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Higher education in South Carolina


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We all know that USC and Clemson pretty much dominate the state as far as educational institutions go. So this thread is for the oft-overlooked institutions that still do a pretty good job without as much regional and national prestige.

Of course, I have to start this thread off with my alma mater and current graduate institution, Winthrop University. The changes I've seen since I was a freshman in '98 to today are remarkable, with more on the way. It has a pretty high minority enrollment for a predominately white university at ~25%. The university continues to have one of the leading programs for in education and music in the state, and the men's basketball team has seen several stellar seasons lately, including Big South conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances. Hopefully this year, we can get past the first round. ;)

I think the institution that is really poised to do great things within the next few years is Claflin University in Orangeburg. Founded in 1869, it is the state's oldest historically black institution. In the U.S. News and World Report latest college rankings, it ranked 1st for best value among southern comprehensive colleges (for bachelor's degrees) 10th overall among southern comprehensive colleges (for bachelor's degrees) category (a few other schools in SC also made the list). The school also recently received a few grants, among which is one that goes to establishing a biotechnology masters program at the school. The new construction within the past 3 years on the campus has been phenomenal.

Hopefully, recent developments on SC State's campus will only be the beginning of great things to come there. The school recently broke ground on two much-needed residence halls and the James E. Clyburn University Transportation Center. I also believe the school is the only one in the state to grant masters degrees in transportation studies.

I'm not sure what's going on at College of Charleston these days (besides some more on-campus housing being planned), but in my estimation, it is one of the absolute best urban universities that can be found anywhere.

OK, let's hear about some of the state's other schools from you guys.

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This article is almost a year old, but it discusses SAT scores and admissions at Clemson, Furman, and USC:


One key quote from the article:

"Students can expect their applications to get a hard look if they score below 1130 at Clemson University, 800 at USC or 1200 at Furman University, according to the schools."

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Furman is a jumping off school for people looking to get into advanced degrees in programs that are difficult to get into such as becoming a doctor.

The traditional schools in SC have been

Liberal Arts


College of Charleston



Winthrop - once a women's only university, conveted to co-ed in the 70s

Engineering/Programming/technical degrees


The Citidal - operated as a military school

Then there is the USC system which has branches across the state. For the most part the schools above are either expensive or difficult to get into. USC handles the large number of students seeking a degree which either don't want to go or can't afford to go to the above universities. Including the branches it is by far the largest University in the state.

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  • 1 month later...

Well, I've got to mention my alma mater, The Citadel. As the state's only military academy, it does provide military training along with various degrees in science and business. The school has been ranked in U.S. News as a top school for its size.

Also, as metro pointed out, its engineering programs are considered top in the state if not the Southeast. The Citadel's business program is ranked 2nd only to USC's business school...many business and political leaders have gone through the rigorous "4th Class System" and military training.

Last, but not least, if you want to become a military officer in ANY branch, the Citadel is the primary school in the state for it. The school offers all 4 branches through its ROTC programs.

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I've heard rumors that USC Upstate Chancellor Stockwell wants to merge Upstate with Greenville Tech.

Hmmm <_<

I'd like to see Greenville tech become a University and it's own being. I'd like for it to become one campus on Pleasantburg and raise it's standards to that of, say USC. Then, change the name. As a result, you can keep the name Gville Tech for the remaining campuses and let them become a whole other school entirely-- maybe even merge that one with USC Upstate.

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Interesting that this rumor has popped up, because a few months ago some of us discussed the possibility of USC Upstate eventually wanting to merge with Greenville Tech. It might've been in the Greenville forum. Anyway, very interesting rumor and I would like to see it come true. To continue to progress as a city, Greenville needs a strong university in addition to Furman. Having such a university in the city would be perfect. :)

I would like to see the name reflect Greenville somehow. Simply "Greenville University" would work for me.

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The idea of a statewide institution, like SC Tech as suggested before, is most appealing to me. I think that a state university would be a more successful one.

However, if the two schools merged it would probably be under a new name entirely, not 'Greenville' this or 'Spartanburg' that- regardless of whether it is affilitated with USC. That said, there has already been a great deal of money invested in the USCS campus recently, so I don't see it going away. Any merger will have to actively incorportate the Spartanburg Campus as a primary center.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Legislator wants to limit out-of-state admissions at USC

This state rep has already announced his retirement from the legislature, so I don't know how effective he will be in pushing this.

It does seem that our universities seem to care more about getting a national reputation than providing degrees for SC students. From what I understand, Clemson has significantly more out-of-staters than USC. It would seem that a restriction on USC alone would not be fair.

If you heard Sanford's speech last night, he heard some interesting stats on how expensive and underfunded our colleges and universities are.

Edited by vicupstate
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They are expensive because they are underfunded. Our all-knowing legislature keeps cutting the funding, and the schools have to raise tuition to compensate. Either way, limiting out of state students is not the way to go. Just increase the capacity of the schools. This state has a lot of other institutions than Clemson and USC that could be used for this purpose.

Clemson might have more as a percentage, but not as a raw number. Clemson has an outlandish number of Indian kids in engineering.

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I have often heard and read that Greenville Tech is consistently ranked among the top technical colleges in the nation. I went on a tour of their facilities in the late '90s and at the time they were ranked number three. :thumbsup:

It really is a great school and great for Greenville. I'm not sure of what all they offer, but I know that their nursing program is top notch. I've heard many times that if the Greenville Hospital System if looking to hire, they'll choose a Greenville Tech grad over another school such as Clemson.

I sure wish they'd change their name though. The whole tech part doesn't seem to do justice-- seems kind of degrading.

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I can't understand why people are so turned off by the Technical name. I think it is very positive for any school.

The reason GHS likes to hire students and graduates of the Greenville Tech nursing program is that they (GHS) are in collaboration with the school. The school has some of the latest medical instruments modern technology has produced. As I said before, the waiting list is several hundred to fill just about thirty seats per class. This shows the level of interest in this field here in the Upstate. :)

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