Winthrop University - the state's second-most expensive public university - will charge students more to live on campus next school year.
Starting in the fall, Winthrop's overall room and board rates will jump about 5 percent.
The university's Board of Trustees voted Friday to raise the cost of meal plans to $1,330, from $1,225. Residential room rates will increase 1.9 percent for traditional and suite-style residence hall rooms.
Trustees will set tuition and academic fees - which are expected to rise, as well - when they meet June 3.
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"The rapid increase in fuel costs are now being reflected in food prices, and both are expected to continue increasing in coming months," said J.P. McKee, Winthrop's vice president for finance and business.
The school is adding a new $25 "safety charge" to help cover the cost of installing alert beacons across campus. During emergencies, the devices display safety instructions. Winthrop also has a cellphone text message alert system.
"There are ongoing costs associated with maintaining those general campus systems, as well as our residence hall security systems," President Anthony DiGiorgio said. "None of these costs has been or will be covered by state funding."
The rate increases are catching some students by surprise.
"I knew tuition goes up pretty frequently, but I didn't know they would be adding to room and board," sophomore Josh Demarest said. "It's frustrating. I understand there are budget cuts, but I live paycheck-to-paycheck already.
"It's hard enough to make ends meet."
After learning that Winthrop is more expensive than all of the state's public universities except the Medical University of South Carolina, Demarest said, "That's ridiculous."
As state money for higher education shrinks, colleges and universities are looking to students and parents to make up the difference. Annual tuition and rate hikes appear to be a mainstay.
At Winthrop, all first- and second-year students who aren't living with parents within 50 miles of school are required to live on campus.