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Fairmont State University (FSU) is a public institution located in Fairmont, West Virginia. Founded in 1865 as the state’s first private normal school, it originally trained teachers. Today, the university is a comprehensive, student-centered, state-supported institution that offers numerous degrees and certificates. Nestled in the hills and mountains of Appalachia, the 120-acre main campus is an ideal spot for biking, hiking, camping, rafting, climbing, and skiing.

Overview of Fairmont State University (FSU)

Students enjoy numerous opportunities to become involved with campus life at Fairmont State University. With more than 60 student organizations, intermural sports, Greek life, and thriving performing arts programs, it’s difficult to become bored. The school also offers over 300 on-campus job openings.

The institution has an overall population of approximately 3,848 students, the majority of whom are pursuing undergraduate degrees. It also employs about 166 full-time faculty members and 128 part-time faculty members to provide instruction. Additionally, a limited number of graduate assistants provide instructional support to professors. This makes the student-to-faculty ratio 15:1, which ensures students have opportunities to engage with faculty one-on-one. The average class size is reasonable at 22.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Town: Distant
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 15:1
Graduation Rate 41%
Year Founded 1865

Student Enrollment

Total Students3,803


Undergraduate Student

Male 1,496
Female 2,067

Graduate Student

Male 101
Female 139

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FSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 996
Female 1,716


Male 817
Female 1,493

Acceptance Rate85%

Male 82%
Female 87%

Enrollment 784

Male 308
Female 476
Application Fee $25
High School GPA Required
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline August 1
Common Application Accepted No

FSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Fairmont State University tuition and fees will depend on student residency status, the degree type sought, and the number of credit hours taken. For state residents enrolled in 12 or more on campus, undergraduate credit hours (full-time), the cost of attendance is $3,946 per semester. Non-residents with the same course load will pay $8,575 per semester. Additionally, students enrolled in the university’s virtual campus can expect to pay $3,940 for full-time enrollment per semester. Those interested in taking fewer than 12 credit hours will have varying rates.

Graduate programs are also more expensive, with full-time state residents enrolled in nine credit hours paying $4,406 per semester. Non-residents will pay $9,645 for the same course load each semester.

Students should also anticipate paying program fees, which range from $100 to $550 depending on the major selected. Additional expenses include housing and meals, as well as books and supplies.

Fairmont State University is dedicated to assisting students in achieving their education goals by promoting scholarships, grants, federal work study, and loans. These types of financial assistance are available to both full- and part-time students who qualify. While talent and academic merit scholarships are very competitive, all students are encouraged to submit FAFSAs. Overall, 96% of full-time beginning undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid. While many utilize scholarships, 55% still rely on student loans.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $9,733
Average Total Aid $7,034
Students Receiving Financial Aid 98%
Room & Board $9,730

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $7,738
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $16,814
  • Books and Supplies - $1,000
  • Room & Board - $9,730
  • Other - $2,000


Fairmont State University offers a variety of academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It also has a general studies program, honors program, and dual enrollment program. Additionally, the school hosts an Air Force ROTC and an Army ROTC.

Students can pursue degrees in the following colleges and departments:

  • College of Business & Aviation
  • College of Education, Health, & Human Performance
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Science & Technology
  • Graduate Studies
  • Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program

Students who are unsure which major to pursue are encouraged to choose Academic Pathways. These consist of academic programs that share related coursework and career paths, which allow students to explore potential areas of interest while still remaining on track to graduate on time. Options include but are not limited to business, health professions, and humanities/social sciences. Advisors are available to assist students in deciding which pathways are most appropriate.

The retention rate for first-time students pursing bachelor’s degrees was 69% for full-time students, but only 13% for part-time students in 2020. This statistic indicates that the majority of full-time students were satisfied with their experiences and chose to return for a second year, while part-time students may have been less satisfied.

Fairmont State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, as well as some certificates. Additional oversight is also provided by the West Virginia Education Policy Commission. The institution also has multiple degree programs with further external accreditation in their academic fields.

These include:

  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

Student Population Total

Student Population 3,803

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Engineering Majors 91 Total Graduates / 15%
Mechanical/Mechanical Engineering Technology/Technician 29 Graduates
Occupational Safety and Health Technology/Technician 20 Graduates
Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering Technology/Technician 14 Graduates
Civil Engineering Technologies/Technicians 13 Graduates
All Business Majors 82 Total Graduates / 13%
Business Administration and Management, General 76 Graduates
Accounting 6 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 69 Total Graduates / 11%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 55 Graduates
Health/Health Care Administration/Management 12 Graduates
Public Health Education and Promotion 2 Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services 55 Total Graduates / 9%
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 53 Graduates
Forensic Science and Technology 2 Graduates
All Social Science Majors 48 Total Graduates / 8%
National Security Policy Studies 30 Graduates
Political Science and Government, General 15 Graduates
Sociology, General 3 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 43%

Outcome & Salary

Graduation rates for students who began their studies in fall 2014 were 35%, with 31% of students transferring out. Notably, only 61% of entering students were counted in this category. While 36% of enrollees received their degrees within six years, only 25% were able to achieve graduation within the typical four-year time period.

According to data obtained by Fairmont State University, almost 90% of students are employed within one year of graduation. Additionally, 18% of graduates go on to enroll in master’s programs. Some areas of study, such as nursing and physical therapy assistant, even have 100% job placement.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $42,000
College Grads Average Salary $58,343
College Grads Mid Career Salary $61,600
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $583,430
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,199,430
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $38,932
10 Year Projected ROI $544,498
20 Year Projected ROI $1,160,498
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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