The Bridge to Francis Marion University Program is a distinctive academic transfer program available to students throughout the state. Beginning with a strong first-year academic experience at one of technical colleges listed below, the Bridge program includes dedicated academic advising, student support services and a student life component — all of which are designed to help students succeed in meeting Bridge academic requirements and transferring to Francis Marion University. Advisers from both institutions assist students with selecting courses that transfer to Francis Marion University. The successful collaboration between the technical colleges and Francis Marion allows Bridge students to make progress in their intended Francis Marion major during their freshman year while preparing to enroll at Francis Marion beginning their sophomore year. The Bridge program staff is committed to providing students with the educational tools and services they need to succeed.
Technical College Partnerships
Bridge students enroll at one of the above technical colleges for their freshman year and start their course work in the fall semester. To be admitted to Francis Marion University for the sophomore year, Bridge students are required to earn a minimum of twenty-two (22) transferable semester credit hours and a 2.0 grade point average during their freshman year. Students who satisfy Bridge academic requirements will be admitted to Francis Marion for the subsequent Fall semester without being required to resubmit a Francis Marion University admission application. Students who do not satisfy the Bridge academic requirements will be encouraged to apply for admission to Francis Marion University at a later date. A list of transferrable courses may be found here.
In addition to the technical college aplication, students must complete the Francis Marion application as well as the Bridge Enrollment Form to be admitted to the Bridge Program. Once a student is ready to transfer to Francis Marion, the Bridge Update App Request Form will need to be completed and submitted to the Admissions office at Francis Marion University.
While grades earned at technical colleges will not subsequently be included in a student's Francis Marion grade point average (GPA), the grades and credit hours a student earns at the technical school will count toward determining the student's eligibility for the South Carolina LIFE scholarship.
Community living is one of the most important experiences for a first-year college student. A select number of rooms in our freshman residence halls have been set aside for Bridge students that attend Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) and want to live on the Francis Marion University campus. In order to reside in the residence halls, FDTC Bridge students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA each semester and be a full-time student while in the Bridge program. Upper-class resident advisers coordinate social and academic programs and are available to assist students throughout the year. If a student drops below a 2.0 GPA during the semester, that student will have the following semester to raise the GPA back above the 2.0 level else they will be asked to move out of the residence halls.
Special Benefits for Bridge Students
- FMU Student ID
- Access to FMU Rogers Library
- Acces to athletic events
- Access to Smith University Center (bookstore, indoor pool, fitness room, and weight room)
- Special FMU student discounts for events and performances held at the FMU Performing Arts Center
- Dual academic advising by professionals at the technical college and FMU
- Guaranteed transferability of courses taken at the technical college when Bridge Student adheres to a Program Pathway or FMU Transfer Guide
- Courses selected through the Program Pathway will also coincide with required academic program requirements for that specific major at FMU
- FMU representative will visit each technical college partner institution at least once a semester and will be available during that visit to meet with Bridge Students to answer any questions or concerns the student may have
- Specific transfer orientation sessions are available for Bridge Students prior to enrolling at FMU
Bridge participants pay the technical college tuition and fees as well as the housing fee for Francis Marion University, if the student participates in the FDTC housing option.
The fee for housing includes a suite, which consists of two bedrooms (two students share a bedroom) with an adjoining bath shared by all four residents living in the suite as well as utilities, cable and Internet service. The cost for housing in a residence hall unit is $7,256 for the academic year ($3,628.00 per semester). *Only for students participating in the FDTC housing option.
Technical College Tuition and Fees
The tuition and fees for the technical college are located on each institution’s website. Technical college tuition and fees vary based on residency classification and the number of credit hours in which a student is enrolled. Please visit the website of the technical college you wish to attend for the current tuition and fees for full-time students.
Each technical college processes and awards all federal and state financial aid during the Bridge students' freshman year. Students should complete and submit the FAFSA (available online at FAFSA.gov) and enter the technical college for which they want to attend. Students who have already submitted their FAFSA coded to Francis Marion University should log in to their submitted FAFSA form at FAFSA.gov and add the selected technical college’s federal code.