Following a four-year period of unprecedented tuition freezes, the Coker University Board of Trustees recently approved a plan to increase undergraduate tuition over the next three years.
“We are proud of the improvements we have made at Coker over the past four years. However, after holding tuition steady for that same period, in the face of inflationary pressures we find it necessary at this time to increase tuition.,” said Board Chairman Justin Towey.
Recent improvements include:
- Improvements to athletic facilities, including lighting, drainage, and the Fan Den.
- Full-time on-campus mental health counselor.
- Network infrastructure improvements focused on cyber security and updated WiFi.
- Start-up funding for new programs, such as nursing.
- Addition of security cameras and lighting on campus.
University President Dr. Natalie Harder praised the generous support of donors and friends for finding ways to fund improving the student experience without passing the cost to students. “Coker is a private, independent university, and although our students benefited greatly from the 17% increase in Pell Grants over the last four years, we still rely on the generosity of donors. We are fortunate to have supporters and donors who care deeply about our students and want to see their experiences match those of large state schools.” Harder added that Coker students receive significant institutional merit awards for their academic and athletic achievements - reducing the cost students pay out of pocket.
The plan includes an incremental tuition increase totaling $3,184 over the next three years. For the 2024-2025 school year, tuition will increase from $30,864.00 to $32,407. According to College Board research, the $1,543 increase remains lower than the national average increase of $1,600 for private institutions during the current academic year.
For 2025-2026, tuition will increase by $810 followed by $830 in 2026-2027. The Board of Trustees' decision to set tuition rates for the next three years will allow students to make financial plans and decisions earlier than in the past. Board Chair Towey said, “Typically, Trustees make cost decisions a few months before the upcoming academic year, leaving students and families with limited time to plan.”
Approval of the tuition rates came with significant discussions about this year’s FAFSA filing process. With updated delays from the federal government occurring seemingly by the week, the Coker Board of Trustees and administrators felt the importance of announcing the increase to help students and families anticipate what they may owe for the upcoming school year.