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University of South Carolina: Narrative Description


Columbia, SC 29208
Tel: (803)777-7000
Admissions: (803)777-7700
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site:


State-supported, university, coed. Part of University of South Carolina System. Awards associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and first professional degrees and post-master's certificates. Founded 1801. Setting: 315-acre urban campus. Endowment: $312.5 million. Research spending 2003-04: $78.2 million. Educational spending 2003-04: $7357 per student. Total enrollment: 25,597. Faculty: 1,520 (1,113 full-time, 407 part-time). Student-undergrad faculty ratio is 17:1. 12,379 applied, 67% were admitted. 25% from top 10% of their high school class, 61% from top quarter, 91% from top half. 31 National Merit Scholars, 65 valedictorians. Full-time: 15,548 students, 55% women, 45% men. Part-time: 2,142 students, 52% women, 48% men. Students come from 54 states and territories, 66 other countries, 12% from out-of-state, 0.3% Native American, 2% Hispanic, 15% black, 3% Asian American or Pacific Islander, 1% international, 9% 25 or older, 46% live on campus, 6% transferred in. Retention: 84% of full-time freshmen returned the following year. Academic areas with the most degrees conferred: business/marketing; social sciences and history; communications/communication technologies. Core. Calendar: semesters. ESL program, services for LD students, advanced placement, accelerated degree program, self-designed majors, freshman honors college, honors program, independent study, distance learning, double major, summer session for credit, part-time degree program, external degree program, adult/continuing education programs, co-op programs and internships, graduate courses open to undergrads. Study abroad program. ROTC: Army, Air Force.

Entrance Requirements:

Options: electronic application, international baccalaureate accepted. Required: high school transcript, minimum 2.0 high school GPA, SAT or ACT. Entrance: moderately difficult. Application deadline: 12/1. Notification: continuous until 10/1.

Costs Per Year:

Application fee: $40. State resident tuition: $5548 full-time, $260 per credit hour part-time. Nonresident tuition: $14,886 full-time, $677 per credit hour part-time. Mandatory fees: $230 full-time, $10 per credit hour part-time. Full-time tuition and fees vary according to program and reciprocity agreements. College room and board: $5590. College room only: $3280. Room and board charges vary according to board plan, housing facility, and location.

Collegiate Environment:

Orientation program. Drama-theater group, choral group, marching band, student-run newspaper, radio station. Social organizations: 270 open to all; national fraternities, national sororities; 17% of eligible men and 17% of eligible women are members. Most popular organizations: Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Association of African-American Students, Baptist Student Union, Garnet Circle/Student Alumni. Major annual events: Homecoming, Tigerburn, Greek Week. Student services: health clinic, personal-psychological counseling, women's center. Campus security: 24-hour emergency response devices and patrols, student patrols, late night transport-escort service, controlled dormitory access, Division of Law Enforcement and Safety. 6,937 college housing spaces available. Freshmen guaranteed college housing. On-campus residence required in freshman year. Options: coed, men-only, women-only housing available. Thomas Cooper Library plus 7 others with 3.4 million books, 5.1 million microform titles, 22,744 serials, 46,648 audiovisual materials, an OPAC, and a Web page. Operations spending 2003-04: $15.5 million. 2,432 computers available on campus for general student use. A campuswide network can be accessed from student residence rooms and from off campus. Staffed computer lab on campus.

Community Environment:

Columbia is located in the Midlands, halfway between the coast and the mountains - an easy two-and-a-half hour drive to some of the nicest beaches on the East Coast and some of the Carolinas' best hiking trails. A few blocks east of the university lies bustling Five Points, a longtime favorite of students for it boutiques, bookstores, restaurants, and bars. West of the university lies the Congaree Vista, a more upscale shopping and eating district. As the state's capital city, Columbia is home to the state government, as well as several other colleges and universities. Culture and entertainment abound. The city has several theatre groups, an art museum, and an art center that brings in major musical, dance, and theatre entertainment. For relaxation on Columbia's balmy spring-like days, downtown's Finlay Park is close by, and nearby Lake Murray offers swimming, camping, and fishing.

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