About 500 fewer students are attending South Carolina State University in Orangeburg this year, leaving the university facing a $5.5 million deficit.

Vice President of Finance Eric Eaton is proposing a freeze on hiring and an across-the-board 7 percent budget cut to get the institution back on track. The school’s finance committee will consider the ideas at a meeting later this month.

Eaton says the cuts and freeze would leave the university $366,000 ahead at the end of the budget year.

He says for the next academic year, the university will pursue fund raisers and programs to boost enrollment. This year’s enrollment is the lowest in five years. more info…