UofSC Expecting Enrollment Increases in S.C. Residents; African Americans; Other Underrepresented Minority Students

Staff Report

Thursday, September 10th, 2020

The approximately 7,800 new students in Columbia this week show that the University of South Carolina--the state’s flagship institution-- is increasing in diversity and serving more students from South Carolina than ever before, surpassing the last two year’s record and setting a new bar for academic achievement, preliminary data shows.

“I’m thrilled and honored to greet this extraordinary class of first-time students to campus and to Columbia,” Caslen said. “The diversity and academic talent represented in this new group of students will make us even stronger, and I look forward to seeing these students become an integral part of our Gamecock community.”

 Highlights of the new freshman and transfer student class include:

  • Approximately 7,750 new freshmen, transfers and residential bridge students are expected to enroll on the Columbia campus, including more than 4,700 South Carolinians.
  • African American freshman enrollment is projected to grow by 28 percent over last year, and it has more than doubled since 2016. 
  • Underrepresented minorities make up 25 percent of Columbia’s new students, and freshman enrollment of underrepresented minorities is projected to grow nine percent over last year and since 2016, has grown more than 70 percent.
  • Hispanic freshman enrollment is up 55 percent since 2016.
  • Nearly 18 percent of the new freshman class is comprised of first-generation college students.
  • In addition to in-state residents, new students hail from 44 other states and the District of Columbia.
  • About 580 freshmen are enrolled in the South Carolina Honors College and an estimated 1,490 freshmen are participating in the Capstone Scholars program
  • Including graduate students, overall enrollment at the Columbia campus is expected to reach a record number 35,500.
“Our continued success in attracting top students from South Carolina and beyond is directly related to the transformative experiences of current and former students,” said Scott Verzyl, associate vice president for Enrollment Management.  

 “UofSC not only offers students tremendous opportunities inside the classroom to obtain a world-class education, but our vibrant and diverse campus culture also affords students the opportunity to engage in beyond the classroom experiences, grow as individuals, master critical skills, develop strong relationships and become future leaders. It is no surprise that more and more South Carolina residents are realizing the value of a UofSC degree and choosing to become Gamecocks.”