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South Carolina's Francis Marion University (FMU) is a public institution located in the town of Florence. The undergraduate population is just over 3,600, providing ample space to grow but also supporting a tight-knit community. These students can pick from over 75 majors or other academic programs that span the schools of business, education, liberal arts, and health sciences. Thus, Francis Marion students spend much of their time preparing for a very bright future.

Overview of Francis Marion University (FMU)

However, FMU students are able to spend quality time outside of class as well. There are plenty of opportunities for expanding their horizons in the athletic and social spheres. To help them, FMU offers the Smith University Center which houses a gymnasium, fitness center, game room, and a swimming pool. Here, students can congregate, play ping-pong, or conduct a meeting of their favorite campus club.

Students can find fellowship and growth in one of the countless academic, leadership, or special interest clubs on campus. These clubs offer students an outlet for their ideas and passions while also helping them build a network of friends and future colleagues. Furthermore, clubs provide a way to build healthy habits for every student's personal and professional life.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Suburb: Small
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 14:1
Graduation Rate 44%
Year Founded 1970

Student Enrollment

Total Students4,240


Undergraduate Student

Male 1,216
Female 2,584

Graduate Student

Male 141
Female 299

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FMU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 1,381
Female 2,871


Male 911
Female 1,981

Acceptance Rate68%

Male 66%
Female 69%

Enrollment 723

Male 252
Female 471
Application Fee $41
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Required
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations Considered But Not Required
Formal demonstration of competencies Required
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline Rolling
Common Application Accepted No

FMU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Educational costs are a huge issue for everyone. Since FMU is a public institution, its tuition rates are lower for South Carolina residents. In fact, in-state students pay only around $12,000 for a year of tuition, books, and supplies, among other fees. Out of state students at FMU pay around $23,000 for the same academic experience.

Since living expenses hover around $11,000, South Carolina students who don't live at home face a gross cost of $24,000 for a year at FMU. Non-residents pay around $35,000. However, gross prices are only part of the story.

FMU's financial aid packages are very helpful for all students. After all applicable grants and scholarships are tallied, the overall average net price for a year at FMU runs only $12,000. This number goes down as low as $11,000 for the school's lowest income students. For households that earn over $110,000 the average net price is still affordable, with costs running only $17,000, including average living costs.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $12,973
Average Total Aid $9,433
Students Receiving Financial Aid 100%
Room & Board $8,211

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $11,160
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $21,544
  • Books and Supplies - $1,157
  • Room & Board - $8,211
  • Other - $3,716


Francis Marion University attracts students from all over the South for its academics, campus life, and even the athletic programs. Since academics are generally at the top of everyone's list when it comes to a college search, researchers have sought the best available information to analyze. While they examine numerous metrics, the key numbers are the retention rate, graduation rate, and even transfers.

The retention rate is a measure of how many first-time, full-time students return to the Francis Marion campus for a second year. The reason this figure is so important is that when researchers see a student return to campus, they assume that student is satisfied with the school's curriculum, faculty, and campus resources. Since FMU reports 68% retention, it’s clear that students are learning and growing.

Interestingly, FMU's graduation rate is a respectable but somewhat low 44%. However, the rest of the story is that another 40% transfer out. Transfer students typically leave to find greater challenges or more specific academic programs. These highly motivated individuals thus can be assumed to become graduates, if not from FMU. Thus, FMU prepares up to 84% of its students for a diploma.

Student Population Total

Student Population 4,240

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

Health Professions and Related Programs 134 Total Graduates / 25%
Health/Health Care Administration/Management 69 Graduates
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 64 Graduates
Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Administration, Other 1 Graduates
All Business Majors 90 Total Graduates / 17%
Business Administration and Management, General 35 Graduates
Accounting 18 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 17 Graduates
Finance, General 8 Graduates
Management Information Systems, General 8 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 60 Total Graduates / 11%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 60 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 58 Total Graduates / 11%
Psychology, General 58 Graduates
All Education Majors 53 Total Graduates / 10%
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 26 Graduates
Elementary Education and Teaching 18 Graduates
Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education and Teaching 9 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 27%

Outcome & Salary

There are no career guarantees for any student at FMU. However, both students and their families are interested to learn what sort of return on their educational investment they might reap with an FMU diploma. Among the top-earning graduates from FMU are the registered nursing students. These healthcare professionals report a median entry-level salary of over $60,000. At the lower end of the top five are the marketing students who start their careers with a median base salary of $34,000. In the middle of the pack are the business administration students who earn a median salary of around $35,000. Note that these salaries are entry-level and include neither bonuses nor benefits.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $44,000
College Grads Average Salary $55,562
College Grads Mid Career Salary $77,400
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $555,620
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,329,620
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $51,892
10 Year Projected ROI $503,728
20 Year Projected ROI $1,277,728
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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