FLORENCE---It will cost full-time students $150 more per year in required fees to attend Francis Marion University next year, but total costs will remain far below the average for the 12 state public universities.
The FMU Board of Trustees unanimously approved a 4.6 percent increase in university fees during its quarterly meeting Friday (April 14).
In presenting the resolution to the board, trustee George McIntyre of Bennettsville, chair of the Financial Affairs and Responsibility Committee, said the fee increase was necessary because of rising costs to the university.
FMU currently has the third lowest fees of all state universities. McIntyre pointed out that FMU did not raise fees last year and had increased fees only 11.3 percent over the last five years, among the lowest percentages of all state universities. Even with the fee increase, McIntyre said that FMU remains an affordable institution for South Carolina students.
During the 2000-2001 academic year, basic fees will increase to $1,705 per semester from the $1,630 that full-time students currently pay. For the year, fees will now be $3,410, compared to the 1999-2000 state average of $3,613.
Reasons cited for the fee increase were to address faculty and staff salary inequities, an increase in the university’s portion of health insurance for employees, and greater operating expenses in areas like fuel, library books and other materials.
Also approved were 4.6 percent increases in food plans for students eating in the university dining hall and for students living in residence halls and apartments.
The trustees voted to phase out the differential costs that out-of-state students pay in the student activity fee. Beginning in the 2001-2002 year, all students will pay an equal activity fee of $40 per semester, a fee that will be further reduced in subsequent years.
In other action, trustees heard reports on progress being made in academic departments, student affairs, alumni and development. Following an executive session, the trustees passed a resolution stating their pleasure with the direction the university was heading and with the way the faculty, staff and President Fred Carter were working together.