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South Carolina Acceptance Rate

So, you’re thinking about applying to the University of South Carolina, and you’re curious about your chances of admission. Well, we’re here to help! Of course, there are a lot of factors in the admissions process, and it’s impossible to accurately predict whether you’ll be admitted or not. However, the most important factors in the admissions game are your GPA and test scores. So, using those as a measure, we can give you an estimate of your chances.

Test Type
SAT Score: 1600
GPA: 4

Percent change to get into :100 percent

With an acceptance rate of 65%, admission to South Carolina is extremely competitive. Based on our analysis, to have a good chance of being admitted, you need to be at the very top of your class and have an SAT score of close to 1300, or an ACT score of around 27.

Not quite there? Try taking our SAT prep course and You’ll still have a chance of getting in, but it’s in the single digits. Let’s take a closer look at South Carolina admission statistics.


South Carolina Admissions Statistics

South Carolina’s acceptance rate in 2017 was 65%. For students applying to the class of 2021, out of 25,740 applicants, South Carolina admitted about 16,611. The average GPA of admitted applicants was 4.04, the average ACT score was 27, and the average SAT score was 1270.

For students who took the ACT, the 25th percentile score of successful applicants was 25, and the 75th percentile score was 29.

For students who took the SAT, the 25th percentile score was 1180. The 75th percentile score was 1370.


If you’re somewhere in the middle of these numbers, remember that a high test score can compensate for a slightly lower GPA, and vice versa. If you’re at the lower end, it helps if you’re a diverse applicant, the child of an alum, or have incredible personal achievements. Still, at the 25th percentile, your chances of getting in are in the low single digits.

Other aspects of your application, such as athletics, extracurricular and recommendations, are important, but will likely only make a difference for admission if you’re in the 75th percentile range for your GPA and SAT/ACT scores.

As we said, admission to South Carolina is very competitive. Even if South Carolina is your dream school, and even if you’re in the 75th percentile, you’ll still want to make sure you apply to a wide variety of schools to ensure you’ll gain admission somewhere.

Generally, you should have at least three safety schools (where you are in the 75th percentile of GPA/test scores), three reach schools (where you are in the 25th percentile of GPA/test scores) and three target schools (where you are near the average for GPA/test scores) on your list.

OK, so you’ve decided to apply. We took a look at South Carolina’s admissions requirements to help you get everything in order.


South Carolina Application Requirements

To apply to South Carolina, you’ll need to fill out the USC Online Application or Coalition Application, submit your SAT or ACT scores, pay the $65 application fee, and submit your high school transcript. Everything should be submitted by October 15th for Early Action, and December 1st for Regular Decision.

Here’s a full list of application requirements:

  • Fill out the USC Online Application or Coalition Application
  • Submit your ACT or SAT scores
  • Submit the $65 application fee
  • Submit your high school transcript

The application deadline is November 1 for Early Action and January 3 for Regular Decision. Notifications are released on March 12th.

Have you been admitted to South Carolina? Congratulations! Below is a glimpse of what your classmates will be like.


South Carolina Admitted Students Profile

If you matriculate at South Carolina, you’ll be joining a diverse class, with students from all over the U.S. and the world, and have a chance to study in dozens of fields.

Here are some interesting facts about the recently admitted class:

  • Roughly 46% are male and 54% are female
  • 2.9% of students are international

South Carolina has a diverse class, as well, with a large number of people of color. The ethnicities of admitted applicants are:

  • International: 2.9%
  • Underrepresented minority: 1%
  • Two or more races: 3.8%
  • White: 78.3%

What do these admitted students plan to study? South Carolina offers dozens of majors, and students matriculating there pursue a wide number of subjects. Here is a list of some of the top programs:


  • Finance
  • Physiology
  • Applied Communication

Now, how are you going to pay for this?

man confused

South Carolina Tuition Figures

At $45,716, South Carolina’s cost of attendance is astronomical. But, don’t panic! Most incoming students receive some form of financial aid, and the average award is $5,148.

Here’s a fuller look at South Carolina tuition and financial aid in 2017:

  • Total budget: $45,716
  • Average financial aid package: $5,148
  • The average student debt of a South Carolina graduate is $29,012

Now, what is life like at South Carolina? Let’s take a look.


South Carolina Location

The main campus is located in Columbia, South Carolina, not very far from the South Carolina State House itself.

For literature fans, the campus holds the world’s largest Ernest Hemingway collection.

Remember, you’re going to South Carolina for its excellent academics! Below is a look at what academic life will be like.


South Carolina Academics

South Carolina has dozens of majors. Some of the school’s more interesting majors are:

  • Accounting
  • Aquatic Biology
  • Broadcast Journalism
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Dance
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Finance
  • Geophysics and Seismology
  • Information Science
  • Insurance
  • Journalism
  • Latin American Studies
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Office Management and Supervision
  • Political Science and Government
  • Tourism and Travel Services Management

Now, let’s take a look at life outside the classroom at South Carolina.


Student Life at South Carolina

South Carolina has hundreds of student organizations, covering academic interests, creative and performing arts, cultural and racial initiatives, gender and sexuality affinity groups, government and politics interests, and various media and publications.

Here’s a sampling of Cal Tech’s student activities:

  • Acro Flow Cola
  • American Constitution Society
  • Carolina Health Outreach
  • Cocky Couture
  • Exercise Science Club
  • Gamecock Consulting Club
  • Minorities in Computing
  • Mock Trial Team
  • National Society of Black Engineers
  • Bedsider U
  • Gamecocks for Babies
  • No Kid Hungry
  • One Love Foundation
  • Save The Children Action Network Club
  • St. Jude Up ’til Dawn
  • Trans Student Alliance
  • Carolina Cornhole Club

Are you an athlete? South Carolina’s got plenty of options for you.


South Carolina Athletics

South Carolina offers a large number of intercollegiate sports, with extensive varsity, as well as club, offerings, for both men and women. So, if you’re not up to varsity level, remember there are plenty of club and intramural sports to try out for, too.

South Carolina’s sports include:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Cross-Country
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Soccer
  • Golf
  • Track & Field
  • Tennis

Who might you become with a South Carolina degree? Let’s take a look at some well-known and successful alums:


Notable Alums

South Carolina has produced politicians, business tycoons, entertainers, musicians, media figures, and leaders in dozens of other fields.

Here’s a list of some particularly well-known alums:

  • White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card
  • Broadcaster Rita Crosby
  • US Senator Lindsey Graham
  • Continental Airlines CEO Larry Kellner
  • South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster
  • Musician Jesse Hughes
  • Artist Jasper Johns
  • NBA Hall of Famer Alex English
  • WNBA all-star Shannon Johnson
  • Philanthropist Darla Moore
  • United Airlines CEO Glenn Tilton
  • Musician Amos Lee

And this is only a partial list!


Getting into South Carolina is very competitive. Don’t despair if you get a no. If you have a strong GPA and high test scores, you have a great chance of getting into at least one of the more competitive schools. And if you don’t, remember: where you go is NOT who you are. If you work hard, you’ll end up at a school that’s right for you, and still get a great education.

If you need to boost your GPA or test scores before application time rolls around, you should consider signing up for a course with Prep Expert. We offer one-on-one tutoring and classes, both in-person and online, at locations throughout the United States.

Our expert teachers and tutors will not only share with you tried and true methods for improving your score, but also help you correct deficiencies in any subject that you’re having difficulty with—English, Writing, Mathematics or Science.

Additionally, online classes can be watched On Demand, so if you miss a class due to your busy schedule, you can catch it online later. We have helped hundreds of students get the scores they need to attend the school of their dreams.

For more test strategy, college admissions, and scholarship application tips sign up for our FREE class happening right now!

Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Written by Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Prep Expert Founder & CEO

Shark Tank Winner, Perfect SAT Scorer, Dermatologist, & #1 Bestselling Author
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