Trident Technical College Palmer Campus on Columbus Street in downtown Charleston | Photo by Henry de Saussure Copeland on

Trident Technical College is offering free tuition to all eligible South Carolina residents for the 2022-2023 school year thanks to funding by the state.

“As a community college, we exist to make relevant training and education accessible,” said public information director David Hansen. “Accessibility is not only about proximity to campus, it’s about being able to afford the education we provide. Offering classes tuition-free removes a major hurdle potential students face when thinking about attending college.”

Trident Tech offered students free enrollment for several career training programs for the past few years, but thanks to the additional state funding, all classes are now available for free,  including university transfer programs.

Trident Tech will apply federal and state education grants and scholarships to attendance costs, and additionally waive remaining tuition, registration and course fees. Students who qualify can attend college courses full- or part-time. 

“Most of our students work and have families and other responsibilities,” Hansen said. “It’s not always an easy decision to go to college because time spent in class or studying is time not spent at a job earning pay. Not having to worry about paying for tuition gives students some breathing room and makes the choice to attend college easier.”

Both new and current students who are South Carolina residents must apply for federal student aid to determine eligibility for a tuition-free education.

New students, including those who have not been enrolled during the previous three semesters, must submit a college admission application. Other requirements vary based on state aid awarded. 

School opens soon

Trident Tech offers four three-week terms for fall with start dates of Aug. 22, Sept. 21, Oct. 18 and Nov. 16. There also are two seven-week terms for fall with start dates of Aug. 22 and Oct. 18 as well as a full semester term that starts Aug. 22. Varying terms also exist for spring. 

Trident Tech offers two-year associate degrees, one-year program diplomas and certificates for various studies. Two of its largest two-year associate degree programs are arts and science, which put students on track to transfer to four-year colleges to finish their degrees. 

For students who want to get the skills and training needed to enter the job market, the college offers everything from aircraft maintenance technology and culinary studies to online media production and cybersecurity. 

“It really runs the gamut — from health-related fields to manufacturing to culinary to criminal justice,” Hansen said. “If someone has an interest, we most likely have a program related to that interest.”

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.