Wednesday, May 1, 2013

First Tuition Freeze at the Midlands College in Over Two Decades

Columbia, SC -- May 1, 2013 -- Benedict College President and CEO, Dr. David H. Swinton announced that the College’s Board of Trustees recently voted to freeze tuition for the 2013-2014 academic year. This is the first time the College has enacted a tuition freeze in more than two decades. The freeze will halt an increase in room and board and auxiliary school fees, and will apply to in-state and out-of-state, new and returning students, including students in the continuing education program. “Rising student debt is a major concern for our students,” said Dr. Swinton. “Benedict College is committed to helping to provide an education to all students who desire one, but at an affordable cost."  

Founded in 1870, Benedict has a co-ed population of nearly three thousand men (49.5%) and women (50.5%), the largest full-time undergraduate population, and one of the lowest tuition cost, fees, room, and board among the state’s private colleges with similar programs. (The following is an excerpt of the latest tuition data from the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Statistical Abstract.)

College Tuition Fees Room Board Total
Anderson $19,250 $1,660 $3,950 $3,775 $28,635
Benedict $15,356 $1,832 $3,953 $3,953 $25,094
Charleston Southern Univ. $20,600 $0 $0 $8,000 $28,600
Coker $22,200 $0 $3,400 $3,550 $29,150
Columbia $24,600 $450 $3,364 $3,274 $31,688
Converse $27,320 $0 $4,277 $4,277 $35,874
Erskine $26,350 $1,810 $4,750 $4,450 $37,360
Furman $39,200 $360 $5,592 $4,600 $49,752
Limestone $20,000 $150 $3,500 $3,500 $27,150
Newberry $21,500 $1,425 $4,200 $4,350 $31,475
Presbyterian College $28,680 $2,600 $4,260 $4,410 $39,950
Southern Wesleyan Univ. $19,000 $600 $3,910 $4,500 $28,010
Wofford $33,190 $0 $5,350 $4,025 $42,565
AVERAGE $20,398 $636 $3,279 $4,458 $28,771

Benedict College is the second largest of the 20 private institutions in the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities network, and one of the first to respond to the growing cost of higher education by adopting the tuition freeze. The liberal arts college offers undergraduate programs in 34 disciplines, including its continuing education program, which offers degrees in interdisciplinary studies (general and public safety) and business administration. For three consecutive years, Washington Monthly magazine ranked Benedict among the best baccalaureate institutions in the nation based on its contribution to the public good.

With many programs that enhance the students’ college experience, Benedict is nationally recognized for its pioneering Service-Learning Program. The Program has four national rankings, and was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction in 2009 and 2010. Similarly, the college received the National Civic Engagement Award from The Washington center for encouraging its students to give back to the community which is the heart of its mission.

The Freshman Institute, the College’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), was established to help the first-year freshman in transitioning from high school to college.  Freshman Institute fall 2011 enrollment was 984 students and 811 for spring 2012, with a return rate of 82.4%; a significant increase from previous year. Dr. Ronnie Hopkins, Dean of the Freshman Institute said, “According to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Review team during their 2010 visit, and based on national First Year Experience conferences, Benedict College operates the most comprehensive approach to supporting first-time freshman of any institution in the country.”

A tuition freeze is an added value to the programs offered at Benedict College. Sophomore, James White, III, early childhood education major from Atlanta said, “The tuition freeze is a good idea. We just had a thousand dollar increase last year. We need a break so we can concentrate on our classes.”

Tuition and fees will remain at $9,143 per semester for all full-time non-boarding students and $13,195 per semester for boarding students. Mass communications major, Johnta Jacobs, who is a sophomore and non-boarding student from Columbia, SC said, “I think a freeze on tuition is great news. That will help alleviate some of the stress of having to pay more in tuition in these tough economical times.”

Previous Page