Tuition at the Medical University of South Carolina will increase an average of 6 percent next year, Provost Mark Sothmann said.

The university's board of trustees approved the increases Friday, Sothmann said. Students were being notified Monday.

MUSC has a complicated tuition structure in which each of the six colleges charges different rates; they had different percentage increases. But Sothmann said in-state tuition increases will range between 5 percent and 8 percent in most colleges, with an average 6 percent increase.

For instance, in-state tuition at the College of Dental Medicine this year is $13,801 per semester, but next year it will jump to $14,629. That represents a 6 percent increase.

The university last year raised tuition an average of 7.1 percent initially, but the increase was rolled back to 7 percent after the state's Budget and Control Board gave an ultimatum to public, four-year schools that raised tuition more than 7 percent: Roll back increases to 7 percent for spring semester or face a ban on new construction projects.

Sothmann said, "Our deans have worked very, very hard to trim costs where they could." But, the school had to raise tuition to compensate for expected state cuts and to cover increases in the "unavoidables" such as energy costs and increases for employee health insurance.

The university has to be careful not to allow for any decrease in quality, he said, because medical education programs are accredited by outside groups that would not look favorably on declines in educational quality.

He told several groups of students in recent weeks about the proposed tuition increases, he said. "I didn't get a lot of negative reaction."

Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491.