FLORENCE---Francis Marion University is becoming a popular place for students wanting to continue their education. For the second year in a row, FMU has set a new record in the number of freshman applications.
Through last week, the Admissions Office had received a total of 1,969 freshman applications for the fall semester. That breaks last year’s all-time record of 1,939 applications. The previous high in applications was in 1995 when 1,919 students applied to the university.
With fall classes not beginning until Aug. 20, there will still be more students applying, which will push this year’s application total even higher.
Director of Enrollment Management Julie Bush said there has been a seven percent increase in applications and acceptances to date for the fall semester.
Based upon those numbers and the interest shown by the 229 students signed up for the university’s first summer orientation session scheduled for June 19-20, university officials are expecting an increase in fall’s freshman class for the fourth year in a row. Last fall 740 freshmen enrolled at FMU, the largest first-year class since 1995.
Bush said the university is also experiencing a 17 percent increase in admissions from transfer students who want to attend FMU this fall. Even the first session of summer school saw an 11 percent increase in enrollment over last year.
“We’ve got a good thing going at Francis Marion University,” said Provost Richard Chapman. “We offer a quality education at an affordable price, and students are getting that message.”
Chapman said the admissions staff has worked hard in recruiting students to the university. “The reputation of our academic programs and the quality of our faculty have a lot to do with students wanting to pursue an education here,” he said.
“Growth in enrollment creates new challenges, especially in a tight budget year, but it’s a great problem to have,” said Chapman. “We are committed to helping all qualified applicants find a way to attend FMU.”
Another indication that the coming year may be a banner year for FMU is the housing situation. Due to the increased demand of students wanting on-campus housing, the residential space will soon be full. A waiting list of applicants for housing will be established when all housing space is filled. FMU has space to house 1,134 students on campus, about one-third of the student body.
Student Affairs Vice President Joe Heyward said that as cancellations occur and space becomes available, housing staff will contact applicants on the waiting list to offer room assignments.
“Those students who have not received a housing assignment are encouraged to maintain contact with the Housing and Residence Life Office,” said Heyward. Information is also being provided to students on off-campus housing options.
With the beginning of the fall semester still more than two months away, it’s not too late to apply. Students should contact the Admissions Office at 843-661-1231 as soon as possible, or they can file an application on line through the university’s web site at www.fmarion.edu.
#178 / 6-17-03