University of South Carolina

On 3/26/14, Kate Balboni, the Regional Admissions Representative from the University of South Carolina for Northern New Jersey, spoke to a group of high school guidance counselors and independent college admissions consultants in Bridgewater, New Jersey.  Here are some highlights from her presentation.
The University of South Carolina is in the state capital, Columbia with a population of around 800,000.  There are about 23,000 undergraduates.  A large percent of the University‚Äôs students are from outside of South Carolina.  New Jersey is the number five state sending students to the University.  The University is 12 hours by car from NJ. There are direct flights from Newark to Columbia, or connecting flights through Charlotte.  The mid-50% SAT scores (Critical reading and Math) for Freshmen are 1120-1280.
There were 591 applicants from Northern NJ this year with 277 admitted (47%) and 87 enrolling.  Of the 87 students, 11 are in the Honors Program and 28 are in the Capstone Scholars program.  Fifty-five percent received merit aid.
There are 95 majors.  The school is known for its international business, its hotel, restaurant and tourism management, and its risk management and insurance majors.  The university has the largest sport and entertainment major in the country.  Other popular majors are nursing, psychology, biology, biomedical engineering, marine science, mechanical engineering, exercise science, and the 6-year pharmacy program. 
The Honors College has its own academic building and dorms.  Honors students get first pick at research opportunities, do a senior thesis, and are eligible for 6-year law and 6-year Pharmacy program.  They can take their Gen Ed requirements at the Honors College.   The mid-50% SAT scores (Critical Reading and Math) for the Honors program are 1390-1470.
The Capstone Scholars program is a two-year enhancement program where students engage in one activity in Leadership, Community Service, Academics, and Social. These include special classes, their own residence hall, and opportunities to compete for travel grants for the May semester or summer study abroad.  The mid-50% SAT scores (Critical Reading and Math) for the Capstone Scholars program is 1290-1360.
Cost of Attendance for out-of-state students is $38.4K per year.  There are out-of-state scholarships, some of which are substantial.  The top out-of-state scholarship is the McNair Scholars, worth $32,000 a year.  It is awarded to 20 out-of-state students.    The Horseshoe Scholars Award is worth $28,000 a year and is awarded to another 20 out-of-state students.  Last year McNair and Horseshoe Scholars had an average SAT score of 1507 (out of 1600).  There are other out-of-state merit scholarships valued between $8,000 and $23,000 a year. 

The school has over 400 clubs.  There are 17 Division I teams.  There are free tickets for students to watch the Division I sports. Football is the big spectator sport in the Fall and Baseball is the big spectator sport in the Spring.  

Twenty percent of student go Greek.  Greek students attending the Football games get dressed up (i.e., guys wear jackets and ties and gals wear heels and pearls).  

If you are a student looking for a large State University the South, with Greek life, and strong Division I sports, the University of South Carolina might be for you.  If you are a very strong student academically, the Honors or Capstone Scholars program along with the merit aid for out-of-state students might seal the deal for you!