Fairmont State University

Fairmont State University appears in these rankings:

The 100 Most Affordable Universities in America

5 Best Value Online Schools in West Virginia 2018

Fairmont State University is a medium sized public college in West Virginia. Located in the small town of Fairmont, the university first opened in 1865 as a small institution of higher learning affiliated with the Methodist Protestant Church. Classes originally met in a tiny room in a local church. The school later changed its name to the West Virginia Normal School at Fairmont. When the Regency of the West Virginia Normal School acquired the campus, it became affiliated with Marshall College. After going through multiple name changes, the college eventually became the Fairmont State Teachers College and transitioned from diplomas to degree programs. It officially became Fairmont State University in 2004.

FSU is unique in that it offers both a traditional college and a community college on the same campus. The university initially established its own community college as a way to guide students on their educational paths. They could take introductory and lower level classes before working their way into a bachelors degree program. Though the university later separated itself into FSU and Fairmont State Community and Technical College, both schools still share the same campus. The 4,600 students studying at FSU mingle with students from the separate college every day. FSU currently offers around 90 undergraduate degree programs and a handful of graduate programs, but its best known programs are among its education programs.

Fairmont State University Accreditation Details

The primary accreditation, also known as institutional accreditation, granted to Fairmont State University comes from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges. This organization also granted accreditation to the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program offered by the school. FSU also sought accreditation for its education and teaching programs. Those programs have accreditation from both the National Council for Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparedness (CAEP). The West Virginia Department of Education also approved the teaching programs offered by the school. FSU also has accreditation for its accounting, business administration and information systems management programs through the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Other accreditation given to the university for its programs designed for nursing students comes from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Fairmont State University Application Requirements

Fairmont State University gives prospective students the option of applying online or mailing in a completed application. The paper application is available on the university's website for students to download and complete before mailing to the school. The university suggests that students get all completed materials turned in at least six weeks before classes start. FSU requires that all applicants submit a transcript that shows they took four units of English, four units of mathematics, three units of social studies, three units of science, one unit of art and at least two units of a foreign language.

The university also requires that students have at least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale and took either the SAT or ACT. Those with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher and below a 3.0 must score a minimum of 18 on the ACT or 870 on the math and reading portions of the SAT. Students should request that the testing board send their official scores to the university. Other requirements include official records that show the student had his or her MMR immunization when they apply. Students must have the immunization done prior to the start of classes.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Fairmont State University charges different tuition rates both for students living in state and students living out of state, but it also charges different rates for students taking classes on or off campus. Any student who takes even one credit hour of work on campus must pay the on campus rate for all classes. On campus rates start at $268 for West Virginia residents to $574 for out of state students per credit. Off campus rates, which apply to satellite campuses, cost between $238 and $544 per credit hour. A full time student taking 12 credit hours of work will pay around $3,300 to $6,900 per semester for on campus work and between $2,800 and $6,500 for online classes each semester. The cost per credit hour for online classes is between $237 and $337.

Though FSU charges less than some neighboring schools do, it also offers financial aid packages to help lower the costs that most students pay. More than half of all students attending FSU receive some type of assistance package. All students will complete the FAFSA and list FSU on that form. FSU will then go over the information and inform students of the aid they will receive, which may include grants, loans or scholarships.

Degree Programs at Fairmont State University

Though Fairmont State University offers all the traditional degree programs that students expect, it also offers something called the Regents Bachelor of Arts Program. Designed for those who want to take a combination of classes, this program allows students to pick and choose from courses offered by different departments. They take 36 credit hours of general education requirements, 39 credit hours of upper level classes and 45 credits of electives to complete 120 credit hours of work. This allows students to take classes that relate to their chosen careers, choose courses they might not take in a standard program or just take a combination of classes that pique their interests.

The university has a strong reputation for its educational and teacher preparedness programs. Students can focus on general teacher education, community health education or exercise science. The exercise science program focuses on training gym teachers and school medical specialists, while the community health education deals more with teachers and community health specialists who work in civic centers and public areas.

Students may also choose a major in folklore studies. This unique program looks at different aspects of folklore, including oral traditions, dance and preserving historic artifacts. Students can even study pop culture, vintage clothing and literature of the region. Fairmont State University is one of the only colleges in the world that has its folklore center on campus to better help students learn more about folklore topics from professionals in the field.