GAFFNEY, S.C. (courtesy limestone.edu) — Taking another step in Limestone’s drive to offer private university quality at public college affordability, the university’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Friday, October 30 to freeze tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year.
The decision will also benefit students and their families during a challenging economic time due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Limestone President Darrell Parker, with the South Carolina LIFE Scholarship, the South Carolina Tuition Grant, and Limestone’s own institutional aid, Limestone can be more affordable for full-time in-state students than area public institutions such as USC-Upstate and Winthrop University.
“We are persistently working to make Limestone more affordable than ever,” Parker said. “When students combine our own institutional merit aid with state scholarships and grants that are available for South Carolina residents, we often come out more affordable than many public institutions. There is certainly a myth that public colleges are more affordable than privates, but when looking at net out of pocket expense to the students and parents rather than sticker price, we offer an affordable private university option for local students and those from across the state.
“We also want to help in these demanding economic times, and keeping tuition costs the same as the current academic year is another way we can do that,” Parker added.
For a South Carolina LIFE student attending Limestone’s Day Campus, the per semester cost based on the current tuition and fees structure can be as low as $2,600, compared to $3,376 at USC-Upstate and $5,348 at Winthrop. Limestone students could also receive up to $3,173 per semester if they qualify for need-based federal Pell grants. Qualified Limestone students can also apply for various scholarships that are available.
According to research posted on the College Board website, private institutions such as Limestone award on average 10 times as much money in grant aid than public colleges. In addition, public schools generally award smaller and fewer scholarships than private institutions.
“Cost is no doubt an important factor when students and their families are searching for a college or university home,” Parker noted. “But in addition to that, it is important to remember that a private university like Limestone has a smaller student population, which can be attractive during this time when COVID-19 is of particular concern on large campuses. We also offer smaller classes sizes, easier access to faculty and staff, a close-knit campus community, and a history of academic excellence.”
“Ultimately, the college decision should be made based on the students’ needs and overall goals for higher education,” he concluded. “At Limestone, we do offer an affordable choice on a warm and friendly campus with a family atmosphere.”
Limestone’s tuition will remain $12,600 per semester for a full-time student taking 12-18 semester hours. Full-time student fees per semester will stay at $550. The average room cost remains $2,738.50. Due to costs associated with food service during the coronavirus pandemic, a full meal plan will increase by eight percent to $2,584 per semester. Part-time tuition costs will stay at $1,050 per credit hour on the Day Campus or $441 per credit hour for the Online Program.