Columbia, SC
Tuition (in-state)
$27,644 ($10,488)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 2843 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: It mostly depends on your dorm RAs. They are the ones who are most likely to get you in trouble whether it's from drinking in your dorm to coming home visually drunk. I'm super responsible and I got busted. Be careful is my best advice!

5 College Sophomore

Greek Life: I am obsessed with USC's Greek Life. Joining a sorority was one of the best decisions I could have made as a freshman. I came from out of state and choosing to participate automatically created a schedule for me, introduced me to tons of new people, and gave me a place to ask my "total freshman" questions without feeling dumb. I strongly encourage everyone to at least give it a shot!

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: There certainly are beautiful people at the University of South Carolina. The ladies keep their tans year round and while they may dress super casually during the day, take a walk downtown after 10 and your jaw will drop!

The men also know how to dress, and they do it even more often than the girls! Khakis and button-down shirts flood our campus and definitely give us ladies something to look at during that boring Geology class ;)

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Majors: I started out as an English major, but then I changed it to Media Arts then to Broadcast Journalism. The transition from English to Media Arts was not a challenge at all, since both of these majors are within the College of Arts and Sciences. Getting a new adviser was somewhat of an obstacle though. Transferring from Media Arts to Broadcast Journalism on the other hand was a huge pain. I had to fill out about five sheets of paperwork, perpetually go back and forth between one college and the other, and then go through a separate orientation for the School of Mass Communications from somebody who seemed to hate his job. I still have not been assigned an adviser, and the lady at the front desk of the college, who is suppose to be helping me, was reluctant to give me assistance.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: From what I've seen, the RA's are very strict about underage drinking. If somebody is passed out, they will call the cops and an ambulance. Afterwards, you will get written up as a warning. The same goes if you are drunk and conscience. Penalties for cheating on the other hand are pretty lenient. While the professors will report you in a heartbeat, the judiciary council does not seem to enact substantial penalties for being caught. The worst you will get for a first-time offense is academic probation.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: The drug scene in Columbia is not that significant compared to other cities in South Carolina like Charleston. It depends on who you hang out with. I have heard many stories that cocaine was being thrown around within some fraternities to the point where the authorities had to be brought in. Other than that, marijuana is sometimes passed around, but alcohol is the main substance people abuse excessively. This fact is especially true during tailgates and Friday nights at the Vista and Five Points. The first penalty for marijuana possession is academic probation. All of the dorms have strict policy against underage drinking, and you will be written up if caught.

2 College Senior

Scholarships: I received the Life Scholarship when I transferred to the University from a technical college. However, I had been sick when I first began college and was unable to go full-time. I did not know that with special permission, I could have gotten the Life scholarship even with only one class. Therefore, I spent most of the money my parents had saved for me on my first year. I had to fight to get this scholarship every semester. It has now been over eight semester that I have been in school, so I no longer qualify. This results in my having to take out subsidized and unsubsidized loans plus my mother has to take out PLUS loans to help me. I do not qualify for the PELL grant even though my father is retired on disability and my mother works at a very modest state job.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: The main place people go to for food is the Russell House. There, we have an Einstein's Bagels, Burger King, Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Marble Slab, Starbucks, and Great American Cookies. I would get something different everyday so you're not tired of the same food. The cafeteria food at the Russell House on the other hand is absolutely horrid. The Asian food they serve is too starchy. There is also a cafe on campus that serves Starbucks and some good sandwiches. Within walking distance from campus, there is a variety of restaurants (a sub place named Beezer's, Wendy's, Yoghut, etc.) you can pay with your own money.
Speaking of payments, the university does offer an excellent choice in meal plans. I wouldn't recommend getting the 21 meals a week plan, because with college in general, events and studying can get in the way of having three meals a day. You can get all of your meals to go though. We also have Bonus Bucks you can use to pay for your meals if the price goes over the prepaid amount. Use all of your Bonus Bucks up, because they do not transfer over to the next term unlike Carolina Cash (which is money you can use pretty much anywhere within campus).

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: There are many apartment complexes that cater to off-campus students. If you do not have a car, you will need to get an apartment close to campus so that you can utilize the shuttle system. However, expect the rent to be high. You will definitely need a roommate or two. The discounts are few and far in between. These communities often take advantage of the needs of college students.

3 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: This university is in a medium-sized city. The campus is large and is in the middle of the city but it is difficult to get around without a car once you leave campus. This university has a very active social scene with many club and Greek activities. However, I hope to live in Tokyo, Japan when I graduate

This university is located in a small to medium sized state capital. It has a large campus in the center of the city. If you want to go anywhere off-campus, you need a car. The climate is very hot and humid in the summer. The school has a very active social and Greek life and there are numerous sporting events in connection with the school. Columbia has long been a college town and so the community is very accepting of college students.

4 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Hot girls, best in the South. For the most part all the guys are cool.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Health & Safety: There needs to be more lighting for people traveling on campus at night.

4 College Senior

Health & Safety: The student health center is very efficient and helpful. The service is great and you get help really quickly. However they do tend to be quite expensive.

3 College Senior

Drug Safety: As in every other college campus, there are drugs. Its not overbearing and its not something you see out in the open, however people do use different kinds of drugs. I don't believe it is currently a hazard nor do I believe people abuse it.

1 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Police is very strict with underage drinking and related activities. To certain extent even the local police department is way too involved. I believe college is a time to experience new things and sometimes they interfere with this. I do however firmly believe that in order to be able to enjoy these privileges one has to be responsible.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: The off campus housing are great. They a lot of space for four people to stay in. There is a lot of people near you, so it s a great way to make friends and more.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: It is a new experience. It is very fun and the housing services are great.

4 College Freshman

Computers: The computers are great at the school. They work fine and you can find a lab any where on campus if anyone needs one.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are many places to eat off campus and there is a great variety of food. The quality and service of the food is great. Also the prices for the food aren't too bad.

4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: There are many places on campus to eat, but eventually you do get tired of eating there. Overall, the service and quality of food is great.

5 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: The atmosphere is great. It is the middle of downtown of Columbia and fun is within walking distance at all times. You can go walking and enjoying the stores downtown, visit the statehouse, or go to bars and party in 5 points or the vista!

4 College Senior

Health & Safety: The Health center is amazing and get to you and needs very quickly and the safety is pretty good too.

4 College Senior

Greek Life: All the Greek life at USC is pretty decent, including the general African American ones and the general predominantly white ones. Not only do they know how to have a good time but they also love to do community involvement and stand up for just causes too. Also, most of them do not treat non-Greeks any differently and get along very well.

4 College Junior

Majors: I have not had an internship, but if it is required then I would be concerned on how many are out there and if they offer a hourly salary. I'm not sure how I could hold on to the internship and if it would meet all the requirements I would need for it to excepted for my degree program. Would I be able to have an internship with the flexibility around my school scheduled classes and the summer time, so that I can receive the most hours of experience that would be required as well?

4 College Junior

Majors: I absolutely love my major. The professors have so much to offer and are very well educated. There are also so many different classes you can take including Maymesters abroad, which I did this past summer. Most poli sci classes are in Gambrell which compared to some other buildings on campus is relatively nice.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Gregory Goetz
Fort Mitchell, KY
Media Arts/Entrepreneurial Business
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If there is one word to describe the experiences you will have at USC, it would have to be "unforgettable." Being away from home for the first time at USC is both exciting and scary at times, but the freedom you get when you come here feels natural. It makes you wonder why they don’t send people to college sooner! Academically, there are courses and professors who can make you look at things in ways you never considered before. Facts and figures will be thrown at you, but some of the professors (and your peers) can teach you a lot about life as well. It’s also a very cool thing to see laid-back professors who will sometimes move their classes out onto the Horseshoe lawn.

On top of this, with such a large student population, you will inevitably form new relationships that will last a lifetime. As at any college, the quality of the experience depends on what you put into it. There are thousands of new people to meet, tons of activities going on, and things to learn both in and out of class. Those who don’t take advantage of these opportunities will not get a lot out of their experience here. Some students get tired of being at USC after a while, and some hate it from the start for whatever reason. USC is not the place for everyone, but overall, students seem to be thoroughly enamored with Carolina and wouldn’t trade their title of Gamecocks for anything in the world. There seems to be an aura of its own inherent to the University, and its welcoming vibe is infectious.

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Applicant Status At University of South Carolina

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