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  • Writer's pictureAlison Merzel

School Spotlight: University of South Carolina

Updated: May 8, 2023

With over 27,000 undergraduate students, University of South Carolina - Columbia is the largest university in the state. While its mission is to serve South Carolina residents first, 42% of USC students come from outside the state. Ohio is #9 of the top 10 states represented by USC students. Here are 5 reasons why students would want to take a closer look at USC:

1) University of South Carolina has a separate department dedicated to Sports and Entertainment Management. The undergraduate program is the largest in the country and all students will graduate with both an internship and a practicum, giving them real-world experience with faculty who have industry expertise.

2) The South Carolina Honors College enrolls students whose academic profiles match those of students in the Ivy League. It has long been considered a leader among honors colleges in public universities. The Honors College provides academically outstanding students with an elite, small college experience within the larger USC campus. About 10% of the incoming freshmen class is comprised of Honors College students. They are given access to 600 honors courses and the average class size is about 16 students. Honors College students are uniquely positioned to take advantage of more personalized attention, more academic and extra-curricular support, and a closer knit community of like-minded students.

3) University of South Carolina offers generous merit-based scholarship opportunities - 97% of students receive some financial aid. Check out the comprehensive list of scholarship opportunities for non-residents here. The highest achieving students can apply to become a Top Scholar, earning a minimum financial award of $10,000 per year and significant non-monetary benefits.

4) Students looking to really enhance their global perspective can graduate with Leadership Distinction in Global Learning by pursuing study abroad, engaging in enhancement experiences beyond the classroom, enrolling in designated courses, and completing a publication or presentation and an e-portfolio. Other GLD pathways include Community Service, Diversity and Social Advocacy, Professional & Civic Engagement, and Research.

5) USC's pass rate for the NCLEX, the national licensure exam for nursing, is in the top 1% in the country. The College of Nursing's accredited Simulation Lab gives students the hands-on practical experience they need to replicate clinical scenarios they will face in the nursing profession. Prospective nursing students who are invited into the Honors College can pursue USC's Smart Start Nursing program, gaining access to Upper Division nursing classes as early as freshmen year. Traditional nursing students will take pre-nursing core general education courses before progressing to the Upper Division.

Explore USC's visit options here and freshman application requirements here. Go Gamecocks!

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