Location
Undergrads
21,646
Tuition (in-state)
$28,528 ($10,816)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 2934 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Sophomore

Majors: While biomedical engineering is largely challenging, the College of Engineering and Computing strives to work with students to ensure their continuation of the program

3 College Sophomore

Weather: Columbia is known as the arm pit of the south.

5 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: While Greek Life is large on campus, it is not frowned upon if a student is not involved in it.

2 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: With an increase of incoming students and a decrease of on campus housing due to renovations, more and more students are moving off campus.

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: Thank God, Sweet Tea and the SEC

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Like any campus, the university enforces the rules.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Definitely a ton of places to eat off-campus at all hours of the day/night. Most have specials every day on something, so it's always affordable. New this year, restaurants are starting to accept Carolina Cash as payment.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: We're in the South, so it can only be so diverse. But as far as southern schools go, I found USC to be one of the more diverse schools. There are many cultural societies with a strong presence on campus. As far as religious diversity goes, it's pretty largely different branches of Christianity with a huge Baptist presence. There are other organizations for people of different faith on campus, and it is very easy to get involved with them.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: They don't call USC "famously hot and cocky" for nothing! Students here are some of the greatest around, whether your type is hipster, preppy, athletic, or anything else. The southern hospitality is all around, whether or not you're from the south. One tour of the school (and surrounding pools) on a nice summer day will be more than enough proof.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Majors: I lucked out and got one of the best internships I could ask for. The university makes it very easy to find an internship, with some majors requiring them (Hospitality requires two). This definitely is great to have, since I will have had experience in the workplace when I graduate. The school of business requires students take BADM301, which is a class entirely about getting a job in business. Through this 8-week class, I was able to perfect my resume, attend 2 job fairs, take the Birkman test for free along with a full analysis of my results, and build professional connections. The career center also is a great resource for internships and jobs. I feel very prepared to graduate thanks to this program.

5 College Sophomore

Majors: I am an International Business and Finance double major and if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing. I love my major, and think it is very well-run, leaving me with no concerns about my future post graduation, whether I choose to go to grad school or jump into the workforce.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: On campus housing is definitely strict. The visitation policy varies depending on the dorm you are in, but in spring semester, most dorms change their rules to be lenient. Alcohol/drug usage is closely watched for with huge fines and penalties if caught. The campus has gone tobacco-free (January 2014), and though it has not made an incredible impact on students smoking, they can get fined if caught by an overzealous campus police officer. The university police have state jurisdiction, as they are quick to inform you, so just know that they have the most power of any police officer you will run into. That being said, they are usually nicer than the insane, barely-respected, feared Columbia City police. Resident Mentors are probably the most strict people you'll have to deal with on campus, since their job is to find and report anything in the dorms. Some are genuinely there to help, purposely overlooking a beer can in the trash, but immediately responding to a dangerously intoxicated student, but others go above and beyond to make an example of every student that they can possibly find with slightly too-loud speakers or an accidental slur in their word.

5 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: The drug and alcohol visibility is relatively high, but it is college. There is definitely a huge majority of the student body that drinks, but those students who do not drink find each other and definitely can still have a good time. The drug scene is definitely present, but pressure to partake is not prevalent. If you don't want to be a part of the drug or alcohol scene, it is easy to not, and there will always be students who share your views. Exact same goes for if you do. The attitude here is definitely laid back, and students can have an easy time fitting in whatever they choose to do.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: The International Business program here has been ranked the number 1 program in the entire country for the past 17 years (take that, Harvard!) As an International Business student, I absolutely could not have chosen a better major. The teachers for the rigorous business core are not that great, but since around 5,000 students all have to take the same 14 classes, there's only so much the university can do. The workload can be intense, but it will be worth it to graduate with such a prestigious major, and join the overwhelming majority of students to immediately enter the workforce post-graduation. We are getting a new business school building this Fall 2014, which is going to be incredible.

5 College Sophomore

Scholarships: I don't really know about financial aid or loans since I did not apply for anything, but the university offers an incredible selection of merit-based scholarships. Students can be a part of the Capstone program (an underclassman honors program), where tuition is greatly reduced (around $13,000 overall reduction a year) Others are part of the Honors program, which basically offers students almost free tuition (tuition reduction plus $10,000-15,000 scholarship a year). Overall, if you need financial aid, the first places to go are honors programs, and then look to loans and other options.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: I love the off-campus housing here. Since the university only guarantees on-campus housing to freshmen (and I'm not even sure if they still do for 100% of the class), off-campus housing is the way to go. There is no problem finding a place to live, whether you want a house, an apartment, or any other option. Most housing is very close to campus, and if you live in an apartment that is not, shuttles are provided. Each community has its own feel, some safer than others, some louder than others, etc; so it's always easy to find what you're looking for. Commuting to campus every day is a very easy option, except that recently they have taken away a large chunk of our parking, but getting a garage spot ($280 a semester and up) is well worth the price. Most company-owned apartments are easy to work with, and landlords of individual homes vary from the most helpful and kind people to crazy old women.

3 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: The campus in the middle of a big city. Crime will always be present. That being said, as a female, I definitely do not feel safe walking anywhere after dusk alone. There is definitely a gang presence, especially in September and the surrounding months. The police say they're focusing on gang violence, but honestly the only time I've seen something be done about it is when the city shut down a bar that was notorious to be the meet-up location for gangs. Most of the police force is focused on arresting underage students hanging out at the bars. This has been a huge topic of discussion for years, with no foreseeable conclusion. But as long as you're smart (always stay in groups and don't wander outside of the collegiate bubble), you'll be fine.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Transportation: Transportation at the school is relatively easy. There are always taxis (thank you city life), most apartment complexes have shuttles to and from campus, and driving around is always convenient (excluding the complete lack of parking). To go downtown at night, there is a shuttle to and from Greek Village, and to and from some of the far off campus housing. Friday and Saturday, there is Carolina Cab, a free taxi service to anyone with a student ID that will take you from downtown to anywhere within a 5mi radius (though if you're further than that, usually they'll be lenient, just remember to tip). Monday through Friday, 7:30am-5:45pm, there is a great shuttle service that runs all over campus. There's even an app to track the location of the shuttle, so you know how long you'll have to wait and if you have time to run and grab that coffee you need. After the regular shuttle stops running, there is an evening shuttle that runs from 5:45pm-12:30am. It is less convenient than the regular shuttle, but if you're going from one side of campus to another in the dark at night, it definitely is worth the inconvenience. If you are somehow out on campus even later than 12:30am, there is a late-night shuttle running from 12:30am-6:30am that you can call to come pick you up. Even more, the service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, runs an escort shuttle from 8pm-12am on Sunday through Thursday. If you're at the library and don't want to walk back to your dorm at night, the student government has recently instituted Walk Home Cocky, a free service that will send two people to walk with you back to your dorm Sunday through Thursday 10:30pm-2am. Basically, no matter when or where you need transportation, you will be able to find it, usually for free.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Housing on campus is good (and required) if you're a freshman. I lived in Capstone, which was definitely the best dorm to be in. Resident Mentors are definitely strict and can be annoying at times, but it's pretty easy to follow the rules (just go off campus to do what you want). Very few students live on campus freshman year, though they are building a new dorm for upperclassmen, and there is housing available on the Horseshoe for older students. The housing lottery can be annoying (unless you're in the Capstone or Honors program and are guaranteed housing in Capstone and Honors). Most dorms are very social and make it very easy to make friends that will last you the rest of college. Funny enough, the worse of a dorm you are in, the stronger the bonds you make with your neighbors are, so don't get upset if you end up in Bates House or The McProjects (McBryde).

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: I absolutely love this city....as long as I stay in the right areas. Definitely an amazing city, hosting the perfect college atmosphere, an important business district, the official state capital, and anything you could want in a city. Very easy to get around. The only problem is that there is definitely a lot of crime. I would never walk alone at night, even just from the gym to my car. Police are very active and visible, but are more focused on underage drinking than gang violence. But as long as you're smart, you'll be safe.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Absolutely my ideal school, and I cannot bear the thought of leaving. Planning on continuing to grad school here just to remain in the city of dreams.

5 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Nightlife here is great. There is always something going on 6 days a week (we're in the South, Sunday is the day of rest, though there are the occasional times two or three times a year that something merits a bar opening on a Sunday night) and bars are always having some special or another. Having a fake ID is pretty much crucial to partying, since the bars have recently been dominating night life. Fraternities frequently throw house parties (usually off campus due to a majorly increasing watch on Greek Village houses) or rent out bars (18+ which is great for those without an ID). The best part of the year for partying is definitely football season. Tailgates are insane, and when we win, everyone heads downtown to celebrate (learning how to recover and recoup after a full day of drinking in the hot Carolina sun is a MUST). The attire for going out is a perfect mix between the super dressy schools and the sweatpants/tee shirts of other schools. You can get away in a dress and heels, or shorts and a nice shirt. Even in summer, enough students want to stick around to make the nightlife still fun.

5 College Freshman

Athletics: All of our athletics are d1 and the facilities are amazing

5 College Freshman

Transportation: Riding with friends save you a lot of money compared to others

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are the same places... Definitely needs more places

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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Gregory Goetz
Hometown
Fort Mitchell, KY
Major
Media Arts/Entrepreneurial Business
View all previous student authors

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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