High tuition halts teen's dream to attend Clemson University

CHE met Thursday evening in Aiken to discuss affordability and accessibility (WFXG)
CHE met Thursday evening in Aiken to discuss affordability and accessibility (WFXG)

AIKEN COUNTY, SC (WFXG) - When you've held on to a dream your entire life and it's taken away from you, it's discouraging.

"My dream college was Clemson University, as my father and grandfather went there and I thought I wanted to go there since I was probably 2 or 3. I cannot go there because I was put in the Bridge program and Palmetto Fellows does not apply at a technical school, which is where I would go for the Bridge program, and I would not have enough money to afford the school, because of that," said Jared Shuler, South Aiken High School senior.

He said he felt a little bit betrayed that he couldn't follow in the footsteps of his late father and grandfather.

That's where the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, or CHE, comes in.

They're traveling across the state to advocate for affordable, accessible and quality education.

CHE Chairman Tim Hofferth said, "We're here because they're struggling with ways to figure out how to afford higher education for their son and daughter. We want what they all want - which is a better life for their son and daughter than they had."

Hofferth said the path that higher education is on is unsustainable. The organization created and is promoting a Student Bill of Rights. He said it aims to keep students and families at the heart of every decision made in higher education.

Shuler and his mom came in feeling alone. Now, they know others are going through similar situations.

"I walk away almost relieved, in a way, knowing that it wasn't only me. But also being sad for those who are also going through it and don't have the opportunities to go to a backup school or something of the sort. And I'm really hoping this legislation gets passed so that people in my situation get to go to their dream colleges," Shuler said.

The CHE will host another town hall in Anderson, South Carolina on Thursday, May 31st.

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