CCU Provost Ralph Byington said the campus is in an attractive area only about 20 minutes from Myrtle Beach and the student body that is pushing toward 10,000 (up from roughly 7,600 just 10 years ago). The plan over the next few years is to allow that population to plateau to around 12,500.
“There are physical limitations that you have for a campus to do what you do and do it well,” Byington said. “Fortunately we are taking a good look at making sure that we can provide the housing and support services for the student body and not try to push that limit.”
The main campus has 102 buildings situated on 620 acres.
A major part of the expansion plan is the building of a Myrtle Beach area campus for graduate students. Byington said the school has just over 600 graduate students. But school leaders hope to eventually expand that so grad students will make up approximately 15 percent of the overall student population.
“Recognizing the fact that we do have some limitations with space here on the Conway campus, we are going to be looking for opportunities to not only be able to provide what graduate students need, but also looking for where the market for where those services might be,” Byington said.
CCU currently leases a 42,000-square-foot building in Myrtle Beach that serves as its graduate school center. The center’s current rent is for $100,000 a year, the provost said. Byington says the doors will open two new on campus facilities next year that will help serve the demands of the growing student population.
“We have a new residence hall that’s being built,” he said. “Half of it will open next fall and the other half will open the following fall which will give us another 1,200 beds. We also have a new student union that will be offering more services for the students who will be living on campus.”
Byington said presently on campus housing is only required for freshmen and sophomore students. He says as a general rule, juniors, seniors and graduate students at CCU live off campus.
Coastal tries to ensure that all qualified in-state students who apply are admitted. But Byington said that goes with the strain of more out-of-state students are applying at the same time, many whose families may have vacationed in the area previously.
“As we do recruit in other states, we are very attractive because of our location,” he said. “And because of the fact that quite often the parents may know the area, they know what Myrtle Beach is all about.”
The tuition for in-state students is $10,140 per year and $23,480 for out-of-state residents.