FMU students to face 6.5% tuition hike

(Source: FMU)
(Source: FMU)

Florence, SC - FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Students attending Francis Marion University will be shelling out a little extra cash for their education next year, following the approval of a $47.5 million operating budget on Friday.

The Francis Marion University Board of Trustees approved the tuition hike during budget finalizations at a quarterly meeting Friday. The tuition, according to final plans, will increase 6.5 percent per semester and yield $1.7 in additional revenue for the school.

While the 6.5 percent tuition increase may come as a surprise to some, FMU President Luther Carter claimed the school did what it could to keep rates as low as possible.

"Families across [South Carolina] continue to struggle with the negative effects of a stagnant economy," Carter stated. "We have also worked diligently to increase the level of scholarship support and financial assistance available for our students for this upcoming academic year."

State appropriations for the school were reduced by $4.2 million during the 2008-2009 school year, and nearly $1.3 million in 2009-2010. Officials said Friday appropriations are scheduled to take a third reduction by an additional $2.8 million for 2010-2011.

The total decline in appropriations has amounted to $8.3 million, overall.

Friday's $47.5 million projected budget includes a base state appropriation of $10.6 million, $31.9 million in student fees, $2.2 million in other revenue and $2.8 million in non-recurring stimulus revenue. Personnel costs will take up $34.8 million in the budget, in addition to $9.9 million for operating expenses.

Planned projects directed from stimulus funds are estimated to have a $2.8 million price tag.

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