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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The state Inspector General's Office has begun investigating South Carolina State University days after state lawmakers learned the school has a deficit of more than $4 million and needs $13 million to pay bills and loans.

Inspector General Patrick Maley confirmed the probe Wednesday to The State newspaper (http://bit.ly/1fKxyu8 ) but would not discuss specifics.

Lawmakers called for an investigation after learning details of the school's financial problems. Last month, university President Thomas Elzey wrote to state budget leaders, saying an estimated $13 million in outstanding bills and loans is almost double last year's total for the state's only historically black college.

State budget leaders asked the school to submit a plan to shore up its balance sheet within two weeks.

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