Francis Marion University, located about ten miles outside of Florence, South Carolina, is a state run school with a generalized focus in providing a strong liberal arts education. Florence has a population of 31,570 people and is a major railroad hub for other Southern towns such as Wilmington, North Carolina. Though this is the city’s claim to fame, it is beginning to become more well known for excellence in medicine, business and finance. It is home to the Florence Civic Center, Legion Field, Florence Memorial Stadium, the Florence Trail System, War Between the States Museum, and the Florence Veteran’s Memorial. The University is a focal point of local culture as well. Francis Marion University was named after the American Revolutionary War Hero with the same name. The University does not offer distance learning at this time, however, they might establish a program in the future and they offer several exciting learning opportunities.
Francis Marion was founded in 1957, and had its humble beginnings in the Florence County LIbrary. It became a four year University in 1966. The school is one of six major Universities in South Carolina, and ninety-five percent of the student body comes from one of the state’s forty-six counties. They started with a student population of 900, and today have about 4,000 students. Francis Marion holds consistent rankings for the Southern region category, and have been listed on “America’s Best Colleges” published by U.S. News and World Report. Francis Marion University is accredited by several institutions including the Commission on Colleges of the Southern ASsociation of Colleges and Schools, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Council of Applied Master’s Programs in Psychology, and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. All of their degree programs are accredited by an appropriate institution.
The University offers undergraduate degrees in five areas: Art, Business Administration, Science, Nursing, and General Studies. Students can choose over forty concentrations within these degree granting programs including Biology, Finance, Health, Physics, International Studies, Management, Political Science, Psychology, Theatre Arts, and Visual Arts. Graduate students can pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching, a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Education, a Master of Science in Applied Psychology, and an advanced degree in School Psychology.
The tuition cost to attend Francis Marion University is approximated at $7,632 for in-state students, and this includes other required fees. Out-of-state residents pay $14,979 per year. The cost of staying in the dorms is $3,424 and board costs around $2,600. Books and supplies at Francis Marion are generally $1,100 per year, and other living expenses are estimated at $4,888 by the school’s financial aid office. Almost all Francis Marion students participate in some type of financial aid program, statistics show that ninety-six percent receive either grants, loans or scholarship to assist with tuition requirements. Popular forms of assistance are Institutional Grants, Federal Grants, Pell Grants, State and local grants, loans, and the school’s Enhancement scholarships for high achieving math and science students. Overall Francis Marion provides a solid liberal arts education, and is dedicated to helping their students finance their educational goals.