Tuition for Citadel cadets and graduate students will jump 3.16 percent next year if the full board approves the decision of a key committee Wednesday.

The Board of Visitors’ Finance Committee approved the increase on a 4-1 vote.

If the full board approves the jump at its June 8 meeting, cadets who are South Carolina residents will pay $10,855 next year, up from $10,523 this year. Out-of-state cadets will pay $29,685, up from $28,776.

Tuition for in-state graduate students will increase from $510 to $526 per credit. Out-of-state graduate students will pay $867 per credit next year, up from $840 this year.

Finance Committee Chairman Tee Hooper said he can’t predict whether the full board will approve the increases. “I think there will be a lot of discussion,” he said.

Thomas Elzey, the military college’s executive vice president for finance, said the jump is needed to cover increased expenses and new efforts, including the increased cost of employee benefits, a 2 percent salary increase that employees received mid-year this year, and salaries for new staffers working on recruiting and retaining students.

The group complied with a request from state Sen. Hugh Leatherman, chairman of the Senate’s Finance Committee, to increase tuition no more than 3.16 percent for in-state students. Leatherman sent the same letter to all college presidents last month asking that they limit tuition increases. His suggested limit does not apply to out-of-state students.

Elzey said he expects the school to receive $8.9 million from the state next year, the same amount it received this year. That represents only about 9 percent of what the school brings in each year, he said. The rest comes from tuition, grants and other sources.

If the board doesn’t approve a tuition increase for next year, important initiatives and staff positions will have to be cut back, Elzey said.

Board member Alison Dean Love said she was concerned because staffers only considered a zero increase or a 3.16 percent increase in tuition. “I’m concerned we didn’t consider other options,” she said.

Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491.