Carter requests stipend for in-state student education


Photo by: Contributed Photo

FMU President Dr. Fred Carter announces his plans for educational opportunities for in-state students at the faculty breakfast.

FMU President Dr. Fred Carter announced plans to request additional funding from the state to offset the cost of the large percentage of FMU students who are from South Carolina.

Carter made the announcement during the annual faculty breakfast as part of his welcome address. He told the audience that FMU would ask for an annual supplement of $750,000 to go into FMU’s base budget in its legislative appropriations request this year.

“A lot of those dollars would go towards making education more accessible for in-state students, holding the line on higher tuition for in-state students and being able to provide more need-based support,” Carter said.

Carter said that the money from the stipend would help FMU keep tuition at a moderate level so students aren’t forced to pay higher tuition rates each year.

“It’s not simply that we’re educating a large percentage of in-state students, we’re doing it at one of the most moderate tuition costs in the state of South Carolina,” Carter said. “Since we’re pulling that off, in ways that many of our sister schools can’t do, we should receive that kind of support from the state that would make it easier to do that.”

According to Carter, many other South Carolina institutions such as the College of Charleston, Clemson, the Citadel, Coastal Carolina and the University of South Carolina need large percentages of out-of-state students to generate enough additional revenue to be able to educate in-state students.

“I accept that,” Carter said. “I’m not the least bit contentious with regard to what they feel is their mission and their direction. But you know 95 percent of our students are South Carolinians. We don’t have this enormous reservoir of additional out of state tuition that comes in to support our budget in educating in-state students.”

Carter said many people have asked why FMU doesn’t recruit more out-of-state students. He said he tells people that that is not FMU’s purpose.

“When I came to this institution 18 years ago as president, this board made it very clear to me that our role was to educate primarily instate students,” Carter said. “and that is what we’ve done over these 18 years.”

Carter said he believes the South Carolina General Assembly is focusing on schools with high out-ofstate enrollments when it should focus on rewarding schools with high in-state percentages such as FMU, Lander and Winthrop.

“Our express purpose is to educate the men and women of South Carolina,” Carter said. “So I think it’s very reasonable to ask the General Assembly to provide us with an additional stipend because we are not only doing what they created us to do, we’re doing it extraordinarily well.”

In addition to the stipend, FMU will present other budget requests to the legislature for the next academic year to the legislature.

FMU’s legislative requests will include money for hiring additional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) faculty, one-time capital support for the proposed FMU Honors Center and money from the proposed South Carolina bond bill to support renovation of the old post office building in downtown Florence.

Carter will present all of the legislative requests to the governor’s staff, the Ways and Means Committee of the South Carolina House of Representatives and the Finance Committee of the South Carolina Senate over the course of this year.

If the stipend request is approved, the money requested will appear in next year’s budget, according to Carter.