Citadel board votes unanimously: zero tuition increase for 2020-21

The Citadel Board of Visitors voted unanimously not to raise tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year during a meeting on June 12.

“The Board is united in the decision to freeze tuition at last year’s rate for the coming academic year,” said Col. Fred L. Price Jr., BOV chair. “Many families across our country are struggling, including those of our cadets and students. The Citadel is taking a number of steps to control costs so we can offer a transformative education and development experience to as many cadets and students as possible.”

One member of the board abstained from voting because he is the parent of a current cadet, and did not want to create the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The Higher Education Price Index (HEPI), an inflation index designed to track cost drivers in higher education, projects a 2.5% increase nationally for 2020-2021. Many institutions of higher education are struggling to manage financial losses incurred with the emergency shift to remote learning forced by the pandemic last semester. The Citadel refunded more than $4 million in room, board and parking fees during Academic Year 2019-20; however, the college’s conservative financial approach enabled the BOV to keep tuition flat.

The South Carolina Corps of Cadets

The Citadel is one of the only two remaining 24/7 military institutions for its Corps of Cadets, aside from the federal academies. As such, when comparing college tuition rates, it is important to note that The Citadel’s fee structure is different because the costs of room and board and multiple sets of military uniforms comprise the overall “all-in” rate. This is because members of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets ─ all undergraduates ─ must live in the barracks, eat all meals in the mess hall, and wear uniforms while on campus. Laundry, dry cleaning and books are also included in the all-in rate, with those costs calculated as part of each cadet’s One Card/Quartermaster Account.

The all-in rate does not include other items such as fees that vary according to the academic major or schedule of each cadet or student. Those major-specific fees align with the higher cost of some majors for faculty, labs, materials or programming.

The costs of attendance for the 2020-21 academic year are below. Some academic majors may require additional fees. Freshman year charges are higher because of first-year uniform purchases.

All-in Cost for Cadets In-State Out-of-State
Upper-class $25,099$48,355
Freshmen $30,400 $53,656

There will be an increase in one area of fees for cadets, for room, board, and quartermaster accounts. That will go up by $378 for freshmen, and $287 for upperclassmen.

The Citadel Graduate College

Students in The Citadel Graduate College’s on campus and online programs will also not see an increase in tuition.

The Citadel Graduate College Programs
(*per credit hour)
In-State Out-of-State
Evening Undergraduates $488 $925
Graduate Students $595 $1,020
Online Undergraduates $500 $500
Online Graduate Students $695 $695

How will the tuition freeze impact the college?

The biggest impact will be to help maintain affordability for cadets and students. Academic programming will continue to be very robust. In fact, an investment in instructional technology made in the spring will pay dividends in the way of improving the remote learning experiences for cadets and students if they are impacted by the COVID-19 virus or otherwise unable to attend class in person.

In addition, The Citadel will continue previously planned facilities improvements and construction, such as Bastin Hall and other fully funded projects.

The Citadel has a consistent track record of achieving some of the highest four-year graduation rates in the state of South Carolina, some of the highest rates of employment after graduation and the highest salaries ten years after entering the college. The institution was recently recognized for achieving the highest return on investment of any four-year college in South Carolina and rated in the top 5 % nationally. This combination of high four-year graduation rates, high employment and high salaries helped The Citadel earn recognition as #1 Public College in the South by U.S. News & World Reporfor the nine consecutive years.