An education group said South Carolina's public colleges charge the highest tuition among 16 Southern states.
The Post and Courier of Charleston reported Sunday that median tuition at South Carolina four-year public schools was $8,400 for the 2008-09 school year. That compares with $4,174 in North Carolina and $4,032 in Georgia.
The Southern Regional Education Board, which reported the figures, said part of the reason is because state lawmakers do not fund public colleges at the same level as the two neighboring states.
State funding at South Carolina colleges was about $4,800 a student in 2008-09. That compared with more than $11,500 per student in North Carolina and about $7,800 per student in Georgia.
"State appropriations will not increase dramatically in the next few years," education board spokesman Alan Richard said. "So we have to begin to produce more college degrees for less money."