SM opens training center, charging 10 million won per semester amid criticisms 

In the middle of Daechi-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, SM Entertainment‘s idol training center “SM UNIVERSE” has been built. The center, which mainly targets high school students who will drop out of regular education and focus on entering the entertainment industry, was established by SM Entertainment with the goal of nurturing global artists. It will provide a 3-year semester system, and charge up to 10 million won per semester.


According to the real estate industry on the 14th, SM Universe will open on March 15th. The center is a joint venture of SM Entertainment, top model agency ESTEEM, and Jongno Academy. There will be 5 majors in the center, including producer, vocalist, dancer, model, and acting. 

In addition to entertainment-related lessons, GED classes will also be provided, and Jongno Academy will be in charge of this qualification examination process. According to an official, the GED course will consist of 3 hours of lectures per day in the first semester. 

The number of enrolled students is 120 per semester, including 40 in the vocalist major, and 20 in each of the remaining majors, who will be selected through an audition process. 

Vocalist students will pay 10 million won per semester, which averages to 2.5 million won per month, excluding vacation periods. Meanwhile, other majors will cost 8.8 million won per semester. 

sm concert

On the official SM Universe website, Lee Soo Man, Lee Sung Soo, Kangta, Bada, and U-Know Yunho are mentioned as mentors.

Upon seeing this news, many netizens are angered, believing that the listed tuition fees are way too high, and the center will be encouraging high school students to drop out. 

Below are some comments from netizens: 

  • SM Entertainment is trying to charge people to become trainees…
  • They audition and select trainees for their company, yet at the same time claim they are teaching and collect money?
  • 10 million won per semester? That’s an outrageous price 
  • The kids need to focus on their studies. Academies like this are encouraging them to drop out of school. 

However, some netizens also defend SM, stating that many idol start early, and similar star academies are already acting. 

Source: theqoo

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