Columbia, SC
Tuition (in-state)
$27,644 ($10,488)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 2891 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Columbia is a really fun city, if you allow yourself to get immersed in the culture. There is a lot to see off campus, and more than just 5-points.

5 College Junior

Facilities: USC has a large library which accommodates very well for the large amount of students that attend. Lots of green space that is kept nice and clean. The sporting events are huge, and many people join in for all of the fun.

4 College Junior

Campus Dining: Dining is overall very good. They have many choices. Not only do they have choices due to everyones liking, they also have choices to fit different dietary and allergy needs.

3 College Junior

Transportation: The transportation is fairly decent. It mainly depends on your schedule and where you live as to whether the bus is convenient to you. They do a good amount of run times and they do fall between classes which is good.

1 College Junior

Parking: Parking on campus is not the ideal parking. It is difficult to find parking spots and most of the time you have to drive around for a while. It can cause you to be late to class and sometimes if you're late to a class too often then they drop you from your course.

3 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: There are a lot of precautions talked about and there are safety poles around campus. Although those are in place, often students are alerted of cries on campus like robbing and scary things that you think we would not have to experience. The Carolina Alert system in good but a lot of times you wont get to hear about the crime until the next day after it happened. By that point you like crap I just walked through that area 30mins after that happened. There needs to be a quicker way to notify students and a better way to insure protection than just call boxes on poles.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: There is always something to do a t USC. One thing most people like about USC is the ability to be as heavily involved or have as little involvement as you like. There is always something going on out side of the student center. Constantly you can get free things, food, games, and so many other things that just make you feel like your wanted. Student life is great at USC and I love being a student there.

2 College Sophomore

Facilities: I hate to rate this category so low but with good reason I do. There are teachers at USC that I am completely confident would lay their life out to help their students. There are many professors that have gone above and beyond to help there students. The main problem that I have concerning faculty would be the non-professor staff. When you call to get a problem addressed at USC you will get sent to 5 different people before you get in touch with who you need to speak to. Four of those five people will act like you are doing them a disservice by calling them. They are rude and act as though you should apologize for making them do their jobs. It is annoying and makes it hard to hold respect for the majority of the faculty.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: You can always find something to eat at USC, It may not be five star quality , but there are multiple places to eat and many different choices. The main eating area, the Russell house, has sit down places as well as fast food places. You can also eat food from an area that is more like a cafeteria. The lines are pretty bad sometimes but you just have to know when the crowds are coming. Some of the dorms have places that you can go eat and the ones that don't have places in them to eat typically have a place close by, The food in most places is pretty good. If you are on the go and need something fast there are easy grab an go foods as well as food vans in some areas you can run in real quick to grab a quick bite.

2 Recent Alumnus

Campus Housing: I did not enjoy living on campus. I asked for a co-ed dorm, but ended up in all girls. I am not crazy about living with a bunch of girls and it ended up being too catty for my taste. I had most of my friends in an honors dorm. I could have gotten into it and looking back I should have. The all girls dorm was falling apart and I had repeated problems with maintenance. I had to play the parent card constantly. They had little respect for me as a resident. My friends in the honors dorm had a much better facility and were "my type" of people.

3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Dining: Once you learn it, the food works out. I am a yankee so I'm not big on southern food. There are ways around it, though. I learned how to get grilled chicken from the grill and put it on my salad from the salad bar. There is sushi. I still question it. They have a Jamba Juice for smoothies and some little restaurants like Italian and Greek. They are alright, but nothing great. They have some fast food as well and a café outside of the main dining hall that is pretty good. As far as organic, ethnic, and vegetarian/vegan, you can make do, but they don't give a ton of options. They have an off campus program where you can get some meals off campus. I moved out of campus housing and started cooking on my own before I could try it, but it sounded like a great option. They have lots of sub shops around, but also some cool little areas off campus. You have to learn about them, but there is plenty to try.

4 Recent Alumnus

Facilities: The library is a little old and musty, but they are making improvements to it. The older building are beautiful, but some of the dorms are falling apart. Again, they are making improvements to some. The newer building are very outdated and dark. They offer some events on campus and lots of clubs to join. There was a great night life downtown, but not a ton for underage students. There were plenty of fraternity and sorority events, but I wasn't interested in that, so it was a little more challenging for me to make friends. The green spaces were gorgeous and I spent hours every day on the horse shoe enjoying the weather. The Blatt gym is poorly ventilated, but the Strom Thurmond gym is exercise heaven. It is HUGE and my current gym, a large Gold's Gym, pales in comparison. There is a rock wall, track, cardio deck, weight room, and an entire downstairs full of high quality, challenging group classes. They have basketball courts, ping pong tables, racquetball courts, volleyball courts, an indoor pool, hot tub, and sauna, as well as a great outdoor pool perfect for laying out and hanging with friends. They offer Pilates, Yoga, Cycle, Kickboxing, Zumba, Arms and Abs classes, Boot Camp Classes, Lifting classes, and probably more I can't remember. The football games are awesome, but they are getting really hard to get into. The tailgating is so much fun, but can be hard to get to. Be smart about cops and your safety, though. As long as you don't go out of your way to get into trouble, you won't have any.

3 Recent Alumnus

Health & Safety: I felt very safe on campus, but wouldn't go anywhere alone at night. Beware of areas off of campus. There are a lot of dangerous areas. Recently, the downtown area has had a lot of problems, but if you are choosy on where you spend your time, you won't have a problem. Be smart about it. There are "blue lights" all over campus and they offer shuttles to help keep you safe. Many of the problems I've heard of could have been easily prevented. I carried pepper spray just in case, but never had to use it. I never went anywhere alone at night and kept close to friends in the downtown area.

2 Recent Alumnus

Parking: Great parking opportunities are costly and if you forget your car at a meter, it's a big problem with tickets. There are some cheaper spots by the gym, but it's a bit of an uphill hike and during major class times (especially the beginning and end of the semester) there are very few spots available. If you live on or close to campus and don't mind walking, you won't need a car with the dining plan. If you live close to campus, but at an apartment, you will have a spot and won't have to drive to class. Again, you need to be alright with walking a mile at a time. I've lived on campus, in an apartment close to campus, and far off campus. Living in an apartment close to campus with a car was probably my favorite option. I love walking and the weather is gorgeous. There are a few places available like this.

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Being an education major at USC was a lot of work. Starting in your second semester you start practicums in the schools. There is a lot of writing and observations that go into it. There are very few tests, though. You begin internships the second semester of your junior year. That is a very busy time and one year later, in your final internship, you are essentially a full time teacher. A lot of reflection goes into that. I was in a cohort and became close with many of the other students. It was great support. Along with the support of the other students, my advisors, and my coaching teachers, I ended up being very well prepared for real world teaching.

2 people found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Majors: The Elementary Education program at USC was superior to any others I have heard of. I got a job right out of college, while friends in other states who went to other schools are still looking years later. I am returning to get my Master's and don't want any other school because of the quality of the Education programs at USC.

4 Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: Thanks to my parents, my savings throughout childhood, and my out-of-state scholarship, I did not need financial aid.

4 Recent Alumnus

Majors: Elementary education interns don't get pay, but you do get necessary experience with some much needed guidance. I had 3 internships and learned so much during them. It prepared me for my real teaching experience after graduation. During my first internship, I went in a day and a half per week and helped around the classroom. I also planned an taught a few lessons. In the second internship, I planned and taught many lessons and saw what happens at the beginning of the year as a teacher, including open house. I also spent entire days teaching. During my final internship, I planned and taught for over two weeks along with lessons along the way. In all of my internships, I had the same responsibilities as my teachers during the time that I was responsible for the class. I also was video taped and had support groups and coaches who came to give advice as well as assess me.

4 Recent Alumnus

Majors: I went through the Elementary Education program at USC and I had the best experience out of anyone I have spoken to. I was in the classroom by my second semester my freshman year. At other schools they didn't see the inside of a classroom until their junior or even senior year. I had not 1, not 2, but 3 internship experiences. I had dedicated and knowledgeable professors who worked hard to make us successful, not just in college, but in the real world. I am now in my third year of teaching and it has been going well. I can thank the education program for that. Now, I plan to return to get my master's because it was such an incredible program.

4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: There's a good mixture of rednecks, Southern belles, frat boys, and plenty of sweet tea and Southern accents. There also are musical boys, geeks, and preppy girls as well.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The State Fair and the spirit of the city for the Gamecocks at the football games creates such a energetic atmosphere of pride and excitement. People from all over South Carolina come down for these events!

4 College Freshman

Parking: Staying in a dorm on campus will save you time and money as the prices for parking permits and the inconvenience of finding a parking spot in the busy city is taken away.

3 College Sophomore

Majors: As a transfer student, I haven't really received a lot of information or support regarding my major and the options I have for the future. My advisor was extremely unhelpful and without my engineering 101 class I would be completely lost.

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

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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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