CONWAY S.C. (WBTW) — With many university students heading back to campus in the next couple of weeks, some of them will be paying slightly more for room and board compared to years prior.

For the first time in four years, out-of-state tuition at Coastal Carolina University will increase by 4%. In-state tuition, however, will remain the same for the fourth year in a row.

CCU officials said, on average, room and meal plan rates increased by 3% and roughly 7%, respectively, depending on the plan. Prior to this year, CCU’s room rates had not changed since 2015-2016.

Francis Marion University, meanwhile, hasn’t raised in-state or out-of-state tuition in the last four years.

“When it comes to housing and meals, that again will be remaining the same as we go into 2022-23 academic year, and those have seen marginal increases over the last few years, but really since 2019, those have not seen any major increases,” said John Sweeney, the FMU’s vice president of university communications.

FMU officials said they’re determined to make education affordable and accessible.

“About 40% of our students are first in their families to attend college, and that’s a big step for anybody, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the process,” Sweeney said. “[Knowing] you have some consistency with what to expect in terms of tuition, that’s extremely important, ” Sweeney said.

Dr. Fred Carter, the university’s president, said the board of trustees’ action in freezing tuition year after year underscores that commitment.

“It goes a long way to serving the people of this region and the people of this state, knowing that we’re able to keep that tuition frozen,” Sweeney said. “It’s very important to us.”