the Denmark Technical College under state control until November 2018 and will also give free tuition for 2017 high school graduates of Allendale, Bamberg, and Barnwell counties.
The new free tuition “Panther Promise” program will be paid for by the college, S.C. Technical College System, and Southern Carolina Regional Development Alliance, which has an estimated to cost $30,000 per student.
The program will pay for tuition costs not covered by federal financial aid or other scholarships – it will only be offered to 2017 graduates, and only for two years of school – though it could be extended.
The state takeover was a final-ditch effort to save the school, after last fall’s audit showed the school’s operating balance plummet from $9 million to $285,000 in just four years.
The school was originally founded in 1948 and until recently, it steadily grew into a comprehensive technical school. They currently courses in such fields as nutritional sciences (cooking and baking); business and secretarial sciences; building sciences (carpentry, painting, plumbing, brick masonry, electrical sciences); air-conditioning and refrigeration; barbering and cosmetology; auto mechanics, shoe repair, and seamstress sciences and tailoring.
The school also has one of the best girl’s basketball teams in the state for their division:
S.C. Senate Democrats are currently trying to make trade school and community college tuition free in all schools across the state with their newly proposed $76 million spending bill.
What do you think about free college tuition for community colleges and trade schools?