Harrison, 032421 SCAGO, AGO 2394

Docket NºAGO 2394
Case DateMarch 24, 2021
CourtSouth Carolina
Katherine H. Harrison, Director
AGO 2394
No. 2394
South Carolina Attorney General Opinion
State of South Carolina Office of the Attorney General
March 24, 2021
         Katherine H. Harrison, Director          S.C. Higher Education          Tuition Grants Commission          111 Executive Center Dr., STE 242          Columbia, South Carolina 29210          Alan Wilson Attorney General          Dear Director Harrison:          Attorney General Alan Wilson has referred your letter to the Opinions section. Your letter asks the following:          The purpose of this letter is to request an opinion from the State Attorney General's Office to clarify the definition of "independent institution of higher learning" for the purposes of administering the South Carolina Tuition Grant under Section 59-113-50 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.          According to the Statute referenced above, an independent institution of higher learning means an:
(1) independent eleemosynary junior or senior college in South Carolina whose major campus and headquarters are located within South Carolina and which is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools; or
(2) independent bachelor's level institution chartered before 1962 whose major campus and headquarters are located within South Carolina.
....
The institution under consideration is not accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and could therefore not meet the statutory definition under 59-113-50(1). While the institution was chartered prior to 1962, it was a junior college offering only two-year degrees until 2013, at which time the college's accrediting agency approved a substantive change to add Bachelor's degree programs.
The question presented to you is: "Can an institution chartered before 1962 as a non-bachelor's level institution, whose major campus and headquarters are located within South Carolina, meet the definition of an independent institution of higher learning under Section 59-113-50(2) if the institution's change to bachelor's level occurred after 1962?"
         Law/A...

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