Columbia, SC
Tuition (in-state)
$27,644 ($10,488)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Junior

Diversity: The diversity of the campus is easily accepted, regardless of ethnicity/race, economic background, political beliefs, religion, and/or sexual orientation. Diversity is something that we're all familiar with so it's not that hard to accept that there's diversity on campus as well.

3 College Senior

Diversity: People tend to be pretty reserved when it comes to diversity. It's the South; that's just how things are. But being that USC is a big school, everyone has a chance to find their niche. One just cannot be afraid to pursue their interests.

3 Recent Alumnus

Diversity: While the student body may at times seem somewhat homogenous, you will undoubtedly meet people from all walks of life and backgrounds. The international student population is robust, the majority comprised of Koreans and Saudis. The predominant religious affiliation is protestant (there is a prayer before football games) but there is no pressure or ostracism to be of any particular faith. The same can be said of the political affiliations, with it being South Carolina, conservatism is very much the most common political identification but I have had many a lively (and, mostly, civil) political discussion with people of many different political leanings.

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.

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3 College Junior

Diversity: Campus is not split by type necessarily. However, one could definitely point out the differences between Sorority girls, football players, Frat guys and then the normal cliques. Everybody is friendly towards another, regardless.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 98th
    Most Conservative Schools
  • 1220th
    Most Open-Minded Schools
  • 1298th
    Most Liberal Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

While many USC students claim that the campus is very diverse, statistics indicate otherwise. The campus is 79 percent Caucasian and 15 percent African American, leaving only 6 percent for other nationalities. One reason that students may be under the impression that the campus exhibits more diversity than in reality is because of the many organizations that cater to individual ethnic groups, such as the Filipino-American Student Association, the Hindu Students Council, and the NAACP that increase students’ awareness of ethnic groups on campus. The truth of the matter is that many students do not come from an incredibly diverse background, so the presence of a small number of international students or persons of a different ethnic background makes the campus diverse to them.

While USC is certainly not among the most diverse schools in the nation, it is actually pretty consistent with the amount of diversity found at other universities across the nation. In general, many colleges across the nation cannot boast extreme diversity, but USC has a long way to go before it may be considered truly diverse.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • Georgia
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Virginia
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 0%
18-19: 32%
20-21: 34%
22-24: 19%
25+: 15%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 4%
Asian American: 3%
Hispanic: 2%
International: 16%
Native American: 0%
White: 69%
Unknown: 3%
Gay Pride
USC has a relatively quiet but very prideful gay community. The BGLSA (Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Alliance) has a very strong presence on campus, and events such as the Birdcage (the USC-sponsored drag show) attract mass numbers every year.
Political Activity
Although USC sits in the heart of Columbia, S.C. (a city noted for its conservative history), the campus emanates all ranges and views of political activism. It is not uncommon for student organizations to form and lead protests in front of the state house, located a few blocks away. Debates on campus spanning all topics occur with frequency.
Economic Status
Most students come from middle-class backgrounds; although on any given day one will see a student or two cruising in a luxury car their parents bought them.
Most Common Religions
Christianity is by far the most prominent religion on campus. There are a lot of religious clubs and organizations, most of which are Christian-oriented, but there are also organizations for students of other religious convictions.
Minority Clubs on Campus
There is a total of 13 minority clubs on campus, but they are generally unseen and unheard. The African American groups are the most well-recognized minority organizations on campus, and there are a few African American fraternities and sororities.
Did You Know?
In 1873 and throughout the Reconstruction Era, USC was the only state school in the south to grant degrees to African Americans.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 132 responses

  • 5% Libertarian
  • 16% Not sure
  • 2% Very conservative
  • 28% Conservative
  • 26% Moderate
  • 20% Liberal
  • 5% Progressive/very liberal

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 132 responses

  • 0% Libertarian
  • 5% Very conservative
  • 27% Conservative
  • 33% Moderate
  • 23% Not sure
  • 10% Liberal
  • 2% Progressive/very liberal

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 131 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How diverse is your personal circle of friends in the following areas?    Based on 131 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 131 responses

  • 2% It's hard to be a minority here.
  • 7% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 45% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 46% Very accepting.


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