FMU is trying, for the second year in a row, to freeze its tuition for the 2020-2021 school year.
Currently, FMU’s yearly tuition is $10,384 for full-time students who are SC residents.
According to the FMU website, President Carter, at the latest FMU Board of Trustees meeting, explained his plans for the future of FMU and why this tuition freeze is necessary.
“This is important for our students and families,” Carter said. “It helps us to continue our mission to provide a great education that’s both affordable and accessible.”
FMU was the first SC university to announce its plan to freeze tuition this year, and it was one of the only schools in SC to do so last year.
Last summer, the Village housing units received some exterior renovations and repairs. FMU has plans to renovate and update some of the interiors in housing units on campus. However, the price of freshman dormitories will not be increased.
Because of this, there will be a slight increase in the cost of housing and meal plans. Money from the increased housing costs will go towards the renovations, while the extra money raised from the meal plans will be used for scholarships.
There are also plans to renovate the Smith University Center (UC) and the Griffin Athletic Complex. Both buildings will receive some updates to improve its facilities for students and student athletes.
Tymoshio Robinson, the newly elected Student Government Association president, says that the tuition freeze will be great for FMU and the surrounding community.
“It is just another example of FMU keeping the best interests of its prospective and current students at heart,” Robinson said. “The tuition is a great way to attract more students from the Pee Dee region to FMU. The area has many students who don’t have financial support to attend college. Having a university that sees the needs of the area and tries to accommodate those needs is wonderful.”
FMU has also been recognized nationally for its affordable education. One website, study.com, placed FMU as one the top 50 most affordable schools in America.
Robinson said that a small change in the cost housing and meal plans makes sense for FMU.
“I understand that,” Robinson said. “Tuition goes towards different areas of campus to help keep things running. A ‘slight increase’ in a meal or housing price is warranted, in my opinion.”
While FMU is trying to keep costs down, there has also been substantial growth at FMU, with 4,261 full-time students currently enrolled; 96% of whom are from SC. As such, FMU is unlike many colleges which rely on out of state students paying higher tuitions to support its programs and campus.
FMU has also seen growth into downtown Florence, with the new University Place Gallery opening last year as FMU’s newest addition. There is also the construction of the new Honors building, started last year, that is forecasted to be completed this summer.
Carter said that he is thankful for the SC government, which has made much of this possible.
“The general assembly has been very generous to the universities the past few years and if the current budget from [the house] ways and means committee holds, then we’ll recommend to the board that there be no increase in tuition next year,” Carter said.
The FMU Board of Trustees will be voting on the tuition freeze later this year.